Seeds of Hope

A Troubled Seminarian


[Posted on October 15, 2000]

Rev. Turner:

I am a seminarian in Madison, NJ. I am under care on track to become a Minister of Word and Sacrament with the RCA Reform Church in America and am a member of Athenia Reform Church in Nj.

I recently read the RCA's policy regarding homosexuality. Although it urges humane treatment of gays, it considers homosexual practice to be a sin "no more or less serious than other sins".

I am despondent. How can I represent a church whose policy this is?

This is a very progressive school and I am very comfortable there. I really would prefer to remain in their M.Div program with a clear conscience that I am doing the right thing.

What Christian denomination accepts all forms of love as "good" in God's eyes? I am considering changing denominations to reflect my personal view that gay love is just as pleasing to God as hetero love.

Please please help me.

Lisa


Dear Lisa,

I really feel your despondence. It is always difficult to read we that are to be treated "humanely" as if we were some lower animal form and further to be told that our love is a sin.

Since, I am a pastor in an independent Christian GLBT church, I am not sure I can tell you how to represent a church with an anti-gay policy. In one sense you can't, because you would be lying to about 10% of the congregation.

Since you are comfortable with your seminary, I would advise you to finish your studies there but also start to look at some other options for ordained ministry. I will give you at least three websites you can check out. These are GLBT friendly churches and certainly their theology is progressive.

1) The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches

2) The United Church of Christ

Also they have a group called United Church of Christ Coalition for GLBT Concerns.

3) The Unitarian Universalist Association

In addition you might check with your local Episcopal Church as they have some who are ordaining openly gay folks and placing them in churches.

So my dear child of God, while your situation is frustrating, it is not without hope for remember nothing is impossible with God!

God Bless,

Pastor Paul



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Rev. Turner is Sr. Pastor at Gentle Spirit Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you are seeking guidance and pastoral care on your journey to fullness as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person, please contact Pastor Paul directly at pastorpaul@whosoever.org.