Posted at: 09/22/2013 10:43 PM
Lesbian Presbyterian Minister Installed in Rochester
For the first time in the history of Rochester, MN, there is a lesbian minister of a Presbyterian Church.
Laurene Lafontaine was installed Sunday afternoon.
“I really am pinching myself… I’ve been preparing my whole life for this,” said Lafontaine.
She has been ordained for 26 years, but hadn’t been able to become a minister until the Presbyterian Church voted to allow gays to clergy in 2011.
“We didn’t hire the best lesbian pastor, we hired the best pastor,” said Amy Anderson, part of the Pastor Nominating Committee.
“Our goal as we bring Laurene into the community is really to acknowledge that discomfort or flat out disagreement, acknowledge that, work through it, talk through it, and figure out how we can all keep living together,” said Anderson.
Both Anderson and Lafontaine understand there are some who oppose the decision. According to Anderson, some Presbyterian churches are in the process of leaving the Presbytery because gays are allowed to clergy.
“Let’s work side by side. Get to know me, and we can have conversation. I don’t expect everyone to agree… We can talk about it, maybe learn from each other. We have more in common than we have our differences,” said Lafontaine
She joins the Rochester community after years working in civil rights in Denver, Co.
“We just love em through their fear,” said Lafontaine. She says she wants a church that welcomes all people.