Thursday, June 08, 2006

PC(USA) - News Service - What are the principles of modern Cumberland Presbyterianism?

PC(USA) - News Service - What are the principles of modern Cumberland Presbyterianism?:
Commentary by Jay Earheart-Brown
President, Memphis Theological Seminary
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Reprinted from Perspectives

"MEMPHIS — I am proud to be a Cumberland Presbyterian. I am not proud of everything we do, and I do know pride can be a dangerous thing. The Scriptures counsel us not to think too highly of ourselves, but they also counsel us not to think less of ourselves than we ought.

As dangerous as too much pride can be, I think the greater danger for us as a church is that we don’t take enough pride in who we are, by God’s grace, and in what God is calling us to do and be in the world. I want to use this occasion to reflect on a few of the reasons why I am proud to be a Cumberland Presbyterian.

In a history of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches by Alan Sell, former executive secretary of that organization, Sell used three words to describe the work of the Alliance. Those three words are good descriptors of our heritage as Cumberland Presbyterians: evangelical, reformed, and catholic. ..."

Here is an interesting article for those interested in learning more about one of our sibling denominations.

Several years ago I had an opportunity to speak with a Cumberland Presbyterian minister who mentioned that the Cumberlands were ordaining women as both elders and ministers in the 1880s -- well before any of the predecessor denominations of the PC(USA). This was not a mandated practice, but rather more of a "local option" sort of thing. For more information, explore this link to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (which also has information relating to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America).

[Update 6/9/2006]

A quick Google search on "cumberland presbyterian church ordination women" pointed me to this web site:

History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Churches

It is quite interesting reading.

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Quotidian Grace said...

They were ordaining women in the 1880's? That's very interesting. Thanks for passing this on, Denis.

Denis Hancock said...

Women's ordination wasn't completely without controversy, but it seems the practice was tolerated with little in the way of "definitive guidance" from the General Assembly.

I found this link with a Google search on "Cumberland Presbyterian Church ordination women":

Timeline of Cumberland Presbyterian History

It gives a little more detail.