One of my earliest career goals was Episcopal priest. I was a very young, very idealistic gal watching the epic battle over women's ordination from the sidelines. I resolved, in a way that only a young idealist can, that if my Church decided the right way, I would one day join the growing ranks of female priests. Obviously, I went another way, but it was something that was still very much under consideration into my early twenties. My spiritual life took me through many twists and turns that outstripped the confines of Christian dogma -- even the very tolerant, ecumenical beliefs of the Episcopal Church. But I am still constantly surprised and gratified to see the Church growing and evolving in ways I could never have expected all those years ago. Yesterday the Episcopal Church approved a measure that would allow ordination of transgendered people.
At its triennial General Convention in Indianapolis, the church House of Deputies approved a change to the "nondiscrimination canons" to include "gender identity and expression." The move makes it illegal to bar from the priesthood people who were born into one gender and live as another or who do not identify themselves as male or female.. . .The vote by the House of Deputies -- which includes lay people and clergy -- followed Saturday's approval of the non-discrimination clause by the church House of Bishops. Both groups have to approve new legislation.. . ."It is not just a good day for transgender Episcopalians and their friends, families and allies. It is a good day for all of us who are part of a church willing to the risk to continue to draw the circle wider as we work to live out our call to make God's inclusive love known to the whole human family," the Rev. Susan Russell, a deputy from the Diocese of Los Angeles and an activist who supported the legislation, said in a statement.
Also approved was a provisional standard liturgy for blessing same-sex couples. It is the first Christian church to do so. It's a step towards what I'm sure will be an approval to perform gay marriages as they become legal around the country. It's only a matter of time.
I'm sure this will hasten the great bigots exodus from the Church, but as ever I say, go with God.
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