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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

October 14, 2022

This story contains content that may be distressing to readers including accounts of violence and the actions of hate groups against the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We are particularly saddened that some have used the language of religion to insult his family with suggestions that his life was somehow less valuable. The Lord we worship and proclaim made no mention at all of sexual orientation, and welcomes, calls, and redeems all people.”

These were the words of John Buchanan and Bob Bohl, the co-...

October 4, 2022

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) recently acquired the digital videos of Tom McAfee (accession 22-0434), which capture and document the Presbytery of the Redwoods Permanent Judicial Commission’s (PJC) trial of Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr. McAfee is a videographer and Spahr's friend.

On August 27, 2010, the Redwoods PJC...

September 7, 2022

Becoming the Body—this is the title of the speech John Buchanan presented to the audience of the first annual conference hosted by the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.

Hosted in Denver, Colorado, the weekend of November 5, 1998, this conference was organized in response to the failure of Amendment A to be passed at that year’s General Assembly. The theme of this monumental first meeting was “Living Faithfully in the Church When We Disagree.”

This theme reflected the worries of Presbyterians in relation to the...

August 16, 2022

While exploring PHS’s RG 531, an archival collection consisting of the records of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, I came across a plethora of documents that embodied some intense emotions. In the fight for LGBTQ ordination rites, there were many strong opinions held—on both sides.

One of the first things I stumbled upon was a piece of correspondence dated January 9, 1998, addressed to the Elder...

July 15, 2022

You’ve probably heard it by now, but it begs repeating: the Covenant Network of Presbyterians is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. In connection with this commemoration, the staff at the Presbyterian Historical Society have been learning more about the people, events, and history of the organization by exploring the Covenant Network records in our collections and listening to recounted memories of Pam Byers. When asked to draw up a blog post inspired by archival collection RG 531, my mind focused on one question surrounding the groups’ efforts: what did their...

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