Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jane Spahr's Day in Court is Today

A person for whom I have great respect has her trial before the highest court in Presbyland today.  Rev. Jane Spahr, who happens to be lesbian, uses her calling as a PC(USA) minister to celebrate at weddings including the weddings of same-sex couples.   


It is all part of the "homosexual agenda", of course.

By the way, here is the GAY AGENDA in two points:

1)  Equality.
2)  See point 1.

On Friday, February 17, the Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr goes before the highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) for a final appeal of her conviction for marrying 16 same-gender couples during the time it was legal in California. The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC) appeal hearing will be held at the Drury Plaza Hotel (Riverwalk, 105 S. St Mary’s Street) in San Antonio, Texas (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through the Presbytery of the Redwoods v. Rev. Spahr). The commission’s decision is expected on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.

As increasing numbers of states permit same-gender weddings and civil unions, Rev. Spahr hopes her appeal hearing will clarify how the denomination’s ministers can pastorally participate in such celebrations. “To send these couples away from the church would be going against what I believe about God and God’s welcome. It would go against my faith and my call,” she says. “I believe we are given a sacred responsibility to help be a part of a couple’s journey toward a life of deep loving and commitment.”

Rev. Janie rocks.

I am grateful for her courage and commitment to what is right and what is joyful.   It is because of people like her that the rest of us can drum up the courage to do what is right and joyful in our own settings.  As she said:
“I believe the church should be the best place to help and support couples to have a healthy, mutual and life-giving relationship. But for many LGBT people because of the myths, prejudice and judgment, it is the last place they think of to celebrate their marriages.”
It will be a while yet before we have marriage equality in Tennessee.  Though we aren't there yet, legally, we do know how to celebrate the spirit and love that is already present.   Last week, Glenn and Tony celebrated 25 years together.   Thanks to Becca Davis Photography for capturing the event! 


We did it up right with a renewal of vows, communion, and a party.  


Because that is what love deserves.  In thanking Glenn and Tony, I said at their service:
For 25 years, Tony and Glenn, you have given yourselves to each other and stood by each other, laughed with and cried with each other, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health.      

That is what the Gospel is about.

There is a subtext that I am going to make very clear.
Every time we have a big gay wedding in church, or in this case a renewal of 25 years of vows, with all the music, communion, flowers, vows, and rings, we are making the path easier for those who follow.   The world can be mean because it is fearful.  But you have shown that perfect love casts out fear.

Justice and joy is a good combination.  

 

Rev. Jane Spahr, thanks to you for showing the rest of the church what it means to be a Minister of Word and Sacrament.  She gets the last word:
 “To turn my back on the love and lifelong commitments of these wonderful couples would have gone against the lifetime of dedication I’ve shown to my faith, the guiding principles of my church, and especially those I have served in my ministry.”
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