I am brimming with pride, and a bit of trepidation.
Today the denomination that I am a part of voted to allow homosexual pastors to be in a committed relationship. Previously, if a pastor identified as gay he or she was expected to remain celibate or be "defrocked" (nicely known as "removed from the roster").
This has been a long time coming. Far too long. If you've been around my blog for a while you know that this is an issue that I feel strongly about. You may not know that one of the May Queen's Godfathers left the ministry because of this very issue.
Perhaps if this had come a few years sooner, the church would not have lost a wonderful minister.
But he is not alone. There are scores, perhaps hundreds, maybe thousands, of people who left, or were removed from, or chose to never enter the ministry. The hurt and pain that our previous policy inflicted upon God's children cannot be erased. But perhaps now the wounds can begin to heal.
I'm not so stupid as to think that this will be quick and easy. I do fear that it will break the church. Individuals and even congregations will, unfortunately, probably leave because of this. I hope they don't. I pray they don't. One thing we have always been fairly good at, in my church, is allowing differences of opinion.
But I truly believe, with all my heart and soul, and this move is following in Christ's footsteps. I believe it answers the tired old question "What Would Jesus Do?"
Jesus would hang out with the outcast. He would talk with the scorned. He would challenge the status quo.
Jesus would love.