In response to
Another Step In The Journey
Synod PJC Decision In Parnell And Others v. Presbytery Of San Francisco
And in response....
Thank you for this posting. It is especially helpful to read through it all as an accurate and fair reporting and analysis of what is impacting this church we serve and the lives of people touched by it's decisions.
In a time when much-needed attention is being brought to the deaths of young gay people, choosing suicide as a remedy to the intense and unbearable bullying and violence they are subjected to for being gay, the PC(USA) is being called. Called to grapple with how people, sisters and brothers who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) are to be welcomed in this church. Called even more, and in more difficult ways, to acknowledge and accept that we (the church we serve) have unwittingly become complicit in the violence as a result of our decisions and those of the broader church, in sending out messages that add to the hatred of LGBT folk and the rampant marginalization and oppression to which we are subjected.
This is not a conversation that most of us want to have, however, it the one place where, as painful as it is, I believe we can start out in agreeing that God and the teachings of Jesus and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit would ever call us to practice anything that causes such terrible things to happen to people we increasingly come to know as family, friends, loved ones, and baptized sisters and brothers. That same call of the Trinity, I believe, would never call us to exclude or marginalize or oppress others to make our church more "pure."
It seems to me that such things are among the most egregious violations of what we hold essential, and we need to change, I wish by heart and love alone, and if not by amendments and ratification.
I say all these things as a Christian, a man who is gay, and a minister of Word and Sacrament, ordained in 2005 as an an openly gay man who refused to abide by G-6.0106b. There were no hidden agendas, a 45 day wait before ordination to allow any charges to be made, and none came.
In practice, good practice, we have already changed. These efforts toward continued exclusion and growing hostility are perhaps increasing because we are approaching a time when we will be a church of hospitality in new ways, ways that will challenge and bless us and provide a place for all. From hostility to hospitality. That, surely, is the way of the Irit, as well.
How anyone can talk about these faithful candidates without understanding the grace they are bringing our way, seems to be more the difficulty of those who cannot or will not accept the impact, if not the intent, of their actions.
We can be a church that embraces our differences, as well as one another. We should, by now, be pretty good at that. God knows the world needs us to be so.