23/09/2008

Time to Credentialise






From Pioneer Press

The small church was proud of being open to all people — including homosexuals.

But, unfortunately, that wasn't enough. When it tried to hire a
lesbian to be pastor of the church last summer, it discovered it needed to prove
its openness.

The church is pursuing official certification that it is welcoming to gays, lesbians and bisexual and transgendered people.

"We have some people who are not happy" about seeking a third party's approval, said Edie Seefeldt, chair of a task force at Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park.

If it receives the designation, the 200-member congregation will be
hopping onto a pink-triangle bandwagon.

Interest in the GLBT certification is soaring — with the number of America's certified churches tripling in two years to about 3,100.


About 20 denominations are said to have such a scheme (though, of course, this is America where there are thousands of denominations).

The Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries have something called 'Candidacy and Credentialing' (it's not in the OED so it doesn't really exist).
All persons who can demonstrate that they are “in jeopardy” because of policies
of discrimination against LGBT people or practices of intimidation or untruth in
Lutheran church bodies around the world are invited to make application for
admission to candidacy with the ELM.

And the news is that

Clergy who participated in the ordination of Lionel Ketola, the first married
queer man to be ordained in Canada, received a censure from their bishop. The
bishop also announced that he will investigate bringing further charges against
Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket, Ontario for calling Pastor Ketola.
Lionel is Associate Pastor, deployed as an Ambassador of Reconciliation (2 Cor.
5:16-21) in the ELCIC, to further the work of full inclusion in the ELCIC.


Funny, we've surely been here before, uncertificated.

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