Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blog Fog

Okay, I keep messing up with this thing. I guess the one day a week thing isn't working. Earlier this week, I wanted to blog, but I told myself I needed to wait for Saturday. Now, it's Saturday but I was too busy today to blog. I guess I need to get rid of the idea that this is going to follow any kind of regular format now that I no longer blog every day. I guess I'll just blog as I feel led to, but it will probably still be at least once a week, just not on a specific day. I also realized that I've been forgetting to import my blogs to facebook. Oops.

Here's an update for those that don't know. The session of my church, after meeting with the representative from the Committee on the Preparation for Ministry in my presbytery of Santa Barbara (I just accidentally wrote Satan instead of Santa. Freudian slip?), has decided that they can no longer sponsor me during the ordination process. Please note that I am not saying that the CPM representative instructed the session to do this, I am only indicating the timeline of events. The session feels that because I am an unrepentant homosexual and that I do no believe it is wrong to be a homosexual, that our theologies are diametrically opposed and that they could not in good faith support by bid to become a Presbyterian minister. In order to go though the ordination process, you need to be sponsored by the church you are a member of. So, although they are not technically kicking me out of the church, I am forced to leave if I wish to pursue ordination. I'm pretty sure that if the PCUSA denomination at large were to decide that being gay was okay in the eyes of God, then the congregation might leave. This is the group that was holding the confessions of the denomination over my head as one of the reasons that I should not be gay. I don't want to get into the logic of it all, but it seems very hypocritical to me.

I'll write more about this when I can get all of my thoughts in order. At the moment, I'm waiting for a response from my presbytery about whether or not I should waste my time trying to get ordained in the Santa Barbara Presbytery. I sent the email days ago but have yet to get a response. Life has just gotten very interesting, and I am currently trying to recover emotionally from what happened. Please keep me, Word of Life Presbyterian Church of Oxnard, Santa Barbara Presbytery and the PCUSA in your prayers. We need it.


  1. I am curious if you have had any attempts (successful attempts) to open their eyes to their misinterpretation and what efforts you have made. I wonder why they think all homosexuality is a sin? I have done some research on this and can find no evidence to support homosexuality being a sin for Christians.

  2. I have had many discussions with the two people directly involved with me in this, and I don't think there is anything that anyone could say right now to change their minds. I think a lot of people approach theology already having these beliefs and use theology to back those beliefs up. How do you argue with that kind of conviction?

  3. Hi -
    I am very sorry tha the Session of your church has chosen to act in the way it has. Technically, you cannot be denied being considered as an Inquirer or a Candidate because you are gay. Going further than that it get more complicated, but - your call will lead you on the path you are to take.

    I am openly gay - yes, a non-repentant, self-affirming, practiicing homosexual - one of those, and I was open throughout my process. The COPM I had was wonderful and in many ways, when it got tough later on, their support of me and faith they placed in me was a reason I remained.

    I eventually was ordained, refusing to abide by G-6.0106b. I was unsure what was going to happen when I stood for my examination, however, I did know two things: (1) I didn't need to be ordained, and (2) I did need to stay on the path I had been called to - God would take care of the rest.

    There have been too few ordinations of openly LGBT folk in the PC(USA) since that time in 2005, and recent events at the trial of Janie Spahr in Napa and The PResbytery of the Redwoods points to the sad direction this church continues to take. There will be a hearing this week in Oakland on the scruple of Lisa Larges and the SF Presbytery, to determine whether she can be cleared to seek a call. If you know Lis or of her, you know that she has been a candidate "on hold," so to speak, for 22 years because she is open about her being a lesbian and having been in a committed relationship during a period of that time. The outcome of Lisa's hearing may give you some indication of whether there may some doors opening.

    It is very disheartening, and this is truly a struggle for love, justice, and a fully inclusive church on the way to a fully inclusive world. There is no small part that the church ahs to pal in this, and in my opinion, has done a horrible job.

    But, God is involved so amazing things will happen. You are likely right where you need to be to be moved into the next place you are to go. In fact, I am quite sure of that!

    My prayers besides yours on this journey,
    Ray Bagnuolo
    Jan Hus Presbyterian Church and Neighborhood House