by Max Brantley
A fellow Presbyterian writes to say the Presbytery of Arkansas, the Presbyterian Church's governing body for most of Arkansas, voted in Clarksville today solidly for a rule change to allow non-celibate single people to serve as ministers and church officers. The rule change, my friend says, is not strictly about clearing gay ordinations (as the D-G's coverage suggested), though it is certainly about that and controversial primarily for that reason. The conservatives are less worked up about heterosexual deacon/minister/etc. sex, although it's not condoned outside of marriage by the current rule.
After hymns and a prayer, the vote was 116 to 64, my correspondent says.
The rule must be adopted by a majority of the presbyterys nationwide to take effect for the Presbyterian Church USA. But many churches are working around it already. A smaller presbytery covering the balance of Arkansas will vote on the change at a meeting tomorrow.