Click here for items on
sexual justice in 2010.
Items on sexual justice from past years are
The Bible and
Documentary explores scripture and homosexuality, while also
telling five families’ journeys of faith
We have reported before on
the new film For the Bible Tells Me So, which was shown
at the Covenant Network of Presbyterians’ conference in Atlanta.
It is now being released more widely around the country, and
Presbyterian News Service has published a story about its
production and its content.
Christian "ex-gay" movement grows, brainwashing thousands
In a lengthy survey of various programs claiming to “cure”
homosexuals, Casey Sanchez begins by looking at “Love in Action”
in Memphis, Tenn. But he views it in the wider context of some
200 similar programs around the country, and says:
Today, Love in Action is part of a booming phenomenon that is
also known as the "sexual reorientation therapy" movement, an
effort that is reflected in the hundreds of programs attached to
religious organizations across the United States. Although the
stated aim of the movement is to turn gays straight and bring
them to God, it actually now has as much to do with battling the
gay rights movement by trying to prove that sexuality is not an
immutable characteristic like race or gender. Ex-gay ministries
began as redoubts for men and women trying to reconcile their
faith and sexuality. But in the hands of the anti-gay Christian
Right, they have become full-fledged propaganda machines
depicting gays as sex-addicted, mentally ill, and stunted
The full article
MLP Rainbow Corps
goes to work again in New Orleans
A More Light
Presbyterians team of seven volunteers joined others in New
Orleans to help in the ongoing rebuilding efforts.
To take a look at their report >>
AIDS Day, December 1, 2007
Remembering, Praying & Taking Action:
According to amFAR and UNAIDS estimates, there are now
close to 40 million people living with HIV, including
2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million
people became newly infected with the virus. Around
half of all people who become infected with HIV do so
before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they
Today, 25 million people have died of AIDS.
Worldwide, 15 million children have been orphaned by
AIDS. Nearly 12,000 people become newly infected
Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live
in developing nations. And, HIV today is a threat to
men, women and children on all continents around the
Started on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is
not just about raising money, but also about
increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and
improving education. World AIDS Day is important in
reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and
that there are many things still to be
done. (information from
We encourage all those within the More Light
Presbyterian Community around the country, in every
church, presbytery, campus ministry or seminary
community to do at least 3 things on this World AIDS
Day, December 1.
We invite you to remember those you have loved and lost
to HIV/AIDS from within your family, circle of friends,
school or workplace and church.
We encourage you to create an annual ritual on this Day
by gathering for prayer, lighting of candles, saying
names of loved ones out loud, or in your heart. And,
thank God for knowing and loving those for whom there is
no one to remember them.
Check with your local HIV/AIDS Community Service
organization to see if there are World AIDS Day events
near you and join them. If your church, MLP Chapter,
campus ministry or seminary community is not
participating in or offering a World AIDS Day event or
prayer vigil this year, then commit now to doing one for
next years' World AIDS Day, December 1, 2008. You have
a whole year to plan well.
from Michael Adee,
National Field Organizer,
More Light Presbyterians
the Bible Tells Me So
documentary film looks at people of faith dealing with scripture
and homosexuality – lovingly.
A synopsis from the film’s website:
Can the love
between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm
separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross?
Is the Bible an excuse to hate?
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle
International Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative,
entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality
and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that
Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a
significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the
Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today
without feeling obliged to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath
or eats shrimp (as a literal reading of scripture dictates).
Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian,
very American families -- including those of former House
Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene
Robinson -- we discover how insightful people of faith handle
the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such
respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes,
Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR
THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding
to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual
RainbowCorps 2007: New Orleans
invitation from More Light Presbyterians:
Join us... for the weekend of November 16 -
18, a day or two, or the entire week of November 12 - 18 ...
Ready to make a difference serving with
RainbowCorps by doing hurricane relief work in the City of New
All are welcome! Plan now to join a team of More Light
Presbyterians and Reconciling Methodists by doing Katrina relief
work with First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans. RainbowCorps
is a mission service initiative of More Light Presbyterians
launched in 2006.
You can register online now at
You can download and print out
pdf flyer with details and mail-in registration information.
