Welcome Commissioners & Youth Advisory Delegates!
The 191st General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has among its tasks to discuss memorials from Grace and Arkansas Presbyteries that seek to limit or usurp the rightful authority of sessions and presbyteries to ordain who they see fit. We have prepared this resource page for commissioners and youth advisory delegates where we share Rev. Abby Cole Keller’s call to unity, a list of concerns with the exclusionary memorials, the stories of a few LGBTQ+ Cumberland Presbyterians, and scriptural and theological resources that we hope will be helpful as you discern together what is the wisest course of action for the Church.
At last year’s assembly, Commissioner Rev. Joy Warren of Murfreesboro Presbytery submitted a resolution to bring the stories of LGBTQIA+ members and leaders and other scriptural and theological resources before commissioners. Since LGBTQIA+ Cumberland Presbyterians are among those most impacted, we believe it is an ethical imperative to consider them, their stories and the recommended scriptural and theological resources. We believe that those wanting to do their due diligence, will consider these voices and resources carefully.
As members of the body of Christ we are called to love one another and as an expression of that love to listen to each other, affirming the even greater common ground we enjoy and embrace as Cumberland Presbyterians:
“We acknowledge that within both Cumberland Presbyterian denominations there is a wide range of biblical understanding and interpretation. With that said, we should resolve – first and foremost – to love one another, and as an expression of that love to listen to each other, affirming the even greater common ground we enjoy and embrace as Cumberland Presbyterians. Our goal need not be one hundred percent agreement on biblical interpretation, but rather a mature awareness and consideration of the diversity of theological perspectives that a global and multi-ethnic denomination manifests.”
Unified Committee on Theology and Social Concerns Study Paper: A Question of Hermeneutics, Adopted in 2017 by the 187th General Assembly (CPC) and the 145th General Assembly (CPCA)
Please read this appeal to commissioners & youth advisory delegates
We respectfully request that you consider as a part of your deliberations the following resources:
LGBTQ+ Video Testimonials
We invited folks to share their stories in order to help commissioners and delegates know a few of those whom their decision will affect most directly. Please understand that LGBTQ+ Cumberland Presbyterians are already faithfully serving the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Their stories reveal the damage that comes when people seek to limit God’s call on the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the CP Church. These stories are an expression of a deep commitment to God, to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and to sharing the truth of our experiences and our faith. They are a step towards deeper connection and greater unity as we seek to break down any walls that may exist between us. Thanks for watching.
|WCP Stories: Allison & Elicia||WCP Stories: Michael||WCP Stories: Angela|
|WCP Stories: Mandy and Jamie||WCP Stories: Christi|
|WCP Stories: Obed||WCP Stories: Michael L|
“Our Stories Project”
LGBTQIA+ written stories
Our stories are an expression of our commitment to God, to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and to sharing the truth of our experiences and our faith. They are a step towards deeper connection and greater unity as we seek to break down any walls that may exist between us. Thanks for reading.
Please consider these items as well.
Assessment of Concerns with Exclusionary Memorials
- It is our recommendation that the General Assembly deny these exclusionary memorials because they attempt to usurp the rightful and appropriate authority and discretion of presbytery and session to ordain who they see fit. For the sake of the unity, it is essential to recognize the ongoing reality that the church consists of those who in good faith come to different interpretative conclusions on the complex issue of sexuality and its members will exercise the prerogative to live according to their conscience. We believe the wisest path forward for the church is to continue to respect the rightful authority of presbytery to ordain who they see fit, respect freedom of conscience on same-sex relationships, and practice tolerance and forbearance towards those they disagree with rather than attempting to force universal conformity.
- Prayer for 191st General Assembly
- On Respecting the Blessing of Conscience
- Open Letter for Freedom of Conscience on Human Sexuality
- Open Letter: Youth and Young Adult Statement on Inclusion
- A Theological Statement on Inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ Community in the CP Church
The Resources page contains additional recommendations for further study.
Whether or not we agree, it will be helpful that as members of the same body we come to a good understanding of one another’s views. These additional resources offer, in a general way, a more in-depth understanding of inclusionary and affirming views. We do not expect everyone to share the same views, but we respectfully ask commissioners to respect the diversity of the church and practice forbearance towards those with different views.
- Resources Page
- Resources for Families
- (you don’t have to reject your child or family member!)