In the first important action of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly, the Rev. Neal Presa of New Jersey was elected Moderator yesterday. According to the Presbyterian News Service:

The Rev. Neal Presa, pastor of Middlesex (N.J.) Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Presbytery, was elected moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Saturday evening (June 30) on the fourth ballot. It was the second consecutive Assembly that took four ballots to elect its moderator.

Presa said he is committed to the unity of our Presbyterian family and spoke very personally about his parents’ separation at the time of his engagement to be married 10 years ago. “I didn’t know if they would both be at the wedding,” he said, “but Presbyterians prayed them back together. God holds us all together in Christ – it’s called grace.”

It was that kind of grace and trust, Presa said, that caused him to retain his vice-moderator running mate, the Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe of National Capital Presbytery, after she recently signed a marriage certificate for a lesbian couple in Washington, D.C., where same-gender marriage is legal.

“For me, same-sex marriage is not an issue – these are people,” he said. “As a church officer, I hold to the [PC(USA)] Constitution (which defines marriage as between a man and a woman), but I’ve known Tara for ten-and-a-half years and though we disagree, we live with this tension because of our relationship.”

So Presa, about whom I know nothing other than what is in this article, is apparently in favor of moral and ecclesial anarchy in his denomination in the service of “relationships.” That is presumably because it is impossible to remain friends with a ministerial colleague without a) allowing them to toss out the denomination’s governing policy, and b) having her elected to a high denominational position.

It is going to be a long week in Pittsburgh.