May 2008: The following is St Anselm's response (passed by 92% of the congregation Nov 2006) to the Presbyterian Church "General Assembly Ruling 06.032" that those involved in a sexual relationship outside marriage cannot become ministers or elders.
St Anselm's Union Parish, Karori, Wellington, is a Christian community seeking to live the positive values of openness, acceptance, affirmation, encouragement and mutual respect. These values, together with the underlying philosophy of working things through with God in mind, are the guiding principles of parish life.
The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, being one of St Anselm's partner churches, recently made a decision on sexuality and leadership, which is in conflict with the St Anselm's ethos of inclusivity. 1The St Anselm's congregation notes that this decision does not apply to Uniting Congregations and, with God's help, it is our intention to practise, as best we can, Christ's teachings of inclusive love for all our brothers and sisters.
[1Regretfully, since this time our other partner churches in the Union have also made similar decisions to the one made by the Presbyterian Church. While we, as a congregation, acknowledge and respect the decisions made by our partner churches, we also enjoy the right to an opposing point of view and continue to speak out against discrimination and injustice wherever and whenever we see it. (Editor 2017)]
Sep 2014: The following motion was passed (by a significant majority) of the St Anselm's congregation at the Sep 2014 AGM.
The congregation of St. Anselm's expresses its sadness at the decision by the General Assembly of the PCANZ to define acceptable and unacceptable relationships in relation to the practices of the denomination and its ordained practitioners. We find this to be in conflict with the statement that our congregation has affirmed as a guiding principle for our parish life.
This statement says:-
"St Anselm's is a Christian community seeking to live the positive values of openness, acceptance, affirmation, encouragement and mutual respect. These values, together with the underlying philosophy of working things through with God in mind, are the guiding principles of parish life."
We are concerned that the decision will remove the ability that we currently have to show the equality of God's love for all.
We realise that we will have a further opportunity to express our views as the proposal proceeds through the Barrier Act process.