The abbreviated study — a six-week study was released at the end of April for congregational and mid-council use — is meant primarily for use during mid-council meetings.
The marriage study was referred to the Office of Theology and Worship by the 220th General Assembly (2012). At that Assembly, commissioners voted against changing the PC(USA)’s definition of marriage from “a civil contract between a woman and a man” to “a civil contract between two persons.” Instead, they called for two years of “serious study and discernment” regarding Christian marriage.
The Office of Theology and Worship was directed to prepare and distribute educational resources on Christian marriage to all presbyteries and congregations. Presbyteries are instructed to report their responses to the Office of the General Assembly three months before the 221st Assembly, which begins June 14, 2014.
“I’m grateful General Assembly asked the office of Theology and Worship to help congregations wrestle with Scripture and the confessions in order to speak faithfully about marriage,” says Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Chip Hardwick, director of the Theology, Worship, and Education ministry area.
This two-hour version of the marriage study will be available in Spanish and Korean soon on the Theology and Worship’s Christian Marriage web page.
“The marriage study — including this two-hour version — will help the entire Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) appreciate more deeply what Reformed theology says about Christian marriage,” says Theology and Worship Coordinator Charles Wiley, “and how it relates to same-gender relationships.”