Statement to Committee 11-05

My Statement delivered to Committee 11 as Overture Advocate for 11-05

I am Ray Bagnuolo, minister member of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley, requesting your approval of 11-05.

First, I begin this time asking for silence to remember the victims of the massacre in Orlando. For this, too, is ours. Please join me in a short moment of silent prayer.

Thank you.

Forty years of the struggle for inclusion in this church has produced harms, as any conflict of such magnitude and duration is sure to do.

Years of unaffimring church practices toward our LGBTQ and supportive siblings have harmed our missions our families and one another in many ways including:

  • Refusal of calls for queer folk
  • Exhaustive and demeaning accusations, charges and trials against us and our allies
  • Loss of pension benefits, careers,
  • Being outed against our wills
  • excluded from our worshiping families sending too many to harms worse than these

Our institution has too often permitted dysfunction to rule, confirming public suspicions that QUEER folks and their allies were unwelcome here. At times, we have spread a  disenfranchising gospel, one centered on exclusion, proselytizing fear as a path to love.

It doesn’t work that way.

  • We can change this all beginning with 11-05.
  • we can accelerate an institutional admission And apology that brings us together
  • In so doing, We can recognize the PCUSA as one of the most welcoming faith communities in the world, committed to honoring those whose injuries have been real, long lasting and unaddressed.

Orlando, 11-05 can be statement of humility and courage and hope from a mainline Protestant denomination, profoundly impacting our church and our nation, even as we grieve such unimaginable loss.

For a time such as this, we, too, have been called. To this hope in our calling we have gathered. May we be ready now.