This week, the Reformed Church in America’s General Synod will gather in Palos Heights, Illinois, to discuss a plethora of church business. Reports from various committees, overtures responding to requests of new business, and judicial matters will all be discussed in the upcoming 7 days. I will be a delegate from the seminary, as one of the “seminarian seminar” participants, there to learn more about the workings and processes of the RCA and of General Synod in particular.
One of the overtures before us comes from the Classis of New Brunswick. Overture 4 reads, in part:
The Classis of New Brunswick advises General Synod to acknowledge that therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation (…) called “reorientation therapy” (…) is ineffective and thus often a cause of increased risk of depression, post- traumatic stress, and suicide, [and] “reparative therapy,” (…); this discredited idea has led to parent-blaming and family misery. All this is contrary to the church’s goal of affirming and safeguarding all human life.
…we request that General Synod state that the RCA no longer supports the use of reorientation/reparative therapy and repents the harm the RCA has done by promoting this therapy in the past. 
As someone who is given neither vote nor voice at General Synod to speak on this matter (as seminarian seminar participants are not considered corresponding delegates), I feel taken to voice my opinions in a way that can heard and shared by those who can.
I need to speak in favor of this overture and ask my fellow delegates to speak in favor of it as well. I do not know what the Advisory Committee on Overtures and New Business will recommend for this particular overture, but I implore delegates to consider what this overture says.
While fully aware that statements made by General Synod are not binding on churches and classes, my hope is that the members of General Synod speak clearly and powerfully on this topic.
We need to send the message that being gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or transgender, or queer is not something to be fixed, and that the harmful practices of reorientation/reparative therapy need to be stopped. I consent that while there are differing opinions on whether or not homosexual behavior is sinful, I believe that regardless of belief, we can stand united behind this message.
Psalm 139:14 is a beautiful declaration of accepting who we are, not matter what our circumstances.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.”
By telling our LGBTQ neighbors that they need to be “fixed” denies the reality of Scripture, that even amidst the brokenness of the world, God has made us just the way we are. Our sexualities are part of our identities, and as such, are fearfully and wonderfully made. We can disagree on how we live out our sexual identities to be sure, but to encourage practices that are harmful and are built on the notion that LGBTQ people are broken is not cohesive with Scripture and the witness we are called to bear.
Supporting this overture does not mean that we believe God cannot change a person’s sexual orientation. Rather, it means that we recognize that the consistent testimony to the ineffectiveness of reorientation/reparative therapy and recognition of the harm that it causes means that we need to think more deeply about how God views our sexualities.
God can change a person’s sexual orientation. God can also choose to make pigs fly. However, God has shown that the vast majority of the time, neither of these things happen.
Delegates, supporting this overture means ending practices that are hurtful. It means supporting ministers to actually minister to LGBTQ persons, rather than just trying to “fix” them. And most importantly, it means that we recognize the complexity, mystery, and awe of what it means when we echo the Psalmist and process: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
 General Synod 2015 Workbook, Page 86 (mistakenly labeled as a duplicate #3)
 Psalm 139:14 – NRSV