Presbyterians call for support of the truly inclusive Employment
Non-Discrimination Act H.R. 2015
Presbyterian Equality Project, the LGBT civil rights initiative
of More Light Presbyterians, we have been working to ensure that
our entire LGBT community is included in and protected by ENDA
2007. We want to make sure that ENDA includes transgender
persons and gender identity. This is why we support H.R. 2015.
Join us in this historic effort!
Bear Ride, Co-Moderator and Michael J. Adee, National Field
PEP, Presbyterian Equality Project, More Light Presbyterians
More information and links >>
The Soul-Sucking, Imagination-Challenged, Trust-Bereft Thing
We Call The Examination of Candidates for Ordination
The Rev. Jan Edmiston, pastor
of Fairlington Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA, writes a
passionate invitation for us all to rethink the ways we treat
candidates for ordination in our presbyteries.
Her essay >>
Presbyterian Equality Project calls for support of ENDA & the
Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act in Congress
from More Light Presbyterians, September 22, 2007
The Presbyterian Equality Project calls upon all members of
Congress to support ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
of 2007, and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act of 2007.
Presbyterian Equality Project, or PEP, the LGBT civil-rights
initiative of More Light Presbyterians, was recently launched at
the National Welcoming and Affirming Presbyterian Conference,
Atlanta, GA over Labor Day weekend.
The social witness policies of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
have called for non-discrimination, fairness and justice in
civil society for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons
and their families in a variety of measures for more than three
PEP, the Presbyterian Equality Project, as the new LGBT
civil-rights initiative of More Light Presbyterians, is
collecting and lifting up the social witness policies of long
standing in the Presbyterian Church (USA) that support
nondiscrimination, fairness and justice for LGBT persons and
their families. "While our Church is still seeking the spirit of
Jesus about LGBT persons inside of our denomination, it has
spoken without equivocation about nondiscrimination, fairness
and justice for LGBT persons in civil society," declared Michael
J. Adee, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Adee is an openly gay Elder in
the Presbyterian Church (USA) and National Field Organizer for
More Light Presbyterians.
Bear Ride, Co-Moderator, said: "We are grateful that official
letters of support for both ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Hate
Crimes Act from our Stated Clerk, Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, are
being made available to members of Congress this next week as
these historic decisions are being made in Washington, DC. Those
members of Congress who are Presbyterian need to know that the
social witness policy of their Church supports both ENDA and the
Matthew Shepherd Hate Crime Act, and that both are matters of
Christian faith, justice and public policy."
These official letters of support for both ENDA and the
Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act are a result of PEP, the
Presbyterian Equality Project, working in partnership with the
Religion and Faith Program of the
Human Rights Campaign,
The Presbyterian Equality Project asks you to
contact your member of Congress now
to ask for her or his support of ENDA and Hate Crimes Act of
2007. We call upon all members of Congress to do the right thing
by supporting fairness and justice by voting for both ENDA and
the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.
"Liberating Love, Celebrating Hope!"
More Light Presbyterians
gather for national conference in Decatur, Georgia
With the theme "Liberating Love, Celebrating
Hope!" some 75 registered participants and many drop-ins came
together at North Decatur Presbyterian Church from August 31
through September 2.
The group heard presentations by Michael Adee,
Erin Swenson, Jack Rogers, and many more.
Hudson River Presbytery being asked to consider another
"delete B" overture
On Monday, September 10, 2007, the Faith &
Order Committee of the Presbytery of Hudson River, New York,
will consider an Overture from the Palisades Presbyterian
Church, New York, for the deletion of G-6.0106b and a New
Authoritative Interpretation, which would remove the amendment
and language from the Book of Order that is most frequently used
to prevent sisters and brothers who are Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual,
and Transgender (LGBT) from serving as leaders in the PC(USA).
More on the PJC judgment against Rev. Jane
Spahr's action in performing same-sex marriages [8-28-07]
More Light Presbyterians comments with regret about the
decision, and offers further thoughts on the conviction that
"love matters most."
On the same web page you will find a long AP
report, and more.
Presbyterian News Service reports on the Synod of the
Pacific PJC action, overturning the acquittal by the by the
Presbytery of the Redwoods' PJC of the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr for
performing weddings for two lesbian couples.
|Rev. Janie Spahr found guilty of misconduct for lesbian
very brief AP report begins:
A veteran Presbyterian minister was found
guilty of violating church law for officiating the weddings
of two lesbian couples, the minister's defense team said
According to her defense team, the Permanent
Judicial Commission of the Synod of the Pacific ruled 6-2 that
while the Rev. Jane Spahr of San Rafael "acted with conscience
and conviction," her actions were still at odds with the
The ruling reverses a decision by the PJC of
the Presbytery of the Redwoods in March 2006, which said that
she acted within her rights as an ordained minister when she
married two lesbian couples in 2004 and 2005.
