The General Assembly Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and Christian Marriage is set to hold its first meeting next week.

The committee will convene Tuesday morning, March 17, at the Hampton Inn Downtown and work through Thursday morning.

Last summer’s General Assembly directed the moderator to “appoint a special committee, representing the broad diversity and theological balance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to study the following … including any policy recommendations growing out of the study:

  • The history of the laws governing marriage and civil union, including current policy debates.
  • How the theology and practice of marriage have developed in the Reformed and broader Christian tradition.
  • The relationship between civil union and Christian marriage.
  • The effects of current laws on same-gender partners and their children.
  • The place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.”

The committee is to make its report to the 219th General Assembly (2010).

Named to the special committee are the Reverends Clayton F. Allard (Grace Presbytery), Emily J. Anderson (East Tennessee Presbytery), Earl Arnold (Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery), Margaret Aymer Oget (Greater Atlanta Presbytery), Tracie Mayes Stewart (Salem Presbytery), James Szeyller (Charlotte Presbytery), and William Teng (National Capital Presbytery); and elders Luis Antonio De La Rosa (Pacific Presbytery), Katina Miner (San Francisco Presbytery), Stephen L. Salyards (San Gabriel Presbytery), and Lisa Cooper Van Riper (Foothills Presbytery). Emily W. Miller (Shenandoah Presbytery) and Derrick Weston (Pittsburgh Presbytery) will also serve as members.