Tired of Church

Recently, a 4th-year seminarian named S. Vance Goodman wrote an open letter to her denomination, sharing her story of clear calling and training for ordained ministry.

She describes being tired.

Having been a youth director with a heart for people, she served as a missionary in Bolivia for two years. Throughout her seminary career, she has been affirmed as an excellent preacher and was elected leader of the student association. Committed to a career path of service within her beloved UMC, she has been affirmed enthusiastically by pretty much everyone who has seen her in action.

But– and you knew this was coming- she is tired now. There is presently a line or two in the Book of Discipline she has a problem with. Or more pointedly, has a problem with her. She resigned from the candidacy process when she realized her integrity would not allow her to continue on the ordination track.

“I am denied to utilize my sacred worth in leadership. I am gay, and that one fact keeps me from the ministry to which I feel led.”

Read S. Vance Goodman’s entire brilliant letter.

“Although I was once a certified candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church, I am graduating from theology school as a highly educated, theologically minded lay person who feels pushed to the margin.”

I am grateful for S. Vance Goodman’s willingness to engage her denomination. To not slip out the back door. Her voice is an important one influencing all denominations of the Christian church to awaken and evolve.

I hope to have coffee with her when we tour Texas next month, to thank her in person.

About Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Life is full and comes in seasons. View all posts by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

2 responses to “Tired of Church

  • Lori Troupe

    Thank her for me too, on behalf of all of us in our different ways who wont just slip out the back door.

  • Rev. Kathy Nolte

    After walking with several people in the ELCA who were called to ordained ministry and denied access I became an advocate for change. Whilst our policy has opened the way for GLBT in ordained ministry there is still much work to be done. It remains difficult for folks to find a congregation that is open to their ministry. That continues to be our loss, as the ones I know have wonderful gifts.

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