Sources in That All May Freely Serve are
saying that her case will probably be appealed to the PJC of the
For more comments, see
the TAMFS website and
Janie Spahr’s own website
Appeal hearing in Spahr same-sex marriage case set for Friday
Synod of the Pacific PJC to hear Redwoods Presbytery
The Rev. Jane Adams Spahr, who was acquitted last year on
charges that she violated the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s
constitutional ban on performing same-sex marriages, is headed
back to church court on Friday (Aug. 17).
The judicial proceeding comes after Redwoods Presbytery
appealed the March 3, 2006, acquittal of Spahr by its Permanent
Judicial Commission (PJC), which determined Spahr acted within
her rights as an ordained minister when she married two lesbian
couples in 2004 and 2005.
report from Presbyterian News Service >>
Lutherans vote not to punish gay ministers
passes on to a task force the issues of homosexuals' ordination
and blessings for same-sex unions.
A national assembly of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America urged its bishops Saturday (August
11) to refrain from defrocking gay and lesbian ministers who
violate a celibacy rule, but it rejected measures that would
have permitted ordaining gays churchwide.
Still, advocates for full inclusion of gays were encouraged,
calling the resolution a powerful statement in support of clergy
with same-sex partners. The conservative group Lutheran CORE was
critical of the vote, saying bishops would now feel more secure
in ignoring denomination policy.
The 538-431 vote came on the final day of a weeklong meeting in
Chicago -- and after emotional debate over how the denomination
should interpret the Bible on homosexuality.
The report in the LA Times >>
More Light Presbyterians has
issued a brief statement praising this action, quoting Emily
Eastwood, Executive Director of Lutherans Concerned who said of
the vote: "The church is on the road to acceptance. The end of
exclusion is in sight."
Remembering and celebrating the life of
Presbyterian theologian Letty Russell
The Rev. Letty Mandeville
Russell, one of the world's foremost feminist theologians and
longtime member of the Yale Divinity School faculty, died July
12 at her home in Guilford, CT. She was 77.
Russell was one of the first
women ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
and served the East Harlem Protestant Parish in New York City
from 1952-68, including 10 years as pastor of the Presbyterian
Church of the Ascension. She joined the faculty of Yale Divinity
School in 1974 and served there until her retirement in 2001. In
retirement, she continued to teach some courses at Yale Divinity
School as a visiting professor.
The rest of
the report from Presbyterian News Service >>
More Light Presbyterians issued this statement on July 13, 2007:
Celebrating the Life, Ministry & Legacy of Letty Russell
Yesterday we lost one of the most valiant and thoughtful
theologians, teachers, writers, visionaries and spirits of our
generation, the beloved Letty Russell. More Light Presbyterians
gives thanks for the life, ministry and legacy of Letty Russell,
and we extend our condolence and prayers to her beloved partner
MLP statement >>
Lutheran Pastor Bradley
Schmeling removed from clergy roster because he is gay
More Light Presbyterians express disagreement
with decision, support for Schmeling
The Rev. Bradley Schmeling lost another
skirmish with the nation's largest Lutheran denomination over
the fact that he is in a gay relationship.
But he and his flock at Atlanta's St. John's
Lutheran Church intend to take the battle national.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
announced Thursday it has removed Schmeling from its list of
approved ministers because of his long-term relationship with a
Schmeling and members of St. John's in Druid
Hills say they will travel to a national church conference in
August to try to change the minds of delegates on gay issues.
The rest of the report, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
More Light Presbyterians decry Schmeling decision & stand in
MLP has responded with a statement which
We are deeply disappointed by the recent
decisions of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Committee on Appeals to deny the appeal of Pastor Bradley
Schmeling and to remove him immediately from the clergy roster
of his denomination.
We stand in solidarity with the vision of full
participation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons
and their families in the life, ministry and witness of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and our sisters and
brothers of Lutherans Concerned North America who are faithfully
laboring to make that vision a reality within the ELCA, one of
the denominations that the Presbyterian Church (USA) is in
The complete statement >>
St. John’s congregation responds
John Ballew, president of St. John’s
congregation, has stated that they intend "to go to Churchwide
Assembly in August, to witness to our ELCA the costs of this
decision, based on an absurd policy. This is not just about us
and our wonderful pastor; this is about all those called to
minister to God’s people, who lead exemplary lives, who provide
a model for faithful, loving companionship with each other and
The full statement >>
One 'I do' for gay marriage
New York State Assembly votes 85-61 to pass bill; no
action scheduled in Senate [6-20-07]
ALBANY, NY – After more than three hours of
impassioned debate, the Assembly on Tuesday night approved a
bill to allow same-sex marriage in New York.
Even though the bill is not slated for
discussion in the Senate, proponents said the Assembly action
was an important first step if New York is ever to legalize such
"I'm very proud of my colleagues," said a
buoyant Daniel O'Donnell, D-Manhattan, an openly gay lawmaker
who carried the bill on behalf of Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The bill
passed 85-61, more than he'd expected.
Gay marriage upheld in Massachusetts – the only state where
it’s legal [6-15-07]
The Massachusetts legislature voted yesterday
to keep same-gender marriage legal in Massachusetts. It would
have taken only fifty votes out of two hundred to send a measure
to the voters which would have banned same-sex marriage, but
only forty-five legislators voted in favor of putting this civil
right out for the voters to decide.
The report from Reuters begins:
Gay marriage in Massachusetts withstood a
challenge on Thursday when lawmakers beat back a four-year
effort by social conservatives to ban same-sex unions in the
only U.S. state where they are legal.
With 1,000 protesters from both sides of
the debate rallying outside the gold-domed statehouse, the
Democratic-controlled legislature voted 151-45 to block the
amendment that would have allowed voters to decide whether
to ban same-sex marriage in a 2008 ballot.
The rest of the story >>
Keynoters announced for More Light conference
Swenson and Jack Rogers will serve as
two of the keynote speakers at the National More Light
Presbyterians Conference, being held August 31 - September 2,
2007 in Atlanta, GA. Each of them will also offer
thought-provoking educational workshops.
The Rev. Dr. Jack Rogers was Moderator
of the 213th General Assembly, is a Presbyterian minister,
Professor Emeritus of Theology at San Francisco Theological
Seminary & Fuller Theological Seminary, and author of the
best-selling Jesus, the Bible & Homosexuality, Explode the
Myths, Heal the Church.
The Rev. Dr. Erin K. Swenson is also a
Presbyterian minister, and is a pastoral counselor, transgender
educator and inspirational speaker. She was the first minister
in mainline Christianity to maintain pastoral credentials after
gender transition. She is co-founder of SAGE, the Southern
Association for Gender Education, and recently served as
Co-Moderator, National MLP Board of Directors.
For more information and to register, go to
Gay groups express concern about Surgeon
General nominee [6-7-07]
The Associated Press reported yesterday (June
6) that President Bush's nominee for surgeon general, Kentucky
cardiologist Dr. James Holsinger, has come under fire from gay
rights groups for voting to expel a lesbian pastor from the
United Methodist Church, and writing in 1991 that gay sex is
unnatural and unhealthy. Also, Holsinger helped found a
Methodist congregation that, according to gay rights activists,
believes homosexuality is a matter of choice and can be "cured."
The rest of the story >>
Soulforce has issued a statement on the nomination of Dr.
It’s time to break the silence, and
respect freedom of conscience
Soon after we posted
Michael Adee’s comment on the
death of Bill Silver, we received this note from Tim
Leadingham, a Witherspoon member living in Coulee Dam,
following quote is from Michael Adee in eulogizing Bill Silver:
The silence about homosexuality has been broken.
Misunderstandings and false witness about us are slowly and
surely going away. People understand more about same-sex
love and are more critically and responsibly reading
The bold phrase describes our pastor, Les Bishop, who was
denied membership in a presbytery simply for holding a
conscientious interpretation of scripture that the New
Testament does not blanket condemn all same-sex
relationships. He did not perform any action or propose to
do so in violation of any provision of the Book of Order.
Yet, the silence on this issue, that of freedom of
conscience in interpretation of scripture on
non-essential matters, continues.
