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The Supreme Court Decision

In June the United States Supreme Court ruled for allowing same-sex couples across the 50 states the right to marry. Responses to the ruling have varied across all spectra: Celebrations included festivals of weddings for those who had been denied it; many groups have bemoaned the decision; the higher courts of at least one state are still deliberating on whether to obey the ruling. Considerations of individual rights, states’ rights, and religious rights all contribute to our responses to this shift in the law’s view of same-sex marriage.

Our congregations may have their own concerns that mirror those of the nation, as well as unique concerns. For those of us who view same-sex marriage as contrary to God’s ethic for humanity, this Supreme Court decision is another disappointing cultural shift against which the Church is called to speak. For those of us who view same-sex marriage as part of God’s redemption of our present world, this decision will seem like a liberating change. Some folks in our congregations work in or operate businesses for which this decision will raise a crisis of conscience; for them there may be fear about the future. And for those of us who strive for unity in diversity within the Church, things just got more complicated.

So I invite you to pray with me. I see the experience of liberation that many couples and families now feel, both inside and outside the Church; and I want to support that. And I see the desire for purity and holiness to which the conscience of many Christians cleaves; and I want to support that. And I see the vision of unity for the Church for which Christ prays according to John 17; and I want to support that. These are things to pray for.

I have been praying since before the Supreme Court decision that, in the lives of our congregations and in the life of our Presbytery, this crisis issue would refine us. I still pray that our discipleship to Jesus Christ may be seen in all that we do. I still pray that Paul’s “lasting things”—faith, hope, and love—from 1 Corinthians 13 would be the attributes the world sees in us as this cultural change settles out.

Please pray that, when the next generation of the Church remembers us, they will fondly recall that everything we have done was in the name of Jesus Christ, and that it was done in love.

In Christ with You,

emrys tyler

Moderator 2015


emrystyler (at) gmail (dot) com


 "The Presbytery of Susquehana Valley

lives to serve and encourage congregations 

as we together seek to be faithful

in our calling to Jesus Christ."


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