Denver Mennonites take first step toward gay ordination

February 3, 2014 | Web First
Elizabeth Evans | Religion News Service
Denver, Colorado
Theda Good

On Sunday (Feb. 2), a Denver congregation of Mennonites licensed the first lesbian in a committed same-sex relationship, the first step toward ordination.

Theda Good’s licensure was celebrated by some Mennonite Church USA clergy and greeted with dismay by others.

Good was licensed for ministry as pastor of nurture and fellowship at First Mennonite Church of Denver, where she is currently on the staff. Originally from Lancaster, Pa., Good is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Va.

Whether the Colorado-based conference, or region, of Mennonites will approve Good’s ordination isn’t clear. Good declined to be interviewed.

The Mennonite Church USA’s articles of faith include a provision that states: “We believe that God intends marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman for life.”

Karl Landis, pastor of Mount Joy Mennonite Church in Mount Joy, Pa., said he expects the move to pose a dilemma and “rough sailing for relationships among conference leaders.”

On the other hand, “Theda’s ordination is another step towards a more affirming position,” said Joanna Harader, pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, Kan.

Keith Weaver, moderator of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, said he isn’t sure what lies ahead. “Now the struggle is how we live together?” he asked. Those who have convictions about the historic understanding of the church (with regard to marriage) are very concerned about this action.”

The Mennonite Church USA, the nation’s largest Mennonite body, is the result of the 2002 merger of the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church.

--Feb. 3, 2014

Theda Good

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Why are we taking the word sin out of the Bible?

Judge sin not the sinner.

If the person is a practising gay or lesbian and ordained in our conferance, I will leave the conferance.

They are welcome to come into the church, I know lots and have hugged them.

If they are a repented gay or lesbian, I will accept their ordination.

Truest repentance, is to do no more.


Sue, (a sinner).

p.s. I came out of the closet of my depression and S.A.D, because I needed to repent and wanted to change with God's help and the support of my church family.

I feel the gays and lesbians keep coming out of the closet, so to speak, because they do not want to change or repent.

Change is inevitable - growth is a choice.

Here is where a long held congregational polity would help us. It is, in this polity, the congregation that ordains, not the larger church body. And if a congregation calls and chooses to ordain someone, let us all rejoice in their confidence that God is being served in this leadership.

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