Stone Presbyterian Church welcomes and affirms all persons of every race, age, gender, marital standing, physical or mental ability, economic status, nationality, ethnicity, and sexual orientation into the full life and ministry of this community of faith, including membership and leadership. We welcome and embrace the God-given gifts that each and every person brings to the life of our congregation.
In 2007 after careful and thoughtful study, Stone Church formally became a welcoming and affirming congregation. Not that we weren’t open to all previously, but we felt the need to boldly proclaim that Christ came for all people and that all are welcomed in his midst, including LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning).
Our denomination, Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), was welcoming to all as members of the church further extended that openness in July 2011 when they formally adopted language that eliminated one of the requirements for ordination “to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness,” thus allowing all to serve as elders, deacons, or ministers in the church without regard to sexual orientation.
In 2015 PCUSA changed the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman to “a unique commitment between two people…to love and support each other for the rest of their lives,” thus allowing for same-sex marriages to be performed within the church.
Jesus never spoke about sexual orientation (indeed the term “homosexual” did not even exist until 1892), but he did speak of love and that if you loved God, then you would love your neighbor—no exceptions or caveats. And as the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” The rainbow flag displayed on our exterior marquee and on our printed bulletin is a symbol of this openness.
Scott R. Leonard, CLP
Stone Presbyterian Church
Clinton, NY 13323