Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Historic Day for Presbyterian Church: Gay Clergy Ushered In

(Patch.com) The Presbyterian Church USA quietly ushered in gay ordination when an amendment on Sunday formally entered the Book of Order of the church’s Constitution.

The change comes after 33 years of contentious discussion within the Presbyterian Church and as the gay-rights movement gains momentum in other Protestant Churches.

The new policy makes it easier for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. to ordain gays and lesbians as clergy if they chose by dropping a policy requiring unmarried clergy to remain celibate. “Pastors see it as a social justice issue,” Martian said.

“The Presbyterian Church is best when we live in unity amongst diversity,” Rev. Daniel L. Martian wrote to the 134 members of his parish. “Those called to office of Minister of Word and Sacrament, Elder, or Deacon will now be recognized for their gifts of ministry and sense of call, and not their sexual preference. This will truly give the church equally to all ordain people.”

The Presbyterian Church joins a growing alliance of Protestant Churches that allow for gay clergy: United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran, and Episcopal Church. The United Methodist Church is still debating the issue. (Read full article)