Finally, justice for my Presbyterian friends. Yesterday the Presbyterian church voted to finally ordain openly gay and lesbian folks who were in relationship! This is huge. For years the struggle in this church has been to deny ordination first to gay folks, then only to gay folks who were single, or celibate. A requirement not necessary for straight folks! Gay issues have been contentious for years. They have threatened to tear the Presbyterian church apart as it has in other Protestant denominations, like the Anglican Communion and the Methodists.
I am so proud of the work of my friend, Michael Adee who directs the More Light Presbyterians ministry within their church. This group within the church has been pushing hard for years around glbt issues within the Presbyterian church.
The Presbyterian Church issued the following statement:
“Reactions to this change will span a wide spectrum. Some will rejoice, while others will weep. Those who rejoice will see the change as an action, long in coming, that makes the PC(USA) an inclusive church that recognizes and receives the gifts for ministry of all those who feel called to ordained office. Those who weep will consider this change one that compromises biblical authority and acquiesces to present culture. The feelings on both sides run deep,” .
“However, as Presbyterians, we believe that the only way we will find God’s will for the church is by seeking it together – worshiping, praying, thinking, and serving alongside one another. We are neighbors and colleagues, friends and family. Most importantly, we are all children of God, saved and taught by Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit.”
It was time. It was over time. My good friend the Rev. Dan Smith of West Hollywood Presbyterian Church has been working on these issues for years. More than 30 years. I am so proud of his fortitude and that of other Presbyterian GLBT leaders, like Rev. Jane Spahr, Rev. Lisa Bove, and Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards among others.
Our congregation, Kol Ami, met for a decade at West Hollywood Presbyterian Church. So we wish them a hearty Mazal Tov on this great occasion!
Sound the trumpets. It is another step forward in the march to full justice and equality!