I am filled with an equal measure of excitement and apprehension following the actions of the General Assembly of the PC(USA.) Things are moving and shaking much, much sooner than I had anticipated it would in regard to justice and equality in ordination standards and I believe that the one doing the moving and the shaking is none other than the Holy Spirit. Still, I am anxious as to what is ahead of us as a denomination and do not feel like it is time to celebrate.
Part of the blame for my hesitancy I place squarely on the Peace, Unity and Purity (PUP) Task Force, those scoundrels who taught me too well by their Godly example of how to be in community with both those who agree and those who disagree with me. Through their example and through their Spirit-filled report, my heart was changed toward those who disagree with me, particularly on questions of ordination. I was especially convicted in their discussion on allowing that those who disagree with me have come to their places of understanding in as earnest and faithful way as I have.
This is difficult for me, being one whose mind and heart has changed dramatically in the last twelve or so years. I catch myself at times being incredulous that everyone can't see what is so clear to me now. This is, of course, an arrogant and sinful attitude and exactly what the PUP report was asking the Church to work on together in order to move beyond our "positions" and see one another as sisters and brothers in Christ.
So, I am feeling torn between cautious optimism that we may soon rectify what I believe to be a grave injustice to our LGBT brothers and sisters and really and truly feeling the pain of those who believe that the church (small "c") is moving away from them.
Is it anathema to say that I wonder if this is the right time? Are we doing more harm than good right now? I know, it is easy for me to ask such questions because my ordination has never been called into question. I also know that I have a tendency to want to avoid pain and, man, I think we're in for a painful year in the PC(USA.)
I know what my vote is going to be when it is time for my Presbytery to vote on this issue: "Yes, yes, a million times, yes! Take that language out of our Book of Order!" But I don't know that my heart will be rejoicing when I do so.
May the Spirit lead us.