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Bruce Reyes-Chow

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My Hopes as Presbyterians Vote for Inclusion

Posted: 05/11/11 10:00 AM ET

UPDATE: Amendment 10a passed the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, 205 in favor, 56 against, 3 abstentions. Robert Austell is building a great list of responses, but here are a few of note:

Today, the Presbyterian Church (USA) will most likely cross the threshold on a vote to change language in our constitution that, for more than a decade, has required ordained leadership in our church to hold a position of fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness. The battle over this part of our constitution has been going on for years and, regardless of what people have tried to say, this has always been about homosexuality and whether or not we will recognize LGBT folks as being called into ordained leadership in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Over the years, I have been very clear about my position on LGBT ordination, knowing that I have the luxury of staying, serving and speaking out in the denomination. Like so many, I have felt called to persevere on behalf of so many who are forced to live in secret, have left the church altogether and/or have been harmed by the rhetoric and actions that have been part of our theological and ideological battles.

Today, or soon after, this will change for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and I am joyful at the core of my soul.

I also know that there are many who will see this move as one more example of a church that is falling further away from God's intentions for humanity. Some will leave our denomination, some will stay and fight and others will simply find a way to live in the midst of disagreement. Anger will be spoken, sadness will be felt and many of our brothers and sisters will be in pain.

My hope for the Presbyterian Church -- my family -- is this: no matter where we land on the other side of this vote, we rise above any language or actions that would tear down the dignity of the other, Whether righteous indignation or jubilant relief, I hope that graciousness will reign, for if we cannot sit in both joy and despair without having to resort to destroying one another, then we dishonor the Body of Christ of which we are all a part.

So this day, I will rejoice with many and I will weep with joy for friends long yearning for this day; but, I will be gracious to those for whom there will be no joy during this time in the life of our denomination for they too are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you would like to track the most up-to-date results of voting you can follow me on Twitter and or follow the Twitter hashtags: #10a or #pcusa. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area meeting where the threshold vote may take place around 3:00pst can be tracked at #ptca.

If you are from the outside looking in or have great investment in the outcome of this vote, please lift all members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in your prayers this day and into the future.

This post originally appeared on my Patheos blog.

 
 
 

Follow Bruce Reyes-Chow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/breyeschow