Published: Apr 10, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Apr 09, 2012 06:04 PM
Roses to Katie Ricks, associate in ministry at Chapel Hill’s Church of Reconciliation, who this Sunday will become the first openly lesbian ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The denomination, which counts more than 2 million members, opened ordination to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ministerial candidates last July.
Since then, three openly gay candidates have been ordained.
On Sunday, Ricks will be the first openly lesbian candidate to reach that milestone, in a ceremony at University Presbyterian Church in downtown Chapel Hill.
She graduated from Columbia Seminary in 2002 and has been an associate at the Church of Reconciliation for 10 years.
She has managed her ministry and carried out the process of working toward ordination with the utmost grace and respect for those of all viewpoints.
This is an important moment.
The nation, and North Carolina, which next month will decide whether to write discrimination into the state constitution, are engaged in the terribly long and difficult evolution from a society of exclusion to one of inclusion.
It’s a profound transition.
It is opposed by powerful and deeply rooted forces, and it can be easy to become discouraged by setbacks and the slow pace of change.
But change does come, and every time we take a step forward, as we will on Sunday, that is cause for celebration.
We’re especially happy to hear that the children of the church, including Ricks’ daughter Jordan, will play a key role in the ordination ceremony.
Their generation understands better than many of those before them that all of us are equal under heaven.
Raspberries to the notion of dropping the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district’s successful English-Chinese dual language program.
Just a year ago the school board vowed to expand the program, doubling it at the elementary school level.
Now comes a report arguing that the costs of continuing the program are too high, and recommending that, far from expanding it, the school system should eliminate it.
We think the school board had it right in the first place.
Every avenue for finding the funding to continue and, yes, expand the innovative program should be pursued.
The district showed remarkable wisdom and foresight when it instituted the program 10 years ago.
Dropping it now, without making every attempt to preserve it, would be the opposite: unwise and terribly short-sighted.
In the decade since the program began, it has only become more important.
China has surged as a world power, and shows no signs of slowing down.
The world is an ever-smaller place, and the United States must engage China effectively in order to remain competitive on a global level.
In virtually all matters of international discourse – trade, technology, diplomacy and all the rest – we need people who can communicate effectively with the superpower across the Pacific.
The dual language program benefits the school district, the state, the nation – and its students, who will take an increasingly important and highly valued skill into adulthood.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.