by Chet Hardin
The Presbyterian Church USA has voted to allow openly gay men and women to take leadership roles within their churches, including ordination as ministers.
The outcome is a reversal from only two years ago, when a majority of the church’s regions, known as presbyteries, voted against ordaining openly gay candidates.
This time, 19 of the church’s 173 presbyteries switched their votes from no to yes in recent months. The Twin Cities presbytery, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul, cast the deciding vote at its meeting on Tuesday. The vote was 205 to 56, with 3 abstentions.
Yesterday, the church officially enacted the policy. Early word is that the world — and the church — have yet to end.
In an op-ed to Advocate.com, the Rev. Janet Edwards, who is openly bisexual, wrote that she hopes yesterday marked the beginning of a new age of tolerance in a church community that is already noted for its tolerance toward, and acceptance of, practiced homosexuality.
God made us all good. And as more and more friends in church and colleagues in ministry come out, all will begin to see the way the Holy Spirit also blesses LGBT believers. The love of God will shine through Scripture, casting out the darkness of judgment. For God’s truth is this: The gospel’s good news is for LGBT people too.
Released from my own fears and embracing God’s love, I am eager to shepherd the PCUSA into a new day, which started this weekend. There will be no safe welcome until every LGBT person can step out of the house on Sunday morning and head to the nearest church, fully expecting to be hugged at the door.