Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let's Move This Mountain Together

Welcome (R)evolution Team Member Jeannine Oakes testified before the Church Orders and Ministry Committee of the General Assembly yesterday in favor of open ordination standards. Here is the text of her testimony:

For several years I resisted my call to ordained ministry in this church because of the ordination standards in our constitution. I even thought about leaving the church to seek ordination in a more welcoming denomination.

But it was while I was interning with a UCC congregation that I realized that the Presbyterian Church is my home. I strongly believe that in order to fulfill my call I do not need to leave the church that I love and I am not alone in this struggle.

Never have I been in the presence of more qualified, passionate, and talented candidates for ministry than when I gather with gay candidates to minister to one another.

We have not left.

We are still here.

We are active in the mission and ministry of this church

This church still speaks to us.

Yesterday in worship we confessed: “You give yourself freely to us but we have held ourselves back from you and from others.” Friends, it’s time to stop holding Presbyterians back from their call in the church. The same Spirit that has called so many gay Presbyterians to ministry is calling us to live into full inclusion.

Yesterday in worship Bruce Reyes Chow urged us to consider the mountains we are making to tremble. Friends today, let’s move this mountain together.

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