Laurie A. McNeill, pastor of Central Church in Montclair, N.J., informed her session on Oct. 13 and also mailed a letter to members of her congregation that day, and was married on Cape Cod on Oct. 17, her grandmother’s birthday.And she told the good news to her presbytery:
On Nov. 14, McNeill stood during the announcements time of a meeting of Newark Presbytery and informed her colleagues in ministry that she had recently married. “Rejoice with me, for I have found a companion with whom to share my life!”The happy couple met a couple of years ago:
About two years ago, McNeill met Lisa Gollihue, a trial attorney, through an online dating service. Much to her surprise, because McNeill had been skeptical about such things, “it really was love at the beginning. There was a powerful connection that was just ridiculous.”Wait. Huh? What was that? Laurie married Lisa?
McNeill said she told the session that she was getting married “and there will be no groom at the wedding. There was sort of this look — `You are gay. You are gay!’ ”Cheese and crackers! What did her session do?
Later during that meeting, she said, the session voted unanimously to support McNeill in her decision and to affirm her ministry at Central Church.How about that!
McNeill and Gollihue were married on Oct. 17 at Christ Church Cathedral in Harwich Port, Mass., on Cape Cod. Earlier, they had approached the governing board of that congregation and asked for permission to marry there, which the vestry did grant.What will the busybodies say?
In marrying someone of the same gender, “you’re doing something that’s in direct violation of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which you took a vow to uphold,” Leggett said. And marriage vows are “serious vows. Those vows are contradictory. I don’t know where that leaves her.”Ho hum. They are so predictable. They will probably try to cause a stink.
As for McNeill, she is not sure what will come next.All of us at Shuck and Jive are thrilled for you! Congratulations Laurie and Lisa!
What she does know is that, at age 49, she has married for the first time, and is thrilled.