Letter from the Moderator – As John reported after last year’s General Assembly, there is considerable discussion and debate within our church on the issue of human sexuality. There are those who want to see the church be accepting of people who are not exclusively heterosexual, and there are those who want to see the church maintain its traditional position. In reviewing past statements that the General Assembly has made on this issue, the Committee on Church Doctrine noted last year that, in a statement made in 1994, the Assembly had said the following: The church is called to be a welcoming, nurturing, loving, and supportive community, a true church family, where all are welcomed, nurtured, loved, and supported. Sadly, the Christian church has frequently shunned homosexuals, and failed to minister to them and with them. The church as a whole must repent of its homophobia and hypocrisy. All Christians, whether our sins are of the spirit or of the flesh, whether heterosexual or homosexual, need God’s forgiveness and mutual forgiveness as we pursue together the path of holy living.
The Doctrine Committee noted further that, since 1994, the General Assembly has never issued a statement “repenting of its homophobia and hypocrisy”, and that this still needed to be done. Accordingly, the 2017 Assembly instructed the moderator, the Rev. Peter Bush, to write a letter to this effect. That letter has now been written, and can be accessed online at www.presbyterian.ca. For those who don’t have access to the internet, printed copies are available from John. Responses to the letter can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.