MCC Affirms Lifting of Episcopal Moratorium on Ordination of Gay Clergy, Election of Gay Bishops
July 16, 2009, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Would Jesus Discriminate?

from Metropolitan Community Churches

For Immediate Release

Denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches
Affirms Lifting of Episcopal Moratorium on Ordination
of Gay Clergy, Election of Gay Bishops

The international movement of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) today affirmed its support of its sister denomination in Christ, the Episcopal Church in America, in lifting the de facto moratorium on the ordination of lesbian and gay clergy candidates and the election of openly lesbian and gay bishops.

Metropolitan Community Churches, the world’s largest and oldest Christian denomination with a primary, affirming ministry to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, has enjoyed a long and mutual relationship with the Episcopal Church in America. In MCC’s founding years when MCC congregations were often turned away by other communities of faith, it was often local Episcopal churches that provided a place for MCC members to gather for worship and community.

Today, three MCC leaders — Rev. Nancy L. Wilson, moderator; Mr. Stan Kimer, chair of MCC’s Ecumenical & Inter-religious Team; and Rev. Pat Bumgardner, chair of MCC’s Global Justice Team, addressed Tuesday’s significant vote by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to open "any ordained ministry" to lesbians and gays.

Their statements and remarks follow:

Remarks by Rev. Nancy L. Wilson, Moderator
Metropolitan Community Churches

"This is a courageous and timely vote from the Episcopal Church in America. It was clear that the moratorium on the ordination of gay clergy and the election of gay bishops made no one happy. This is an authentic move by this denomination at this time in history.

"Because of their global ties in the Anglican Communion, this will have a long term and global impact: While the Episcopal Church in America may well experience a short-term backlash from some quarters, this action will serve the Church’s long-term health as it becomes a fully welcoming place for all God’s children. The Episcopal Church has already paid a great price for standing up to religiously-based homophobia and sexism, and now has positioned itself to be a much needed global leader in the spiritual value of inclusion, in which Jesus and justice are inextricably connected.

"We rejoice, especially, with our brother The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, whose witness and faithfulness have moved the Episcopal Church to this point."

Remarks by Stan Kimer, Chair
Ecumenical & Inter-religious Team
Metropolitan Community Churches

"MCC clergy and lay people have worked with our Episcopal comrades in numerous ecumenical settings over the past 40 years. As ecumenical and faith partners, we have shared a mutual commitment to welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians. I am very pleased by the action of the Episcopal Church in America to lift the de facto moratorium on the service of gay people and to now affirm full inclusivity of all God’s children in ‘any ordained ministry’ within the Episcopal Church in America."

Remarks by Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair
Global Justice Team
Metropolitan Community Churches

"Today, I am adding my voice to those who applaud the courage and integrity demonstrated in the Episcopal Church in America’s conference vote allowing the consideration of lesbian and gay candidates for the ordained ministry. This vote represents the lifting of what, in effect, was a moratorium on ordinations, especially to the episcopate. I especially want to recognize the many, including our brother, The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, who worked long and hard for this day.

"While grateful for this step forward, I remain mindful of all the places in the world where communities of faith, including the wider Anglican Communion, use their presence, power and prestige to support the continued stigmatization and marginalization of God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children. The denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) is part of a coalition of progressive churches currently speaking against the violence suffered by LGBT people in Uganda — violence that some religious voices have condoned.

"I pray in thanksgiving, yes, for this step forward, and for the day when the quest for our full inclusion in the human community, along with the safety and protection such inclusion affords, will engender neither contention nor debate."

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For Additional Information, Contact:
Jim Birkitt, Communications Director
Metropolitan Community Churches
P.O. Box 691728
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 625-4177

This statement prepared by the MCC Moderator’s Office, in conjunction with the Ecumenical & Inter-religious Team of Metropolitan Community Churches, Stan Kimer, chair; the Global Justice Team of Metropolitan Community Churches, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, chair; and the MCC Communications Department, James Birkitt, communications director.

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