How will "misunderstandings and false witness" ever go
the way of slavery, if we remain silent on this kind of
unjust abuse of power by the presbyteries? The Book of Order
is clear that presbyteries and higher bodies have the
responsibility to respect freedom of conscience in
interpretation of scripture in non-essential matters, which
this clearly is. Look it up, people!
For the sake of Christ Our Lord,
Celebrating the life, death & witness of William David
Silver, a son of our Church.
From Michael J. Adee, M.Div.,
Ph.D., National Field Organizer for More Light Presbyterians
June 4, 2007 [posted here 6-5-07]
With sadness, a sense of pathos,
and with thanksgiving for the life of Bill Silver, those
of us within More Light Presbyterians recognize the life,
ministry and witness of William David Silver, and his
recent death as noted in today's
New York Times obituary.
Bill Silver is remembered as one of the pioneers
of the welcoming and affirming, More Light Movement in the
Presbyterian Church (USA), along with his friends and colleagues
who preceded him in death: David Sindt and Rosemarie
As we mark Bill's life and his passing, I ponder the divine
reunion of these three friends on the other side. What do the
lives, gifts for ministries and witness of David, Rosemarie and
Bill tell the Church today? How do their lives, and the loss of
their ministries, inform our prayers, faith journeys, our
understanding of the Gospel, Scripture, the teachings of Jesus
and our strivings to live faithfully together as the
Presbyterian Church (USA), part of God's realm on earth?
It seems quite extraordinary that the same conversations from
the early 1970's about recognition, acceptance and equality for
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and same gender loving
persons and their families continue today. When will these
conversations mature into action, acceptance and justice?
Signs of hope surround us in the midst of our striving
together for full participation in the life, ministry and
witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It is no longer 1975
when Bill sought recognition of his call and gifts for ministry.
The silence about homosexuality has been broken.
Misunderstandings and false witness about us are slowly and
surely going away. People understand more about same-sex love
and are more critically and responsibly reading their Bibles.
The welcoming and affirming More Light Movement which began
necessarily as a sanctuary movement is now an advocacy movement
that continues to extend safe space while working for spiritual,
ordination and marriage equality. Churches all over the country
are stepping up to affiliate, minister and witness as welcoming
and affirming More Light Churches. Calls to end discrimination
against LGBT people are made at every General Assembly. The
Presbyterian Church (USA) is poised to become a just, loving,
welcoming and affirming Church.
Of course, part of the pathos is that we have lost Bill,
David, Rosemarie and countless other persons who deserved to be
loved, accepted, welcomed and affirmed in the Church that
baptized, taught them faith and raised them.
So, it is with gratitude that we recognize the life and
recent death of Bill Silver. Our care, condolences and
prayers are with his sister Betsy, brother Jim, and other family
with hope and grace,
Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., National Field Organizer
More Light Presbyterians(505) 820-7082,
A Retreat for LGBT
Presbyterian Seminarians, Candidates & Inquirers
June 7 - 10, 2007
at a retreat center in rural Michigan*
This announcement comes
from More Light Presbyterians
More Light Presbyterians is pleased to serve
as a co-sponsor with Presbyterian Welcome; Immanuel Presbyterian
Church, Montgomery, Alabama; and other LGBT affirming groups and
churches for this special retreat designed for LGBT Presbyterian
Seminarians, Candidates and Inquirers.
*For more information, registration or
scholarship information please contact
the Rev. Mieke Vandersall, Minister Director, Presbyterian
Welcome, by phone at (917) 441-8638 or email at
Co-Moderator, More Light Presbyterians, will be participating in
this retreat as a resource person and polity consultant. We are
also supplying educational resource packets for all retreat
participants. For more information about the retreat, the
ordination process, polity consultations, etc. you can reach
Bear via email at
|PJC says ordination standards include ministerial
The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has affirmed that the
standards for ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians extend to those
seeking to become candidates for the ministry.
The statement came in a ruling issued last week by the
PC(USA)'s General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) in the case
of George R. Stewart vs. Mission Presbytery.
The case involved a woman who in October 2005 was accepted as a candidate
for ministry by Mission Presbytery, which is based in San Antonio, TX. The
presbytery voted to approve her candidacy even though its moderator informed
members that the candidate "is a lesbian and lives in a committed (same-sex)
The full story from
Presbyterian News Service >>
Presbyterians recommends ...
