Gay Pride Day, Lansing, MI, 2012
This summer marks the 32nd year since my ordination in the Reformed Church in America. I’ve served three RCA congregations; I’m currently serving my second United Church of Christ congregation (Edgewood UCC in East Lansing, MI). During all this time, my ordination has remained with the RCA. If it’s up to me, in all likelihood it will remain with the RCA.
I say “in all likelihood” because I’m adamantly opposed to the RCA’s most recent action taken at this summer’s General Synod. The recommendation, which basically affirms past decisions, states “that homosexual behavior is a sin according to the Holy Scriptures, therefore any person, congregation, or assembly which advocates homosexual behavior or provides leadership for a service of same-sex marriage or a similar marriage or a similar celebration has committed a disciplinable offense.”
In light of this Jesus-less decision, I resolve to conduct my personal and professional life according to the following iWon’ts . . .
iWon’t accept this recommendation as I minister with and among LGBT persons.
iWon’t deny a request from LGBT couples to officiate at unions, marriages, or other similar celebrations simply because they are L, G, B, or T.
iWon’t withhold from infants and children of LGBT couples the Sacrament of Baptism when it is requested by parents.
iWon’t decline any invitation to lead memorial or funeral services of LGBT persons who have died.
iWon’t keep silent or hide the fact that I’ve officiated at three services of union and two baptisms involving LGBT couples and their children.
iWon’t leave the Reformed Church in America, at least not willingly.
iWon’t use in speech or print — ever — the word “disciplinable.” Try saying it five times as fast as you can. Disciplinable is abominable, and the spellcheck on my WordPress blog won’t recognize it.