Written by Rev. Justin Lee Marple
Monday, 23 July 2012 09:40
Click here for the August 2012 Newsletter of Niagara Presbyterian Church.
The text of the Pastor's letter is also below...
Grace and Peace from Our Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanks for all of your prayers for me and for Tim Devine (who sends his best to you) and the rest of the commissioners at the General Assembly (GA). Also, I discovered after coming that Sarah Erckert (who will be coming to Niagara Presbyterian starting this fall when she moves back for college) was one of the Young Adult Advisory Delegates (they get to vote in committees but then not on the final action by the whole GA).
I am writing this during the final morning of the General Assembly. To clarify, not at one a.m. when
we were still going strong from the Friday night session that was not finished (ending later, and having to meet with my committee afterward) but at nine a.m on Saturday when we came back to continue. Perhaps it is too soon to reflect on what has taken place at this General Assembly but I will attempt to let you know some of the things that we decided.
Thanks be to God during this General Assembly I was able to make a difference in my committee and on the plenary floor. The church is divided on social issues. But I do want to report that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has rejected any redefinition of marriage at this time. I actually had the opportunity to speak to the truth of God's Word on the plenary floor and you may be able to find the video online. The Assembly did not, however, make any progress on moving toward a Biblical view of life on issues such as abortion. The Assembly even had the audacity (although the vote was fairly close) to say that parents should never be able to spank their children (which was debated for like an hour). So apparently it is perfectly fine to kill your child in the womb but if your child survives to the terrible twos you cannot spank them. Thus you can see that the results were mixed on social issues. Even so, the one where we expended the most energy came to a positive result.
It was amazing to see that God was able to work through this GA such that the church was not willing to allow same-gender marriage. It was an experience that I will never forget and it was a joy to make many good friends.