Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Overture Advocate Speeches for Including All In Ordination

Overture Advocates supporting the pro-LGBT ordination overtures spoke before the Church Orders & Ministry Committee on July 5, 2010 at the 219th General Assembly. The full transcript of their remarks is below. MLP Board Member Rev. Ray Bagnuolo (photo) said:
I’m Ray Bagnuolo, Minister Member of the Presbytery of New York City. In every way I know God, God is Love. Since the beginning of time, this Love has moved nations and peoples through struggles and trials, and has carried us through to this moment. In the presence of this Love, once again, our church is called to rise and demonstrate its fairness and equality, its commitment to reforming and leading the way in an expanded, welcoming witness of Love, faith, and the power and grace of God in our lives.
I did not choose to be called to ministry.  I did not choose to be gay.  I did choose to respond as faithfully as I could to God’s call.  But I did not expect that the call to serve others as a Minister of Word and Sacrament would be this hard, this painful, this agonizing. All I knew then, and what I still believe so fervently today, is that as Jesus set his face to Jerusalem, I needed to join with others who had set their face toward God’s will, regardless of the personal cost.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Presbyterians – indeed, all Presbyterians – have been terribly hurt by G-6.0106b.  But many of us are still here.  I am still here. And I am here asking that, together as a faith community, we lead the way toward love and understanding.
Before you is a momentous decision: “Will we welcome all our sisters and brothers equally, with no special clauses or language, using the same historic standards of ordination for all?” I pray the answer to that question is “Yes!” and that you will recommend deletion of G-6.0106b. In so doing you will return us to our historic ordination standards, fulfilling the promise we make to each other at baptism, at membership, and at ordination.
Overture Advocate Speeches for Including All In Ordination

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