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Presbyterians Make it to the Party with First Openly Gay Minister

Presbyterians Make it to the Party with First Openly Gay Minister

 

On Saturday, October 8th in Madison, Wisconson, Scott Anderson became the first openly gay ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church.

This ordination is especially poignant for Anderson who came out to his California congregation when he was in his late thirties, over twenty years ago.  He resigned as a result.

Last year, the church’s national assembly voted to remove the ban against homosexual clergy, clearing the way for Anderson’s ordination. The change was approved in May by a majority of the denomination’s 173 regional church bodies.
Nancy Enderle, the interim executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, told The Associated Press that the ordination was a glorious celebration that touched everyone, especially Anderson.

“He’s a very dignified and poised person but you could tell he was deeply moved,” she said.

Anderson chose the Rev. Mark Achtemeier of Dubuque, Iowa, to deliver the sermon Saturday. Achtemeier used to be one of the most vocal opponents of gay ordination. He believed homosexuality to be a kind of affliction, a destructive addiction that ran counter to Scripture. In the 1990s, he helped craft restrictions to keep gay and lesbian candidates from joining the Presbyterian clergy.

But  he announced a complete turnaround after friendships with gay Christians prompted him to re-evaluate scriptural teachings about homosexuality.

Conservatives in the church who disapprove of ordaining homosexuals have threatened to leave, said Tom Hay, the director of operations for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).

“The Episcopalians, the Lutherans, the United Church of Christ have all made this step and all have experienced losses, yet have survived.”

The United Church of Christ led the way in 1972, the  Methodists followed the way in 1989 with Joanne Brown, the Episcopalians got there  in 2003, and again in 2005 with Bishop Gene Robinson, and finally the Lutherans founded an organization committed to the full participation of persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life and ministry of the Lutheran church. ELM stands in opposition to the policies of discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender individuals in Lutheran churches around the world.

Welcome Presbyterians.  Glad to have you.  Stay a while.

 

Related Stories:

Presbyterian Church USA Votes to Affirm Gay Clergy in Same-Sex Partnerships

“Act of God” Interrupts Pope Benedict’s Anti-Gay Speech

Pope Urges “Defense” of Marriage

 

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Photo from atmtx via flickr creative commons

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54 comments

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7:55AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Let's keep moving in the right direction, and quit putting God in a box that is 'not inclusive.'

9:14PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

Noted.

9:10PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

A man who denies the truth of the scriptures should not be allowed to teach or preach them to the congregation. The sad picture, the minister and the Presbyterian Church is presenting to the world is: we don't really believe what God says in his written word, we just want to put on a display that makes it appear to all as if we do. Hypocrites! that's what Jesus said about such people. That's the biblical definition of a hypocrite, play actors, pretenders. Professing a form of Godliness, yet denying the power of God. Apostle Paul said to turn away from such people. So I say, since no one is gonna take them seriously anymore, for such hypocrisy may God and his wrath fall upon the leaders that makes such hypocrisy the "norm" now and cause all of Jesus' sheep to flee that church organization.

11:09AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

I get so sick of people speaking for some god. So many people on this site and in life constantly are so fond of saying "gay says this" and "god says that". Get over yourselves. If that is your only defense to TRY and win an agrument or discussion then you have NO defense whatsoever. YOUR bibles are full of garbage and if you actually believe that shit YOU are mentally ill.

2:03AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

Excellent!

9:22PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

The article says, "conservatives who disapprove of ordaining homosexuals have threatened to leave". Definitely, those haters should leave and they should also follow God's holy word and
fathers should sleep with their daughters and have babies. God LOVED incest in the Bible and ordered it on many occasions. Those conservatives should go buy a few slaves as well because Almighty God advocated slavery and had very strict rules about slaves. God insisted that anybody who worked on the Sabbath be killed so they better get busy and follow GOD'S HOLY WORD.

9:11PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Dawid B., define "practicing homosexual". What does that mean? All men stick their weiners
in some hole at some time in their lives. When a man sticks it in a woman's butt, nobody says it isn't moral. I think one butt hole is just as good as another and one is just as MORAL as
another. What do you think?

7:59PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

God's love does not equal accepting sin. Who among you parents have ever disciplined your child--WHOM YOU LOVE--for doing something wrong? You do not love him any less. So it is with God, our Father. He DOES love everyone...and expects us also to "love our neighbor as ourselves." Love the PERSON, not the sin. Parents love their children, and ache when they make choices that land them in jail, or in a rehab center, or in divorce court. God loves all his children, too, and aches when they choose to sin. Out of love, Jesus told the accused woman to "Go, and SIN NO MORE." Just because same-sexism is more common does not make it more right. Men, or churches, or governments, cannot ever change God's laws, and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

4:58PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

God loves all people sure but He won't accept this step within the Presbytarian faith.Many times He has shown homosexuality is wrong and not within the whole God created structure of male and female.So how can this be right within a community of proffessing Christians who who gather to worship God ? With sin like this from a self conffessing gay minister God will not tolerate it.A wolf in sheeps clothing ?

4:24PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

nice.

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