Letter From Session
June 22, 2014
To our brothers and sisters of First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg,
First Presbyterian Church is a member church of the Donegal Presbytery. There are 173 presbyteries across the country that comprise our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Every year, representatives from each presbytery convene in a national General Assembly to review, confirm and amend policies, rules and spiritual convictions that define what it means to be a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recently voted to recognize marriage as a union between “two people”. This action poses a challenge to the peace and unity of our denomination. We will work vigorously in the Presbytery of Donegal to ensure that the authority of Scripture not be overlooked.
Your Session is deeply concerned about this issue. We felt it wise as a session to respond to the challenge that the recent passage of this amendment poses to our denomination. The recommendation to change the definition of marriage has to be ratified by a majority of our 173 presbyteries. While our session is a wonderfully diverse group of people, we stand united in the hope that our denomination will maintain its peace and unity. However, this session does not intend to sanction a same sex marriage. We will provide you information regarding the governance of the Presbyterian Church and how we can best have our collective voices heard.
As a member or friend of First Presbyterian, you might wonder how these actions will affect the ministries of this church. The answer is, not at all. This is a matter to be dealt with by your elected leadership. We ask that you trust us as we prayerfully address these matters. In the mean time, we call upon all of you who consider First Presbyterian your home, to renew your commitment to the task God has set before us in this place and celebrate the good work this church and denomination are doing beyond issues such as this. Thousands of people in Lancaster County are waiting to hear the Good News of the loving and redeeming power of Jesus Christ. Our staff, programs, missions and facilities are all devoted to that one purpose. We urge you to do your part as ministers of the Kingdom of God as we seek to fulfill our mission to “know Christ, grow in Christ, and go with Christ”.
As matters continue to unfold, we will communicate them to you through our ENews and mail boxes. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to speak to any one of us. If you hear from friends who are wondering where First Presbyterian stands on these controversial matters, please speak a word of truth, grace and strength. And please continue to hold your elders and pastor in your prayers as we seek faithfully to lead First Presbyterian into God’s future.
Your servants in Christ,
The session of First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg