Turning Points – available from the CovNet E-Store — is a documentary about Presbyterians struggling with the denomination’s previous barriers to ordination for LGBT Presbyterians. Though the PCUSA has now removed those barriers in the Book of Order, the stories told in the video are still pertinent as hearts and minds continue to change.
Each section focuses on a particular story and is surrounded by thoughtful theological comment by deeply respected scholars including Walter Brueggemann, Shirley Guthrie, and Beverly Gaventa.
Turning Points opens with the poignant visit of Susie Smith, now a minister in the United Church of Christ, to her former Presbyterian congregation in South Carolina. Congregation members speak to the camera and to Susie about how their lives were changed by her presence and her departure. The choice between one’s son and one’s church is the focus of the Calhoun family’s story in the second segment. The third story recounts a tragic moment of misunderstanding in the life of a young minister and a daring act of reconciliation twenty years later. The fourth segment considers how a thriving congregation in the Midwest welcomes and includes gay and lesbian members.
This video was designed to be viewed by those who are still trying to discern the role God calls those who are Christian and gay or lesbian to take in Christ’s church. The video also speaks to those who are not currently members of a Christian community yet who have questions about what Christian scripture and teachings really say on the issue of whom God loves and calls to ministry.
The Religion Communicators Council selected Turning Points: Stories of Life and Change in the Church to receive the 2005 DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Award as Best in Class for Educational/Documentary Video.