Grace and peace. We give thanks to God that the 219th General Assembly's Ordination Amendment 10-A was ratified tonight as Twin Cities was the 87th presbytery to approve it by 205 to 56 with 3 abstentions.
Tonight Presbyterians join the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as denominations who have eliminated official barriers to full membership, leadership and service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. This is indeed a historic moment in the life of the Presbyterian Church (USA), but also in the worldwide Christian communion.
More Light Presbyterians have been working for justice and equality since 1974 when the Rev. David Sindt became the first openly gay minister in our Church. "I am so grateful for the sacrificial effort of so many people over these years to bring this deeply Reformed correction to an error made by the Church. Both during these months as the presbyteries have voted and for the last 37 years, you have courageously and steadfastly given of yourselves in a host of ways to bring our Church to this moment. Every bit of your energy, intelligence, imagination and love was needed to come to this new day. I am grateful to God for the privilege of being part of this witnessing community," said the Rev. Janet Edwards, Co-Moderator.
"My heart is full as I think of all of those children of God who were hurt, who persevered, who left, who stayed and who worked so hard to make the Presbyterian Church (USA) truly reflect the wildly inclusive love of Jesus Christ—too many to name. Now, candidates for office within the PC(USA) will be evaluated based upon their love of Jesus Christ, the wholeness of their lives, their call to ministry and the gifts they bring," said Trice Gibbons, Co-Moderator.
"It is necessary and absolutely OK to celebrate this moment in the life and witness of our Church, the end of categorical discrimination against God's LGBT children which was wrong in the first place. What a journey this work for justice and equality has been. The thousands of prayers, faithful conversations, sharing of hopes and dreams are all part of building a Church that reflects God's heart and a world that respects all persons," said Michael J. Adee, Executive Director & Field Organizer.
We are grateful for the work that still lies before us. The YES on 10-A Campaign continues full steam ahead until the last presbytery votes on June 28. Please keep believing, praying and working. We need to nurture and support churches to extend calls to LGBT candidates and help those candidates through the process for ordination in their particular presbyteries. We need to continue the conversation on marriage equality. Above all, we need to help the whole church see that the affirmation of LGBT persons and their families is a practical application of the Gospel message that God in Christ creates and loves us all. Proclaiming the Gospel lasts a lifetime.
There is much work ahead of us for our Church. But tonight, let us recognize this kairos moment in the life of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the liberating gift it is for our future. Together we are building a Church that reflects God's heart.
with hope and grace,
Rev. Janet Edwards, Co-Moderator
Trice Gibbons, Co-Moderator
Michael J. Adee, Executive Director & Field Organizer
The National Board of Directors and Staff of More Light Presbyterians