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This Week at JMPC 2.23.2020

A few years ago, a pastor friend of mine and I were talking about a beloved member of his new church who had died. She was “full of years” as they say. She had been a faithful member of the church, sung in the choir, and been ordained a Deacon. She was a retired teacher. She had never been married. When he went to the viewing, he saw a woman sitting next to the casket who was clearly disconsolate. Not knowing who she was, he asked a member of the congregation. He was told that this woman had lived with his dead parishioner for decades. She too was a retired teacher. She too had never been married. My friend assessed the situation and decided that he would treat this woman sitting by the casket as if she were his parishioner’s spouse. He sat next to her and talked to her about her life with his parishioner. He had her sit up front at the funeral. He mentioned her close relationship with the parishioner during the eulogy. He gave her a hug at the graveside. A few weeks later another of his parishioners asked him what he thought about the PCUSA proposal to allow same sex weddings to be conducted by pastors in church. He told his parishioner about his interaction with the woman sitting by the casket and said that their relationship might have been a marriage, but of course he did not know. His parishioner looked at him with mouth open and finally said, “That never occurred to me!”
This amusing story made me think. What would the congregation have done if she had told them she and her roommate were “more than friends”? Would they have labeled her a sinner and made her leave the church? Would they have defrocked her as a Deacon? Or would they have affirmed her monogamous relationship with her companion? Might they have said something like, “Who cares?” What does the Bible say they should do? This week at John McMillan Presbyterian Church, Pastor Jeff will preach “What does the Bible say about Homosexuality and gay marriage?” This topic is timely timeless. Come and hear about it at 8:30 and 11. Keep your heart and mind open. We will look forward to seeing you.

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