Colorado Ordains First Lesbian Minister
Colorado Ordains Its First Mennonite Lesbian Minister
With the entire world focused on Russia, it’s easy to overlook LGBT news within our own community—including great strides being made on the religious frontier. This week, Theda Good has been elected as a ministerial candidate for the First Mennonite Church of Denver. Her assignment would make her the first openly gay Mennonite minister.
According to the Advocate, Good has a solid reputation for compassion and excellence within her religious community: “Theda Good is on staff at the First Mennonite Church of Denver, where she was licensed as “pastor of nurture and fellowship,” according to Religion News Service. Good’s ordination must be approved by the Mountain States Conference of Mennonites, which is part of the Mennonite Church USA, the collective body of regional Mennonite communities.”
Mennonites, who share religious lineage with such theological organizations as the Amish, have a long history of centering their missions around peacemaking, nurturing, caretaking, and following Jesus in daily life. According to Thirdway, Mennonites are big advocates of the continued separation of Church and State. “Because God is loving and just, Mennonites feel called to live lives that reflect this reality. We believe that peace and wholeness is a real possibility in time and space. It’s how God intends us to live here and now, and we have been given all of the necessary tools to achieve this through our faith in Jesus Christ. Living as peace builders when war comes is not easy because many in our society believe it is foolish to refuse to defend oneself and one’s country in the face of aggression.”
Like the Amish, Mennonites originally lived life primarily off the grid, choosing to rely on their own hardiness and reject technology. Though many Mennonites still choose to live this way (in rural Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and elsewhere), there are many who live in modern civilization. Considering the nonviolent, peacekeeping, humanitarian components to the Mennonite religion, it is no wonder that Theda Good is currently up for ordination.