Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A More Expansive and Inclusive Church
WOW!!! What can I say? The PCUSA (Presbyterian Church of the USA) now too has voted to openly allow LGTB individuals to be ordained in their church. They are now added to the growing number of mainline Protestant churches who are now allowing for LGBT individuals to be ordained in their churches! The largest---the Methodist church---is still arguing over this issue! My first response to hearing this news was "Praise be to God!" As an ELCA Lutheran, I have seen how the ELCA has struggled tremendously over this issue. However I believe that in the long-run we will be blessed by this decision. I have many friends who left seminary because they felt turned away and not welcomed. I was saddened by that because most of them have wonderful gifts for ministry and churches were missing out because they couldnt call these individuals. As I read the article posted on the NY Times, what I read was many of the feelings that were expressed and felt after the 2009 decision at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. (You can find the article here:The PCUSA Now Has Joined the ELCA and Other Protestant Churches on this Big Decision!)And yes, there are still remnents of that decision; people who still disagree and/or will never agree with what happened. And I understand where these invididuals are coming from. In fact, some of them are people I highly respect and value their opinion. However I can't help but wonder what God or Jesus would say in the midst of all of this. As a woman called to pick up her basin and towel, I am called to pick up my basin and towel and serve all God's people; no matter who that person is! For me, that is a essential to my call in this church! I know the PCUSA will go through some of the struggles we have been through over the last two years but in the end, I cant help but think that this will make us stronger. As I watch these events, I can't help but realize that we are being called more and more every day to be a more expansive and inclusive church! What a gift that will be to us and the world! Praise be to God!