He is the first openly gay man to be ordained to the ministerial office since the adoption of Amendment 10-A this past July, which lifted the requirement that ordinands live “in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.”
Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, welcomed 325 people to the service of ordination.
Those leading worship consisted of the John Knox Presbytery administrative commission, and featured Peg Chemberlin (President, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA), Ken Meunier (Executive Presbyter, John Knox Presbytery), Nancy Enderle (Interim Executive Director, Covenant Network of Presbyterians), and Lisa Larges (Candidate for Ministry of Teaching Elder).
Mark Achtemeier drew from Isaiah 49 in his sermon. He compared the path to ordination to that of newly liberated exiles who had not journeyed alone and asked God to make Scott’s ministry “a life giving spring of water.”
Anderson was ordained to the office in the 1980’s but set aside his ordination in 1990 when news of his homosexuality was made public by members of his congregation. He has served as executive director of the California Council of Churches and, currently, the Wisconsin Council of Churches in the intervening years. Through those years he has continued to press the denomination to open its doors to allowing same-sex partnered persons to be able to be ordained.
He has said that he hopes to be able to return to service as a pastor of a local church congregation.
Anderson closed the service by giving thanks for those who had supported him along his journey and also expressed gratitude for those who disagreed with today’s event but remained rooted in the knowledge that we are all one in Christ Jesus.