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James Brumm


And, as a minister in this church, I'm so sorry.

I cannot fathom the logic of a decision that says you are called to ministry, you have skills, you're putting them to use, and they still cannot ordain you. I fully understand our theology that says the Holy Spirit speaks through assemblies in prayer, but this beggars even that. Your sermon in the face of it was brilliant, but what can we say about our church. I cannot believe that the RCA I grew up in would behave this way (ironically, it seems just over a year since I last said that).

What comes next? I am truly lost . . . but, here I am, faithfully doing ministry as best I can, and keeping you in prayer.



words fail me -

reverend mommy

I'm thinking of you -- and praying.
Just remember that ordination is truly of God and not humankind. Ordination ceremonies only affirm God's work in you. You are indeed a priest and a minister of the Gospel.
God bless you and keep you.


Dear Ann,
There is such a disconnect in the decision by the classis. I'm sorry for the pain you must be feeling, admiring of the work you did in your sermon linked here and hopeful that this is not the last human word on your ministry, for God is speaking in all that you say and do.

Rainbow Pastor

Dear Ann--

I have been where you are today. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. It also made me angry and confused and defiant and depressed.

You know you are called to ministry by God, not by the Classis; you are right to draw strength from that knowledge.

You and Jen are in my prayers.


Like James Brumm, I just can't grasp the idea of a classis who can simultaneously agree that you have clearly been called by God and refuse to ordain them. To me, it feels too much like saying the classis knows better than God.

Despite our confusion, amazement, and consternation, I hope you remain strong and loyal to your calling.

Mary Beth

Dear Ann,

When I first read your message on the gmail, I cried for several minutes, and had to take a break from Festivalling altogether.

This is SO INSANELY WRONG. I feel I've spent my whole summer being torn up by this issue, in my own church (Episcopal) where, sorry, but it doesn't so much surprise me for them to act like this, to the Presbyterians...etc. But **your** church...oh, Ann, I had such a better hope for it. Despite what happened to your dad. Despite the obvious difficulties you are and have been facing.

And your ministry is so vital, and your congregation is so loving and supportive. You MUST NOT give up. (Not that you gave any indication of doing so!!)

When I was married, I asked my former priest if it was important to be married in a church (building.) He told me that the sacrament of marriage is actually between God and the two people, and so the location doesn't matter - the legalities of it require an officiant. We eloped to the Renaissance Festival and God, Ken, and I got married, with his 10 year old son to witness.

I don't know the theological implications of ordination in your denomination, but I would venture to say that you have already been called AND ORDAINED TO MINISTRY by our loving heavenly God. Not a bad place to start, but certainly not the place to end, either.

I truly believe we are embroiled in the civil rights movement of our day...except our churches, which are called to be at the forefront of compassion, acceptance, and mercy, are acting like chicken sh*ts, too.

You are in my daily prayers. Hugs to you.


Oh Ann, I'm so very sorry to hear this. I am holding you and your partner in prayer and wishing you peace.


That is miserable...I am so sorry. What is wrong with the institutional church, that it feels it appropriate to set aside gifts and calling from God? I can only agree with MaryBeth and reverendmommy that you ARE ordained in every sense that should matter (though I fully appreciate the pain and difficulty of getting the institutional angles covered) and pray that your denomination is given another opportunity to affirm you calling.
Love and prayers xx


so sorry to hear this..
love and prayers



This is just WRONG.

Standing in solidarity with you and your partner.


Though I sympathize with your pain, you can't be ordained into this denomination when your lifestyle and stance are clearly (at this time) in opposition to it's stated creeds and positions. It can't happen.

Though I am sorry that you are a place of pain, and would dearly love to see that pain lifted and brought to the cross of Christ, I am thankful that your classis upheld the standards of the RCA while showing the love of Christ to you.

Blessings, ladysown

Mary Beth

Ladysown, then why did they let her get this far in the process?


Mary Beth, I would say that is a very important question that deserves to be answered by the classis of NY. Perhaps it has been answered, but I suspect it has not been. In that case, I think it has been unfair to Ann, unfair to Greenpoint church and unfair the RCA as a whole--no matter if one agrees or disagrees with the final outcome. That is one of the very sad things about the Christian church. Sometimes the right outcome is produced by a very wrong prcess. I suppose some people would see in that a sort of redemption. Sometimes it is. But often its not.

Blessings, RogueMonk


Mary Beth....

I don't know how Ann managed to get this far. It is a good question to ask.

Perhaps originally they didn't think it was a big deal that someone's stance and lifestyle were in opposition to the RCA standards. But the current process of Dialogue within the denomination, and the discipline done with other church members, has possibly made them think that it is a big deal.

The vote was close, which shows that there is some division. Shows that there is a big split within this denomination which I find sad.

We need to hold to the word of God as our final authority in everything. Other than that, I really don't know what else to sad. This whole process has been difficult for all involved I think.

Thanks for asking! :)



You and your congregation are in my prayers... I'm with Mary Beth; God has clearly called-- and ordained you-- to be a minister of the gospel. The institutional church doesn't always listen to the spirit.

We are a gentle angry people, indeed...


Dear Ann,

I came by this blog via the RevGalBlogPals. While I do not know you, I feel your pain about this decision. One should never have to choose between two of God's most blessed callings for one's life.

As a United Methodist, I see the same argument tear our church apart. It makes me sad not only to see how much this hurts the individual people who are excluded, but also how it hurts the church as a whole.

Be blessed,


Lisa in FL

God bless you and your congregation.

terri c

Damn and blast. And what an odd, truly odd, vote. "Truly called" but they can't ordain? I don't even know what to make of that. So very, very, very sorry. Your sermon was awesome, and I hope Greenpoint is holding you in its collective heart today.

James Brumm

OK, does somebody want to explain to me (I must be too dense for such things) how Ann's life--"lifestyle" belittles the situation--is somehow inconsistent with the RCA's standards? Remember, those are the creeds and confessions. Whether or not this would be the life WE would choose, I find nothing inconsistent with any part of the RCA Constitution. The pronouncements and papers of the General Synod are not denominational standards, but transient positions and advisories. And, if we are proof-texting the Scriptures, then I believe that every divorced, every prideful, every overweight pastor, every person holding an office and somehow living contrary to Biblical measures ought to submit herself or himself for immediate demission . . . and the last one in line gets to close the RCA, because none of us are left.

No, the actions of Classis New York were cowardly, and the absence of some of its members from such a crucial meeting was even more cowardly. But, by the current standards of the RCA in this current dialogue, cowardice is apparently something to be rewarded in office bearers.


I ran across your blog via RevGalPal and some RCA connections, but I also completed my field ed in your classis. I am righteously angry for you, and agree with James Brumm...the actions of the Classis were cowardly. Prayers for you today. Blessings to you as you preach the Gospel tomorrow.

Jan J.H.Hofland

Hello Ann and Jen,

I'm sorry this reply comes so late, but I've just read the ever so sad and disgusting news. Being an insider in Reformed church politics I had feared this would happen, but it yet came as a shock. I hope and pray this will also shock many people in your denomination and that this may serve the beginning of of a new beginning. In the meantime both you and Jenn will be in my prayers. And whenever you come to The Netherlands again, I'll invite you to 'my' pulpit again and again introduce you as Reverent Kansfield.



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