I speak in favor of the amendment.
15 years ago when Madrona Church called me to be an Elder, they weren’t trying to be trailblazers by calling an openly gay man. They weren’t trying to thumb their collective noses at the Presbytery or the denomination. Madrona was simply living out the Gospel, as they understood it then and as they understand it now. Galatians 3:23-28 perfectly describes how the Gospel is lived out in our congregation, particularly verse 28, which reads: “There are neither Jew or Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is an exceptionally powerful passage for a congregation where the majority of members are descended from slaves and one that continues to guide and shape our actions as a part of the body of Christ.
One of the things that I find most appealing about being a Presbyterian is the knowledge that I don’t have to check my intellect at the door. We are not required to think alike nor are we bound by one narrow interpretation of scripture. In fact the Confession of 1967 explicitly reminds us “The Bible is to be interpreted in the light of its witness to God's work of reconciliation in Christ. The Scriptures, given under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are nevertheless the words of men, conditioned by the language, thought forms, and literary fashions of the places and times at which they were written.” We are able to disagree and argue; we are able to hold diametrically opposite views and remain in community with each other. What we can’t do is tell those who don’t agree with us that they don’t belong. In 1 Cor. 12: 21 we read “The eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t need you! And the head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you!” Verse 27 goes on to say, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
G-6.0106b has forced those of us who are Gay to either deny our God given gifts or to “fly under the radar”, separating us from the body of Christ. Neither of these options allow for honesty or integrity. Both hurt the person and the church.
We your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender brothers and sisters want nothing more then to be able to follow Christ, worship God and serve the Church. 10-A will allow us to do all of these things with integrity and honesty.