Rev. Amy DeLong and Lisa Larges, two pilgrims who are featured prominently in Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism, popped up in Facebook links today.
Methodist Pastor Amy DeLong, whose ecclesiastical trial fills later pages of the book, offered a Youtube video following her monitoring of the weeklong Methodist Council of Bishops. She was disappointed in their failure of leadership. “We need to start calling them followers and not leaders,” she said. In an earlier writing, which is quoted in the book, she noted ecclesiastical handwringing and used the metaphor of the “weeping executioner.”
Lisa Larges was also the subject of ecclesiastical judicial wrangling—twice. Her path toward ordination in the Twin Cities Presbytery was thwarted by the Presbyterian courts in the nineties. Fifteen years later she tried again, and her attempt was bottled up in the courts once more, but then the General Assembly finally eliminated LGBT clergy exclusion thereby rendering the court case moot, and she is again on track for ordination. She penned a poignant retrospective in a guest blog post on ecclesio.com which reflects upon the Presbyterian wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Her post begins:
What I’m wondering now, some two years after the vote in my denomination, (the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) to remove the bar to ordination for lgbt persons, what I’m wondering now as someone who is a part of that lgbt community, what I’m wondering now, even as we live out the denouement of that struggle, with churches leaving and the question of marriage for same gender couples still before us, what I’m wondering now, remembering those forty some years of conflict—remembering the parliamentary maneuverings and high stakes votes and judicial actions and attempts toward dialogue and church-wide studies and appointed task forces and—what I’m wondering now, feeling the weight of the needless pain that we, as a church inflicted, what I’m wondering now is: Could we have done it better? Across that forty-year span, could we have worked out our differences with less rancor and divisiveness and objectivizing and bad behavior and fear of one another?