This week the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada adopted two important resolutions: the approval of same-sex marriages, and the ordination of LGBTQI elders and ministers. These questions have been before the church for many years, and have been the topic of many reports and study documents. To say the least, it has been a topic over which the church has been divided. The votes were decisive, but not overwhelming: 64% were in favour regarding marriage, and 61% for ordination.
For many, this is cause for great rejoicing. LGBTQI individuals have long felt the rejection of the church, and have suffered ridicule and shame by a body which proclaimed a God of love. For a picture of that suffering, you can view the YouTube video, “Not all are Welcome,” which was part of the report of the Rainbow Communion at the assembly (watch for the parts filmed at GCPC!). For many of those who have suffered that exclusion, this feels like a new day, and many are celebrating this huge step toward being a more inclusive church.
As many of us celebrate, we must remember that we are still a divided church over this matter, and that if we espouse a God whose love is for everyone, we are called to have compassion for those who will struggle with these changes.
Revs. Bob and Helen Smith
A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, June 12, 2021, edition of Tidbits.