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).
I have read, reflected and prayed over Scripture most every day of my adult life. This commitment, woven together with the experiences of my life’s journey – such as marriage, motherhood and my Christian education and service – has moved me closer to knowing God. And yet, as a Presbyterian, I know that I alone could never fully discern God’s mind or will.
As I recently marked the 34th anniversary of my being ordained to the office of pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), I can say that I have witnessed my fair share of troubles in the church. All of this has prompted, from me, this meditation upon Christian love, informed by Paul’s reflections.
In my 30 years as an advocate for God’s love for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, I’ve had countless conversations with those who think differently from me about God, Scripture and the place of LGBT faithful in the church. Today, I share with you the five questions I most commonly hear, as well as my answers to them.
To be the beacon of Christ’s love that we yearn to be in the PCUSA, we need all parts of the Body. We need all to be engaged on level ground. And we cannot say to each other, “I don’t need you!”