From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 07:34:36


                     by Jerry L. Van Marter 
NEW ORLEANS--The Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare 
Association (PHEWA) has adopted a resolution reaffirming its 
opposition to violence at health clinics where abortions are 
performed and expressing its "outrage about the deaths of people 
associated with clinics as demonstrations of anti-abortion 
     The resolution, adopted by the coalition of 10 church-related 
social welfare ministry networks at its Jan. 14 biennial business 
meeting, also states PHEWA's opposition to imposing the death 
penalty for anyone convicted of murder in clinic violence. 
     It encourages Presbyterians to use language, images and 
behavior when dealing with the issue of abortion that will "avoid 
stimulating or encouraging violence or appearing to condone violent 
behaviors" and asks Presbyterians to pray for both victims and 
perpetrators of clinic violence and their families. 
           Brown Criticized for Canceling Spahr Events 
     Another resolution requested the PHEWA board of directors to 
write a letter to the General Assembly Council declaring the 
association's "outrage" and expressing its "dismay" at GAC 
executive director the Rev. James D. Brown's cancellation of two 
recent events at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville featuring 
the Rev. Jane A. Spahr, an avowed lesbian. 
     The resolution called Brown's cancellation of a prayer service 
that was to be led by Spahr and a subsequent reception in her honor 
in the Social Justice Program Area "an inappropriate act of 
inhospitality and injustice." 
     When he canceled the events, which were part of a weekend of 
public appearances in Louisville by Spahr, Brown said it was 
because they were private events within the Presbyterian Center 
that had been scheduled during regular working hours. 
     Saying the cancellations denied opportunities for General 
Assembly-mandated dialogue on human sexuality, the resolution 
concludes, "This is another example of the executive director 
bending over backwards to placate those who wish to rid the church 
of non-heterosexuals." 
     In a related resolution, PHEWA members recommended that the 
General Assembly and presbyteries take "no action" on any 
amendments and overtures related to human sexuality until the 
three-year period of study and dialogue on the subject is concluded 
in 1996. 
         Resolutions on Child Care, Housing Also Adopted 
     PHEWA members passed a resolution calling for expanded 
availability of child care at church meetings.  In addition to more 
child care, the resolution also calls for those offering child care 
to follow guidelines prepared by the Presbyterian Child Advocacy 
Network (one of PHEWA's 10 constituent networks) in setting up 
child care at church events. 
     Also adopted was a resolution endorsing the National Low 
Income Housing Project. 
                            # # # 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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