Thursday, May 19, 2011

Living and Loving Honestly, According to the Way I Was Created

Kevin Henderson
Kevin Henderson's speech in Sheppards & Lapsley. Kevin is an ordained elder at Edgewood Presbyterian Church in Homewood, Alabama and an inquirer under care of the presbytery. Sheppards & Lapsley passed 10-A by 80 to 52.

Mr. Moderator, I am Kevin Henderson, Commissioner from Edgewood Church, an Inquirer under the care of this Presbytery, and a soon to be seminarian. 

Two years ago I told this body that after decades of struggle and denial -- including marriage and children -- I finally accepted that God made me a gay man.

Two years ago when I made that statement, I was in the 12th year of a faithful, committed relationship with my partner, Steven. Because of that relationship, G-6.106b deemed me unfit for ordained service regardless of my calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for ministry.

Eleven months ago, Steven passed away suddenly.  This devastating loss, paradoxically, has made me “acceptable” for service because I am now a single man living in chastity.  The irony of this is absolutely heartbreaking.

As I mourn Steven and move towards seminary, I have thought about what would happen if I am ever blessed to again find another faithful partner.  Would that change my qualifications or my gifts for ministry?

I am grateful that 92 presbyteries have voted for Amendment 10A, allowing me to be judged according to the traditional standards of our denomination while living and loving honestly, according to the way I was created.

I urge you to join our sisters and brothers in the growing majority of presbyteries and vote Yes on Amendment 10-A.

See Also:
Presbyterians to drop ban on gay clergy, The Birmingham News
Quotes about 10-A from Kevin Henderson were published in the The Birmingham News on Tuesday, May 17.