Background: In 1988, I was a young mom and occasional teacher. I was worshipping in a congregation with five generations of family.
We had a minister who not only was an excellent preacher but I came to see him as a prophet. He told us clearly that 15 years from that time we would know that The United Church had made the right decision saying that everyone was welcome to join the church and anyone who was a member was eligible to become a minister.
Gathered in a circle in the basement to talk about homosexuality, people who never spoke up in church shared stories. Men, including my father, who had been told their whole lives that homosexuality was a sin by the church shared stories about being assaulted.
While I believed we were making the right decision, I also knew in my heart that it wasn’t as simple as a vote or telling people things had changed.
15 years later the laws of our country had changed. I was an ordained ministry inviting a two point pastoral charge to open their hearts to embrace people of diverse genders.
My 16 year old daughter who was on the Board said, “My mom will love you whatever you decide. Do you want another minister to come and read that ‘no minister of our pastoral charge will ever perform a same-sex marriage?’”
It was with deep gratitude that I watched as the two men who made that motion took it back and moved that “the minister of the pastoral charge could marry couples according to their sense of call but that each church would decide what marriages would take place in their buildings”. A good first step for which I was grateful.
[Shared with permission. Photo credit: Wix stock photo.]