I was there in 1988 and I remember the extreme attitudes and feeling expressed in some congregations of a reactionary nature to what was described as “the issue” of acceptance of gays and lesbians for ordination into the United Church.
What was equally apparent was the difference between congregations—so much so that it became quite apparent for me that there was little chance of feeling part of one congregation (the one that I left) and a strong feeling of inclusion in and opportunity for respectful discussion in the congregation that my family and myself moved to. This contrast between congregation, I feel, still exists today and I am not sure that it will change significantly.
As for myself, I have left the past behind, and feel very happy with being part of our individual Affirming church—which is truly affirming—not in name only—but I am not sure what the future of The United Church as a whole is, given the differences between pastoral charges that I feel still exists. I hope that I am incorrect on this.
Signed, Doug Crookshanks
(Shared with permission. Photo: Wix.)