Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Via The Advocate: Presbyterians Overwhelmingly Approve Marriage Equality

The largest Presbyterian denomination approved a marriage resolution on Tuesday that amends their constitution to accept same-sex marriages.

A voice vote held on Tuesday in New Jersey had 86 regional bodies approving the new resolution and 41 opposed (one local presbytery had a tie vote), reports The New York Times. The church, which claims 1.8 million members and is based in Kentucky, has been moving to the left in the past few years; they cleared the way for gay and lesbian pastors, elders, and deacons four years ago.

Their latest change in policy also means Presbyterian ministers who previously performed same-sex marriages will not be prosecuted or convicted of ecclesiastical crimes by the church.

The new policy is a measured change. Conservative ministers will not be forced to perform same-sex marriages, while the new constitution will not be altered that drastically. The church previously considered marriage as between "a man and a woman," while the new language considers marriage as a union of "two people, traditionally a man and a woman."

The Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Quakers are some of the other denominations that have opened the door to same-sex marriage. The Reform and Conservative movements of Judaism have also hopped on the bandwagon.

Via GLAAD: Presbyterians latest church to affirm marriage equality

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has become the latest church to approved marriages for same-sex couples. The Presbyterian Church, USA now holds that marriage is between “two persons” rather than “a man and a woman.” 

Last summer, the PC(USA) governing body voted by a 71% vote to change the description of marriage, from between “a man and a woman” to “two persons.” However, the amendment required 51% of the 171 regional bodies called presbyteries to affirm the change. That threshold was crossed as 86 presbyteries voted yes, as of today. The tipping point vote was cast by Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey. However, affirming votes came from more conservative presbyteries, including the Charleston-Atlantic and Foothills Presbyteries in South Carolina, James and Shenandoah Presbyteries in Virginia, Presbytery of the Pines in Louisiana, and North Alabama Presbytery. You can see a full tally, and which presbyteries are still yet to vote at the Covenant Network of Presbyterians website.

Make the jump here to read the full article

Via NYT: Presbyterians Give Final Approval for Same-Sex Marriage

After three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Tuesday to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.

The final approval by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, known as presbyteries, enshrines a change recommended last year by the church’s General Assembly. The vote amends the church’s constitution to broaden marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

The Presbytery of the Palisades meeting in Fair Lawn, N.J., put the ratification count over the top on Tuesday on a voice vote. With many presbyteries still left to vote, the tally early Tuesday evening stood at 86 presbyteries in favor and 41 against and one tied.

“Finally, the church in its constitutional documents fully recognizes that the love of gays and lesbian couples is worth celebrating in the faith community,” said the Rev. Brian D. Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which advocates gay inclusion in the church.

“There is still disagreement, and I don’t mean to minimize that, but I think we are learning that we can disagree and still be church together.”

The church, with about 1.8 million members, is the largest of the nation’s Presbyterian denominations, but it has been losing congregations and individual members as it has moved to the left theologically over the past several years. There was a wave of departures in and after 2011, when the presbyteries ratified a decision to ordain gays and lesbians as pastors, elders and deacons, and that may have cleared the way for Tuesday’s vote.

Via Huffington: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Embraces LGBT-Inclusive Definition Of Marriage


The tide has turned for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples seeking to be married in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).

Following years of debate and introspection, America’s largest Presbyterian denomination has announced a change to its constitution that allows for a more inclusive definition of marriage.

Officially called Amendment 14-F, the new wording in the denomination’s Book of Order will describe marriage as being “between two people.”

About 71 percent of PC (USA) leaders approved of the change during a general assembly meeting last June. The church had been waiting for a majority of its 172 Presbyteries, or regional bodies, to approve the measure one by one. On Tuesday, this majority was reached, with 86 Presbyteries handing in decisions to support same-sex marriage within the church. 

“Today we are rejoicing!" said the Rev. Robin White, co-moderator of the LGBT advocacy group More Light Presbyterians. "So many families headed by LGBTQ couples have been waiting for decades to enter this space created for their families within their church communities.”

