Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Time to Celebrate!

Change happens slowly in denominations. It took more than thirty years since the first women were ordained, but the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians have finally taken the steps to break the glass ceiling of their respective denominations. You no doubt know that Katherine Jefferts Shori -- that's her on the left -- was elected (on the fifth ballot, but nevertheless still elected) to be the presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church of the USA. The Presbyterians elected Rev. Joan Grey to be their new moderator, the highest spokesperson and titular leader in the denomination.

One has to wonder if it will be take thirty years before GLBT clergy will be eligible to be the leaders of mainstream denominations.

I’m reminded about what an Episcopal priest said to me back in 2000. I was complaining about how long it was taking me to finish seminary and my ordination requirements. I had shared that I had first felt called to the ministry in 1989, and here it was 2000, and I still had at least three more years to go. She smiled thoughtfully, and then told me that in God’s time, eleven years was nothing at all.

Perhaps what is important then is not to worry today about how long it took – but to celebrate that the time for full inclusion of women at all levels of the Presbyterian and Episcopal denominations in the United States has come.

BREAKING NEWS: I just read that the Episcopal Church voted to reject a demand from the worldwide Anglican Church that they stop appointing gay bishops. (More on this as I learn more!) If someone reading this was there, please post a comment and tell us what it was like when the vote was passed!

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