Another Church Leaves the Island in Southwestern PA

From the Post-Gazette:

At least this was resolved amicably, but how very sad that entire congregations are so rooted in bigotry against the LGBTQ community that the church must change hands. Even more sad that the “theologically conservative” denominations are preying on these same fears to swell their ranks. 

This brought to mind the Washington Post blog of Reverend Janet Edwards, a Pittsburgh based minister in the Presbyterian Church. She writes that the call of pastoral ministry is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

But if a pastor is struggling with a conflict between his or her faithful knowledge of Scripture and the traditional assumptions of the congregation — even when congregants hold to them tightly as defining beliefs — then welcome to ministry. There is no getting around the fact that afflicting the comfortable is an aspect of our calling.

While it is comfortable to see the lack of acrimony among the church and the presbytery play out across the front pages, I can't help but wonder if genteel agreements about the distribution of property are the way to go.  Is the further entrenchment of the gay-friendly and the gay-phobic faith community consistent with the obligations of the pastors, the bishops — the calling? 

 

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