Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Sainthood of Allies!

Allies of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community are truly modern day saints. For many reasons, this brave and faithful group has stepped-up to be the voice of our community when many of us were unable to speak for ourselves.

As we enter into this time of results from the process for ratification of 08-B, the new language of G-6.0106b, it is our allies and supporters who have greatly contributed to this time of kairos.

I have known and been blessed by guiding hands and prayers of those who supported my ordination as an openly gay man. Like all presbyteries in our PC(USA), LGBT folk are a minority. Still, the majority of our membership in the Presbytery of Hudson River, our supporters, voted to clear me, as an openly gay man refusing to abide by G-6.0106b.  

The blessings of allies are also in clear view more recently in Twin Cities Presbytery, where Paul Capetz has been returned to ordained status, and in the Presbytery of San Francisco, where Lisa Larges' scruple has been accepted by that presbytery, clearing her to go forward in the process. Lisa, by the way, has been blocked in "candidate status" for more than 20 years because of G-6.0106b!

It is estimated that since 2005 more than 1500 candidates for minster of Word and Sacrament have been cleared to seek a call, examined, and ordained. Even so, our LGBT community finds our progress lagging far behind. However, we now find ourselves in a time when finally we may be able to unify as a church of all God calls, bridging our differences over time, by grace and healing and by ratifying 08-B.

Our advances during this period of time have been the results of the tireless work of our supporters, along with the organizations that have long led the march toward Christian justice in the PC(USA). Whatever the outcome of the upcoming months, our allies and supporters have given us all strength and hope to continue.

As we move into a post-B world, we will usher in a sacred time of healing and justice; of broken families coming together; and of a model for other churches to follow. Far from dividing our church, this ratification will bring us together by traversing the divide that has long excluded our sisters and brothers. Only then will we be able to start the work of unity and dismantling of an unjust and inherently violent amendment, as it now stands.

May this be a year when the turmoil, discrimination, exclusion, and injustice come to a spiritual and legislative end. When it does, it will with deep gratitude to our allies and friends who never stopped loving us, speaking out for us, and listening to God's call on our behalf.

You are the best!


Resources to help in the work of your presbyteries can be found in many locations, especially More Light Presbyterians (mlp.org), which has published an extensive resource kit available online at www.mlp.org. Follow the link on the right-hand side to "Featured Stories: Yes on Amendment 08-B Ratification Resources"