Dr. Bell on Changes to the PCUSA Constitution

Presbyterian Church USA logo

PCUSA LogoDr. Bell’s remarks on the recently ratified amendment to the PCUSA constitution regarding same-sex marriage:

Dear Wellshire Church,

As I reported in worship a few weeks ago, a majority of presbyteries across the country recently ratified a proposed amendment to the PCUSA constitution redefining marriage from “a man and a woman” to simply “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” With this change, now, PCUSA pastors and churches are free to perform same-sex marriage in Colorado, because it’s also now legal in Colorado.

Sensing this change was coming, the elders that serve on your Session at Wellshire have been studying, discussing and praying about this issue for the past several months. Last week Session unanimously voted to allow and support same-sex weddings at Wellshire Presbyterian Church. I should also add that your three ordained and installed pastors strongly support this decision. The Session wants to send a clear message that Wellshire welcomes LGBT people into the full life of the church.

Recognizing that there are opposing viewpoints on this subject, Session is also actively making plans for education on this issue and discussion this fall. Specifically, we will offer a study class on Mark Achtemeier’s book The Bible’s YES to Same-Sex Marriage: An Evangelical’s Change of Heart.

Let me briefly here repeat what I said in worship a few weeks ago:

First, Wellshire strives to be a “Big Tent” church that respects diversity and inclusiveness. We value liberals and conservatives, rich and poor, educated and simple folk, urbanites and suburbanites, black and white, Democrats and Republicans, Americans and persons of foreign descent. We believe reasonable people will disagree. If you disagree with this decision, it is my earnest desire and Session’s hope that you will remain an active member of this congregation, respecting those with whom you disagree, as others offer the same respect to you. In these polarized times, it is imperative that Christians strive for unity to preserve our witness and illustrate the love of Jesus Christ for all.

Second, some who oppose this decision contend that the denomination has chosen a position that is in direct contrast to the teaching of the Bible. The implication is that we are being unfaithful or apostate, choosing “the way of the world” over clear Biblical teaching. This, to me, is false and outrageous. As Protestants, we must hold the Bible up as our sole authority. No one is suggesting otherwise, but I, for one, do NOT believe that the Bible is clearly opposed to same sex marriage or homosexuality within a committed, loving, Christian framework. Please withhold judgment of “what the Bible says” until you have heard and prayerfully considered the many interpretations that exist within the Bible.

And, third, a very high and increasingly higher percentage of Americans under the age of 40 understand this to be a civil rights issue, which means this is almost certainly going the same way as slavery and women’s rights. As controversial as this decision may be today, it is on the right side of history, and, when those of us who are still alive look back 50 years from now, we will be proud of this bold step.

The Rev. Dr. John H. Bell, Jr., Moderator of Session

Wellshire Presbyterian Church
Denver, Colorado

Check Out A New Book By Dr. Holly Inglis

Part of the cover of Sticky Learning by Holly Inglis

Sticky Learning by Dr. Holly InglisCheck out Wellshire’s own Dr. Holly Inglis’ new book!  Sticky Learning explores how learning occurs in our brain, explains the different types of memory, and shows a framework for brain-friendly ways to teach.  Dr. Kathy Dawson and Dr. Roger Nishioka of Columbia Theological Seminary each contributed a chapter.

Buy the book at Wellshire on Sunday, November 23! Signed copies will be available for purchase in the Narthex. Cost:$25.00

Or, find the book at Amazon today.[clear]

Let’s Build a New Playground ~ Update!

Funding for the new playground has reached $50,000! Thanks Wellshire!

Architect's Rendering of the proposed new playgroundThanks to your awesome generosity, Wellshire Chuch has now matched and exceeded a generous matching grant of $30,000 to partner in funding the construction of a new playground!  This new playground replaces the now demolished one, which was 20 years old and not compliant with current safety standards.  It will be safer, offer more age-appropriate activities to Wellshire Church children and PDO attendees, and provide visual evangelism to the many new families moving into the Wellshire neighborhood.  There are only a few items still needed to make this project complete!

Please partner in this important and exciting ministry on behalf of the children of our congregation, our PDO, and our community.

What is still needed?

Vital “finishing touches”

  •  Permanent care for the shade tree
  • Artificial turf for the toddler playground
  • A toddler play house
  • New riding toys

Support these “finishing touches” by making a donation to the playground fund here (select “New Playground” on the Donation Form list).

Click here to download a PDF with more playground info.[clear]

Funding for the new playground has reached $50,000! Thanks Wellshire!Progress update

• 50 families have donated to the playground fund thus far. THANK YOU!
• The demolition of the previous playground is complete.
• We are working with an arborist to determine how to preserve the existing shade tree.

Construction is underway!

We began building the new playground on August 18 with the goal that it will be ready on Jubilee Sunday, September 7.

For more info, contact:
Chuck Sparks at csparks@wpcdenver.org


New Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults

Welcome, Kira Stringer!

Kira Stringer

Wellshire Church is pleased to introduce our freshly elected Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults, Kira Stringer! Kira preached on Pentecost Sunday and was voted into the position after worship; she moves from the East Coast to Denver in the coming weeks and will soon become a regular fixture at Wellshire.

Click here for more information on Kira.