Reuters apparently had a reporter present at a conference I attended last week. Late in the week they published this story.
The opening line is as follows: “(Reuters) – Presbyterians opposed to gay clergy split from the church on Thursday, announcing in Orlando a new denomination called the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.” For the record, there was no splitting going on. There may have been the intent to depart in the future, but at present the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) is not capable of receiving churches or teaching elders who wish to depart.
Additionally, this is only secondarily about changes in ordination standards. This is about framing a new structure and fresh theological core in order to effectively communicate the Gospel to our culture. The Reuters article makes no mention of the positive vision of a community of churches and ministers committed to engaging culture and developing flourishing churches that make disciples. Of course, you don’t need to join ECO to do that. In fact many churches will continue in the PCUSA and work to engage culture in fresh ways with the vibrant Gospel of Jesus Christ and his kingdom–I plan on being one of them.
If you want a more balance report, check out this article by the Presbyterian News Service. Get Religion also compares coverage by two different reporters and demonstrates how the Reuters report chooses to focus on an angle that other news agencies did not: http://www.getreligion.org/2012/01/a-tale-of-two-storylines/#comment-259411.