While our denomination has certainly made great strides (with help from many dedicated people), it is still an uncertain place to be a queer person. I face that uncertainty, myself. Several months before Amendment 10A passed, I committed myself to the MDIV program at Austin Seminary. At that time I was also coming to the realization that I was a lesbian. I didn’t know if I could ever be out and be ordained at the same time, but I knew that I couldn’t not follow God’s call on my life. I face uncertainty even now, as I search for a call and experience the fear and discrimination that is still so prevalent among our churches.
Over the past few years, my seminary and PC (USA) family have helped me grow into my identity as a queer person. Organizations like More Light, Parity, and Covenant Network have been guiding beacons of hope as I’ve engaged in advocacy for LGBTQ persons. I was at General Assembly, frantically tweeting as 14F was debated and amended. When the voting results were revealed, I burst into tears and threw my hands up in prayers of thanksgiving to God and the movement of the Holy Spirit.
I signed up to be a Regional Coordinator because I want to actively participate in leading the PC (USA) to becoming a church that better reflects God’s heart. 10A would not have passed without the grassroots organizing of the very people with whom I’m now working. I am uncovering skills and connections that were previously untapped. A meaningful moment for me so far was when the first presbytery I worked with voted to ratify 14F. It was the first time that this presbytery voted in favor of any pro-LGBTQ legislation. Since then, more and more positive decisions have rolled in. Each YES vote feels like hope.
One of the main reasons I’m Presbyterian is that I admire our commitment to the participation of all members in careful discernment about our theological convictions, actions, and witness in the world. I believe in Amendment 14F because I believe in the PC (USA). I attended my first presbytery meeting when I was 15. I was a young adult advisory delegate for the Presbytery of Arkansas. I remember geeking out about polity, but what I most treasured was the realization that my voice–some teenage kid from Hot Springs–mattered. No one’s sexual or gender identity should exclude them from God’s house. We are called now to recommit ourselves to the conviction that there is a place for all of God’s people, in service, in leadership, and in covenant.
Molly McGinnis is one of MLP’s Regional Organizers for the 14F ratification campaign. Having recently received her M.Div. from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Molly is certified ready for ordination as a Teaching Elder. She currently resides in Utah, with her beloved corgi, Culpepper.