Make the jump here to read the full article

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 17/03/2015

“Existem muitas práticas que podem te ajudar a fortalecer a sua força de vontade, mas é muito importante que você não se proponha a fazer algo que não vai dar conta. Esse é um aspecto fundamental da prática da austeridade inteligente. Se você sente que não pode se comprometer com nada, tudo bem - talvez sua austeridade nesse momento seja não se culpar, não exigir nada de si mesmo. Porém, procure se observar, pois muito provavelmente você está preso na crença de que não é capaz ou de que não tem poder. Mas, é muito importante ir além disso, pois toda crença é limitante.” 

“Existen muchas prácticas que te pueden ayudar a fortalecer tu fuerza de voluntad, pero es muy importante que no te propongas hacer algo que no vas a poder manejar. Este es un aspecto fundamental de la práctica de austeridad inteligente. Si sientes que no te puedes comprometer con nada, todo bien - tal vez tu austeridad en este momento sea no culparte, no exigirte nada a ti mismo. Sin embargo, trata de observarte, porque muy probablemente estés preso en la creencia de que no eres capaz o de que no tienes poder. Pero es muy importante ir más allá de eso, porque toda creencia es limitan.”

"There are many practices that can help to strengthen our willpower, but it’s crucial that we don’t propose a practice for ourselves that we won’t be able to do. This is a fundamental aspect of the practice of intelligent austerities. If we feel we can’t commit to anything at all, it’s okay – maybe our austerity at that moment is not to blame or demand anything of ourselves. However, we must try to observe ourselves, because it’s likely that we are stuck in the belief that we’re not capable or that we don’t have any power. It’s very important to go beyond this, because every belief is limiting."

O Caminho do Meio // O Caminho do Meio

O Caminho do Meio

Apenas para registro:

Sou a favor do fim da corrupção, para um melhor trânsito e escolas e hospitais, para acabar com a miséria, para encontrar soluções para a nossa crise ambiental e para os projetos que precisam ser concluídos, como prometido! Sou a favor de ruas seguras e limpas e de um melhor planejamento e gestão para os nossos recursos e do meio ambiente.

É possível ser em favor disso e não ser rotulado de racista? Eu não sou a favor de didaturas militares ou impeachment, mas quem sente a liderança (em ambos meus países!) estão precisando de uma palmada firme. Para mim, isto parece adequado, pois é o caminho do meio.

Estou profundamente grato aos meus dois países por tudo o que eles me deram.

Estou dedicado a reembolsá-lo, tornando a vida dos meus alunos e da comunidade um lugar um pouco para todos nós.

Então vamos levar a discussão para fora dos medos e do diálogo de esquerda - direita, culpando os líderes do passado ou quaisquer fantasmas do exterior e vamos assumir a responsabilidade pessoal e o foco no caminho do meio, onde podemos encontrar uma maneira de trabalhar juntos em paz e solidariedade!


The Middle Way

Just for the record:
I am for an end to corruption, for better mass-transit, schools and hospitals, for ending misery, for finding solutions to our environmental crisis... for projects that need to be finished as promised! I am for safe a
nd clean streets, and for better planning and management or our limited resources and environment. 

Is it possible to be for this and not be labeled a racist? I am not for any military solutions or impeachment but one who feels the leadership (in both my countries) are in need of a sound spanking. To me this seems appropriate, and is the middle way. 

I am deeply grateful to both my countries for all that they have given me. I am dedicated to paying it forward and making the lives of my students and community a little bit better place for all of us. 

So lets move the discussion away from fears and a left – right dialogue, from blaming past leaders or any ghosts from abroad, and towards taking personal responsibility and focus on the middle way where we can find a way to work together in peace and solidarity!


Via Daily Dharma

What is Happiness? | March 17, 2015

The search for happiness is not about looking at life through rose-colored glasses or blinding oneself to the pain and imperfections of the world. Nor is happiness a state of exaltation to be perpetuated at all costs; it is the purging of mental toxins such as hatred and obsession that literally poison the mind.

- Matthieu Ricard, "A Way of Being"