Believe Out Loud: For those who have been confused, I have regularly shared the story of discovering who I am and sharing that news with my husband in 1998 – after 17 years of marriage. Alvise knew how important our wedding vows were to me. He articulated better than I could what my being bisexual meant to him (and also to me). He put it this way: “What you are saying is you love me out of all possible people on the face of this earth, not just half. Actually, that makes me feel very special.” Continue Reading
Creating Change is the annual organizing conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce. It is big, refreshing, challenging—great for running into old friends and making new ones—and generally awesome. Creating Change shot me home like the ball out of a cannon. Let me try to inspire similar enthusiasm in you by sharing some reflections on my experience there.
On December 16, 2012 my Uncle John died. It is only recently that I have slid comfortably into calling John “uncle.” John was, from before I was born, the beloved “friend” of my father’s oldest brother, my Uncle George. Uncle George passed away in 2000 at the age of 89. They lived in California, so growing up, I knew them only from visits to Pittsburgh – mostly in the fall to enjoy the change of seasons. I have spoken of them often, but not by name. As they have both gone on to Jesus, I think I can now.
A fresh wind seems to be blowing these days. We see it in the decisive election of President Barack Obama to a second term and in the confirmation of marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, along with the defeat of a restrictive constitutional amendment on marriage in Minnesota. We also see it in my church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as we adjust to the opening of ordination to all qualified and called members (including our LGBT faithful) and in the first-ever discussion of same-sex marriage at our bi-annual General Assembly.2012 has certainly served up the potential for a momentous 2013 even as we recognize that there are still formidable challenges before us.
As many of you know, I’ve been volunteering with the campaign to reelect President Obama. Over the last few months, I’ve been able to talk with many different voters about what they believe and their vision for our country. Talking with voters has been such a gift in that it has also allowed me to […]
The 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is written in the Book of Life. I was present in a far different way than I envisioned, as my husband’s sudden health problems and multiple surgeries meant resignation as a commissioner (he is recovering nicely—THANKS for your prayers!). However, since GA was in my hometown, I was able to attend some committee meetings and the events held by More Light Presbyterians. I also watched the assembly on its live internet streaming, particularly when it took up the recommendations of the Civil Union and Marriage Committee.
Recently, I was invited to preach at Madrona Grace Presbyterian Church, an open and affirming church up in Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, when my husband got ill and needed to be hospitalized, I had to cancel my trip to Madrona at the last minute. In anticipation of my time at Madrona Grace, I had prepared a sermon and I want to share it with you here as the second part in a series of posts on the Biblical roots of why I stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
This Sunday, April 15, 2012, Katie Ricks will be ordained to the office of teaching elder, becoming Associate Pastor of the Church of Reconciliation, a Presbyterian church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Katie’s call to ministry was loud and clear—to both herself and to her congregation. But for the past 10 years, because of Presbyterian Church rules, Katie had been barred from ordination. Why? Because Katie has been honest with herself, her God and her church that she is lesbian.
Courage is definitely called for these days if the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is truly to be the people of God in Christ with joy and power. Courage is a gift that the Holy Spirit places before us every morning, hoping so lovingly that we will accept it. When we do, we will find in both the routines and the surprises of each day the opportunity to risk everything to proclaim Christ in word and deed.
Today, my church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has the opportunity to join in this response to the loving spirit that is touching hearts across our land. In San Antonio, Texas, the highest court in the 3-tiered judicial system of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is hearing an appeal of a conviction against the Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr.