LOUISVILLE, KY—After two years of “intentional dialogue” and “Spirit-filled conversations,” the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination will receive a report this summer calling on all 172 Presbyteries to find ways to continue hemorrhaging congregations and congregants.
“At the beginning of this process, I think we were all scared,” said Jack Fowler, chairperson of the 133-member Peace and Reconciliation Taskforce on Sexuality (PARTS). “We didn’t know if we would agree on anything. But in the end, after lectio divina and a lot of listening prayer, we all feel quite confident that the Holy Spirit wants us to decline by another 20 percent in the next decade.”
Although the report will not be voted on until the General Assembly later in June, several recommendations are already generating genuine excitement. For example, Recommendation 4 would allow for the ordination of practicing homosexuals on months with 31 days, while only celibate clergy and heterosexuals are to be ordained in those months with 30 days. February will be termed a “Month of Jubilee,” in which ordination may be procured upon three payments of $49.95.
Also promising is Recommendation 13, which would impose a $2.32 per member assessment in an effort to raise the necessary funds to install 3,000 solar panels and three dozen unisex bathrooms at the denominational headquarters in Louisville.
“We’ve been at this decline for fifty years,” Pastor Gretel Williamson stated exuberantly, “but that doesn’t mean we can start coasting. We need these recommendations to keep us moving in the right direction.”
The PARTS team will continue its work through 2020. Their next goal is to discern together who will be the last one left to turn out the lights.