To be a Student of Lisa Larges’ Honesty and Integrity
I met Lisa Larges several years ago when she came to Pittsburgh for a That All May Freely Serve weekend with Rev. Janie Spahr and Rev. Ray Bagnuolo. As is TAMFS practice, we went together for a courtesy call with the Executive Presbyter. I became right then a student of Lisa’s skill as an activist for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender faithful in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She responded with strength and kindness to every harsh comment about the sinfulness of GLBT people and she continues to do that every day, embracing God’s call to ministry whether the PCUSA endorses it or not.
Lisa has had the integrity to integrate her sexuality and her spirituality since she embarked upon adult life. She was clear to her original ordination committee twenty years ago that she is a lesbian and a Presbyterian convinced of God’s call to her to the office of Minister of Word and Sacrament. She said the same thing to the San Francisco Presbytery last year and today the presbytery must defend its vote to approve her call to ordained office in the Presbyterian judicial system.
Lisa embodies the openness and honesty that Jesus expects of us. She brings to mind His words in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” While she has waited for the church to catch up with God, GLBT people have been ordained to deacon, elder and minister in a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” mode that sullies us all. Even a conservative presbytery like mine knows that there are stalwart, gifted ministers among us who are gay, and lesbian, serving faithfully in the church.
Thank you, Lisa, for teaching us all the integrity of a servant of Jesus!
May this trial help the PCUSA to integrate our faith in Christ with the variety of people, especially GLBT people, whom God has made good.