A few weeks ago, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted into their denomination’s constitution Amendment 10-A which allows the ordination of publically-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to serve as Ministers of the Word and Sacrament, Elders, and Deacons. Effective July 10, 2011, the amendment was made part of the Book of Order.
One friend who was present at one of the Presbytery votes said there very little attempt to rally against the amendment. There were a couple of old, caricatured arguments registered against the legitimacy of gay and lesbian people being equipped and called. Stuff about sex, Scripture references torn out of Leviticus, etc. Overall, there was almost a sense of resignation that, as he put it, “Our children have already decided.”
What a powerful statement.
One message of the Star Wars epic is that our children can redeem us. Sam the wonder ten-year-old is teaching me how the world needs to evolve. It’s clear to him that he both has a strong lineage and that he is on the planet to in some way break free of it. Like Jesus who loved his tradition enough to faithfully mess with it.
A few years ago, the ELCA made a similar vote. In the aftermath, a number of local ELCA churches left the denomination. In the congregation I served at the time, individual church members pulled their offering pledges, wrote letters of protest, and even stopped coming to worship as a way to demonstrate their beliefs. It might get tough here for awhile, and I’m grateful for the PC(USA) taking this prophetic step.
For now, I celebrate the unfolding of the church and the evolution of faith-full community wherever it happens.
It’s gonna be okay. It’s all in the hands of the ten-year-olds.
- More Light Presbyterians: A national network of folks seeking the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
- Covenant Network of Presbyterians: A broad-based, national group of clergy and lay leaders working for a church that is simultaneously faithful, just, and whole.
- That All May Freely Serve: Advocating for an inclusive church that honors diversity and welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons as full members.