I *Was* RCA

A letter from a formerly RCA, now UCC minister, the Rev. Kenneth Walsh.
Dear General Synod 2016,
I was RCA.
I was baptized on November 25, 1956 at the First Reformed Church in Little Falls, New Jersey and served in RCA for over 40 years. I was called to the ministry and was ordained in 1984. I served churches throughout the country as an RCA pastor, but I had a secret. Although married and had a family….I had a secret. I was gay. I tried to change, thinking that marriage would be the answer, as well as intense prayer. The reality….I am still gay. I worked for years to change the RCA, even bringing my church to become an Room for All congregation, but in my mind, I would hear: “If they only knew.” and the pressure and the guilt would wash over me. Yes, I was RCA! Four years ago, I hit a crisis. My physical health was matching my emotional health and I knew I had no place in the RCA. In resigning from my pastorate, I made the move to the UCC, where I could be safe. But, I grieve my move. I miss the RCA and my pastorate, but not the pressure.
I watched with amazement and horror at the arguments of General Synod, 2016 and I felt agin the pressure of my inner heart. I grieve for a church I love that seems to have no place for me or my sisters and brothers. Why is it so difficult to be Jesus in the world?
Sincerely,
Rev. Kenneth Walsh

3 Comments Add yours

  1. James Hart Brumm says:

    Thank you, Ken.

  2. Marilyn Paarlberg says:

    I am so grateful that you have added your voice, here, Ken, even as I grieve that leaving the RCA is what finally made it possible. In my mind, you still *are* RCA, and I hope, pray and work for the day that you might feel welcomed back.

  3. Gene Knapp says:

    Beautifully said, Ken. You know how much we all miss you around here and send lots of love. Your friendship is immeasurable!

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