Conference to license gay pastorBy Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
Mountain States Conference will be the first conference in Mennonite Church USA to license an openly gay pastor.
Theda Good will be licensed for her role as pastor of nurture and fellowship at First Mennonite Church of Denver on Feb. 2.
Good, who is in a committed relationship with another woman, joined First Mennonite’s staff in August 2012.
She has a master of divinity degree with a concentration in spiritual formation/direction from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Va.
Mountain States Conference announced Dec. 22 its Leadership Board had unanimously agreed to affirm Good’s licensing after a yearlong process of conversation and listening.
MC USA polity describes licensure as a time of testing that can, but does not necessarily, lead to ordination.
First Mennonite sent a letter requesting licensure to the Mountain States Ministerial Council about a year ago.
Mountain States moderator Rhoda Blough said the council did the normal credentialing interview process but also approached the conference Leadership Board for additional steps.
In addition to consultations within Mountain States and with representatives of other MC USA conferences, four listening meetings were held last fall across the conference. Each congregation was asked to send its pastor and five representatives to meet with the Ministerial Council and the Mountain States Dialogue Resource Team.
“These were places where people could share,” Blough said. “It was not to be a place for debate; it was for prayer and listening and then eating together.”
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