Presbyterians Celebrate Ordinations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Members

world | Jul 08, 2011 | By Speroforum

According to a press release, "This Sunday, Presbyterians from Seattle to Nashville are praising God and celebrating. Our church has moved another step closer to fully embracing the love and inclusion taught to us by Jesus Christ," said the Rev. Janet Edwards, co-moderator of More Light Presbyterians, the oldest pro-LGBT faith organization that relates to the Presbyterian Church (USA). "We know God is at work when of almost all presbyteries voted more strongly for the welcome and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members than ever before, in the history of the Presbyterian Church."

On Sunday, July 10, changes to the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s constitution go into effect, allowing the ordination of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ministers, elders and deacons. Ratification of these constitutional changes was assured in May of 2011, when a majority of the 173 presbyteries voted to change the policy through a nationwide ratification process. Voting on the amendment continued through July. Ninety-seven presbyteries approved the amendment which will become official policy for the entire denomination on Sunday, July 10. More Light Presbyterian congregations across the country marked the moment with prayer and rejoicing in their worship services. (List: http://www.mlp.org/index.php?topic=churches).

"This historic moment reminds me of when Presbyterians affirmed women as ordained leaders in the church a generation ago," said Michael Adee, executive director of More Light Presbyterians. "Across this country members of welcoming and affirming congregations and ministries are telling the stories of faithful candidates who can now be considered for ordination. Years of sharing our lives, Bible study and prayer helped Presbyterians from all walks of life to affirm ordination based on gifts and graces for ministry and God's love for all people."

"As a seminarian, I feel like the angels are celebrating!" said Trice Gibbons, co-moderator of More Light Presbyterians. "Presbyterians adopted a policy that opens the door for ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders because they heard exciting stories about church vitality among inclusive churches. They were persuaded because they know that young people have been waiting for us to open our hearts to the Spirit of God. Today we can stand proud and tell our young people to bring their friends to church. We now have a policy that helps us to love God who is the author and creator of all of us—including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

Michael Adee, was the first openly homosexual Elder at Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. A judicial charge was brought against the church for his ordination that went to the highest court in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The Rev. Janet Edwards is married with two sons. Rev. Edwards was tried and acquitted in 2008 after performing a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple. She comes from generations of Presbyterians. Trice Gibbons is an openly homosexual Elder at Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN, which the press release described as "an open and affirming More Light congregation." After a career in healthcare, Trice is a seminary student at Vanderbilt University and is Co-Moderator of the More Light Presbyterians.

More Light Presbyterians describes itself as "a network of people seeking the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."



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