Yes, sadly, we do have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in our church, both on a congregational level and a denominational one. I was ordained through the Northeastern Region, the New York Metro Area, where they have a policy of not ordaining “openly” gay or lesbian ministers. It’s not just the Bible Belt where this an issue; New York City, as well. I felt the horrible burden of guilt of being ordained when so many of my colleagues were denied the opportunity to go before the Commission on Ministry. It’s not easy being the beneficiary of an unjust system. (I told the COM as much.)
I think it is sad that we force silence upon so many gifted ministers. Our congregations miss out on sharing the lives of their pastors, and the whole church misses out when so many who are called to ministry leave the fold, go to more affirming congregations, or leave church all together.
The United Church of Christ sets a good example for welcoming glbt people into their congregations and ministry. It’s up to individual congregations whom they hire or whether to choose an “Open and Affirming” (of glbt) designation through the denomination. Other churches could take lessons . . . .
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