This year, at the Presbyterian General Assembly, LGBTQ people & allies of the upcoming generation will claim their birthright at members of a just & inclusive church.

22 June 2008

Who I am and why I'm here with NC(R)

My name is Heather Grantham. I grew up in a conservative Presbyterian church in rural Oklahoma. I’ve had the privilege of working with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in various capacities: local churches, national office, mission field, to name a few. My love for the church runs deep through my veins. However, I’m disappointed with this institution. Instead of sharing the love of Christ with all of God’s children, we are denying a specific group of people from sharing in the fullness of the church.

I did not consciously know of any Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ) folks growing up. Being “gay” was something that we did not talk about in my household. Gay people were projected in the media as something “different” or “other” or even “gross.” Any education about the subject was from the media. Our sex ed curriculum in Middle and High school only covered STDs and abstinence. I was ignorant to the spectrum of sexuality. I remember the first time I even talked about LGBTQ issues was in High school when a young man I was in love with told me he was gay. After digesting what this man told me, I went to the church to see its opinion. Up to that point I had accepted most of what the church told me to believe. However, the propaganda espoused by our church body left a bad taste in my mouth. How could God be love, yet reject a certain group of people? When I asked this question to a Christian group I belonged to in college, the answer was “God hates fags.” This is illogical when placed up against the inclusive phrase, “God is love.”

God does not hate LGBTQ folk. All of God’s children are wonderfully made! God calls each of us - regardless of sexuality - to be in full communion with our Parent. So why does the PC(USA) still reject LGBTQ people from the pulpit? Why does it reject the covenantal relationship between two same gendered people? I don’t have the answers to these questions. I only know that this is against the message of Christ to be an intentional, covenantal, loving, and inclusive community.

I joined the New Church (R)evolution simply because God is inclusive. God is love. We in the PC(USA) need to be inclusive of LGBT individuals who hear the call of God in their life. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow the lead of Jesus Christ. We must change our stance on ordination because it is the fair and loving thing to do.

1 comment:

Ryan Kemp-Pappan said...

Agreed and encouraged. I wish we would cease the fear and dare to be couragous in the kind of love we claim God is. It is easier to exclude and horde power than to love with abandon and serve the other before ourselves. That is why being a Christian is not easy. Jesus did not die so we could drive through McDonald's when we want, nor did Jesus die so that we could decide who is in or out of the club. Jesus died so that we may know and experience love. That shit is tough. I pray we seek a gospel message that is love based and fucks us up at our core.