My story is probably a lot like many people of my generation. I am 71.
Having been raised to believe that anything other than heterosexuality was wrong, when the ordination issue came up in 1988 it became clear that I had to leave my church. It was the most difficult thing that I had ever done but I had to come to grips with my belief. After much prayer and inner reflection, I realized that it is not up to me to judge the way in which God created us. Who am I to question God's work? Who am I to dictate how one should live one's life? Who am I to decide who should be called to seek ordination? We all live on this earth breathing the same air and are meant to live in harmony with each other.
I returned to my church with a whole new understanding and willingness to receive anyone whom God deems suitable to lead us into a right relationship with our Creator.
Our Charge, on the other hand, had decided against hiring anyone from outside the heterosexual community. In 2000, we had just welcomed a newly ordained woman to our Charge and, during her time with us, she initiated a number of gatherings to share conversations about LGBTQ2 orientation. The content of these gatherings was often an emotional and painful but always respectful and prayerful. We shared our feelings and also stories of loved-ones who had lived their lives in secrecy and shame. I think we were all surprised how many of us shared this secret.
Since that time we have become a more open and accepting church family . God works in wonderful ways. We have recently called our new minister to share our journey. She is in a same sex relationship, and although we did lose a couple of members, the remaining members have welcomed both her and her partner to journey with us. And recently we celebrated their wedding with them. A first on our Charge. We have come a long way.
(Shared with permission. Photo credit: Wix stock photography.)