Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ramping Up: Being Part of a Re-Form and Re-Forming Reformation Denomination

I am leaving San Jose, CA, where I've been watching, witnessing, telling my story, and signing copies of ON BEING A GAY PARENT, FOLLOW ME, and SCHOOL OF THE PILGRIM. I freaked out someone with the Presbyterians for Renewal when, right before his eyes and ears, I was asked to sign a copy of ON BEING A GAY PARENT with a kiss to the customer buying the book.

What I saw and heard the last few days, and checked out with others, is this: there is a change in energy at this General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA (GA of the PCUSA). The almost literal-but-figure-of-speech carnage that was seen on the floor of other GAs was not visible at this gathering re: LGBTQ issues. At other GA gatherings, you could walk into the hotels, restaurants, and convention centers and feel the animosity reverberating in the hallways and rooms. This was not the case with this GA. Not wanting to talk of "sides," but knowing no other way to talk about it, I was watching prayer groups of some people outside hallways who had spoken in opposition to LGBTQ friendly amendments, and it was clear what they were praying for or against. One rumor was that a contingency of conservatives from one committee, knowing that they were failing, simply did not show up after dinner recess the other night.

I know that there will be a big hurdle to see friendly LGBTQ amendments passed by the Commissioners. But here is where real "battles" will take place in this "war": Presbyteries. And while we have our more "liberal" or "progressive" Presbyteries, I know that the folks with the Layman, Presbyterians for Renewal, have already begun strategizing ways to defeat the amendments that are friendly to LBTGQ people. Covenant, MLP, and TAMFS will have to strategize to defeat those who would want to stop the Spirit's movement.

What will I do? Speak out. Witness. And I am planning to run as a Commissioner, and then run for Moderator of G.A. in 2010 as an openly gay candidate.

What will the Holy Spirit do? We believe God will continue to form and reform the Church time and time again.

It is about time.



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