Tuesday, November 01, 2005

From the speech that should never be heard dept: Anita Hill, Orlando

From ecunet:

"On August 12, 2005, at the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA), during the voting on resolutions pertaining to
the ELCA Sexuality Study resolutions submitted by the Church Council, 97
members of Goodsoil left the visitors' area and entered the voting
members' space, proceeded across in front of the dais, taking up position
centered on the hall, and turned to face the Voting Members in silence.
This they did because it was apparent that the assembly was having a
discussion about GLBT persons as if they weren't in the room, talking
about but not to them. By moving to face them, at least the voting members
would be forced to see the people they were talking about. A voting
member, the Rev. Paul Tideman of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church,
asked if the Rev. Anita Hill, ordained minister, ECP, called to St.
Paul-Reformation but not on the ELCA roster, could speak to the Assembly.
That request was denied. This is the speech that Anita would have given to
the Assembly:

The people you see before you are baptized people of faith, here to give
witness that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their
families, friends are part of this church and are here to stay. Look into
our eyes and faces so we will no longer be merely an "issue." We are human
beings enfleshed before you, children of God marked with the cross of
Christ together.

The church has just made expendable the faithful lives and God-given calls
of persons in same-gender relationship for the sake of the unity of this
church. The ELCA has again sacrificed the calls of its own faithful
children for the sake of market share. It is sad that as this church has
been making ecumenical agreements with denominations which take more
progressive stands on gay people, such as the United Church of Christ and
the Episcopal Church, we cannot extend the same offer of full communion
and participation to our own pastors and congregations who take similar

As you have heard in this assembly hall, we already have gay and lesbian
pastors living in covenanted relationship and serving ELCA congregations.
These congregations open the doors wide, not only to welcome those who
walk in, but also to walk out into the world to preach the good news to
those who may believe the church is their enemy.

The witnesses before you stand in silent vigil, calm and unafraid. They
know that the decision you have made is not about them. It's not really
about gay and lesbian people. It's really about you, and about this
church. These witnesses are not going away. Their faith is sure. The
ultimate outcome is assured. We are already one in Christ. But the our
Church is not living faithfully together with us yet. Time is the
question. How long must we wait? And at what cost?

While the church waits, lives of gay and lesbian people are ruined and
faith is destroyed. We are marked with the cross of Christ forever and are
called by God and community to serve this church through Word and
Sacrament ministry. We are held in the steadfastness of God. Here we will
continue to stand, for we also can do no other."

Not saying that the Lord didn't allow it to happen, but...

No comments:

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...