Saturday, May 21, 2011

Voices of Faith Speak Out: Presbyterian Church

Recently, the Presbyterian Church voted to allow openly gay and lesbian people to be candidates for ordination. Writing in the LA Times, the Rev. Randall Tremba describes a candidate for ordination and comments:
I don't know what swayed every vote, but I know what made the difference for me. It was one crucial question: "Would Jesus ever call a 25-year, faithful relationship of love and care unholy?" For many of us, the answer was obvious.

After the vote, my anxieties vanished, replaced by great joy. The reflections and conversations around Sally's ordination had vanquished our collective anxieties. We came out of it feeling that our decision was indeed a celebration of God's infinite love....

The decision triggered amazing things at our church. Yes, a few members left. But many estranged believers and formerly "un-churched" people have walked through the door. Our Sunday school is bursting at the seams. Our youth group keeps growing. The congregation is proud to be part of a church that is open and affirming. We have added staff and undertaken several building projects.

So, to pastors and others who dread the consequences of openly gay and lesbian people serving as ministers, elders and deacons, I would simply say: This is a sacred moment, and a time for rejoicing. The church's action last week recognized an important teaching from the book of Galatians: "We are all one in Jesus Christ."

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