Presbyteries have now voted YES! The Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (USA) now includes all loving and committed couples. Amendment 14F was ratified by 51% of our Presbyteries. Marriage is now between “two people.”
More Light Presbyterians embarked on this journey decades ago. One man stood up at General Assembly with a sign, “Is anyone else out there Gay?” For decades we struggled, we debated, and then we began to focus on sacred conversations and changed hearts. As we told our stories to each other and to people who had baptized us, the Holy Spirit changed all of us.
At first there were a few who were willing to speak out and affirm our blessing as full children of God. As time passed and hearts opened, many people began to walk the path of grace with us as we understood ourselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Christians. Today, hundreds of thousands of Presbyterians walk side-by-side with us in the full diversity of God’s good creation—and we are ready for the next chapter of our lives together.
Ratification of 14F is not the end of the sacred conversation around marriage and the diversity of humankind, it is part of the journey as we live together as faithful believers in God’s generosity and expansive love.
We read scripture and know that God persistently calls people to freedom. God broke the chains of slavery in Exodus. God cried out for generous justice through the prophets. Jesus, walked this earth with an unceasing message of abundance for all God’s beloved. God continues to break through our fears, so we now expect and treasure diversity in our congregations.
The words of Galatians 3:28 continue to gain meaning: “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” If we but look around, we see that God is not simplistic nor uncreative. Humanity is wonderfully diverse and all of us are a wonderful mix of what we think of as masculine and feminine. We are all a reflection of the image of God. Thanks be to God!
Let us move forward together, exalting in the beautiful creations of God that each of us is. Today, we celebrate the church as it moves toward abundance, freedom, and appreciation of God’s creativity. As we celebrate that now all loving couples may marry in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
We have not “won” a battle by ratifying 14F; we are simply taking the next step on this amazing journey with our beloved family we call the church. We are walking in grace.