OutFront Arizona Conference:
Blessing All Our Families
June 1 - 2, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona
More Light Presbyterians is delighted to be one of the
national sponsors of this extraordinary 2-day conference celebrating and
offering education about LGBT persons, relationships and families within a
faith context in Phoenix, June 1 - 2.
Sylvia Thorson-Smith, Mike Smith and
Marvin Ellison are presenters at the conference. MLP is offering a
LGBT/faith educational resource table.
This OutFront Arizona Conference is being offered by the
Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific
School of Religion, and No Longer Silent, Clergy for Justice coalition in
Arizona. First Congregational UCC Church, Phoenix, is the host church.
For those of you in the Southwest particularly, we
encourage you to participate in this conference. The worship, speakers and
workshops are a strong program which includes our Marvin Ellison, Professor
of Ethics and Presbyterian minister, Bangor Theological Seminary. The
conference flyer follows this invitation. Scholarships are available to
students and those on limited income.
For more information on the conference and registration,
please go to www.clgs.org or contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or the
National MLP Field Office (505) 820-7082.
With hope and grace,
Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., National Field Organizer, More Light
"Liberating Love" is
national theme for More Light Sunday, June 3, 2007
An announcement from More
Light Presbyterians [4-25-07]
This is the fourth year of the annual tradition of
celebrating the presence, faith and gifts
that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their parents and
families bring to the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church
How does Love liberate us? What is liberating about God's love for us, and
for all the world? What is liberating about being in love? What is
liberating about our love for each other as part of the Body of Christ and
the realm of God on earth?
What actions are required of us to liberate Love in our lives, churches,
communities, nation and world? How is God calling us in this time and place
to liberate Love? How might God be calling you, and all of us, to set God's
Love free to do its life-giving, life-saving work? These are questions and
meditations we offer for this More Light Sunday.
For more information, worship resources, and to sign up as a participating
An invitation from More Light Presbyterians:
April 15 - 17 Celebrations, Community and a Call for Justice & Equality in
Washington, DC [4-4-07]
The Open Doors Chapter of More Light Presbyterians in National Capital
Presbytery, Washington, D.C., is offering an open invitation to a variety of
events on April 15-17, in conjunction with the Clergy Call fo Justice and
Equality in Washington.
Michael Adee, National Field Organizer for More Light Presbyterians, will
be the featured speaker at two events on Sunday, April 15.
Everyone in the Washington area is warmly invited.
More Light Presbyterians to
participate in the historic Clergy Call for Justice &
Equality, April 16 - 17, Washington, DC
A note from Michael Adee, National Field Organizer for
More Light Presbyterians, with a call for your participation, your voice and
Calling for Justice and Equality
Clergy committed to spiritual and civil equality for LGBT
persons and their families from all 50 states will converge upon Washington,
DC to rally and lobby Congress on Capitol Hill on April 17.
Focusing upon lobby visits with Congress, we will meet
with our representatives to call for the end of discrimination by lobbying
for ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that protects LGBT persons
from discrimination in the workplace. We will also lobby for the passage of
hate crimes legislation that is inclusive of hate crimes against sexual
orientation and gender identity.
I have been invited to serve with the contingent from New
Mexico as well as the national representative from More Light Presbyterians.
This historic Clergy Call for Justice and Equality, a
Gathering in the Nation's Capital on April 17, is being sponsored by HRC's
Religion and Faith Program. By HRC's Religion and Faith Program, we are
being called to: "Join clergy from around the country to raise public
awareness of the need for Congress to pass legislation to combat
hate-motivated violence and end workplace discrimination against gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. The time is right for the
passage of these bills and clergy can make the difference."
Calling for Equality in Church and Society
More Light Presbyterians remain wholeheartedly committed
to: spiritual equality, ordination equality and marriage equality for LGBT
persons and their families. Working to end discrimination in civil society
against LGBT persons and their families is in harmony and supports our
initiatives to achieve spiritual, ordination and marriage equality within
the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Calling for Participation
For More Light Presbyterians in or near Washington, DC,
you are welcome to join us for an Interfaith Celebration, April 16, 7 PM - 9
PM, All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard Street NW, Washington, DC. You are also
welcome to join us for the Clergy Call for Justice and Equality gathering
April 17, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Holiday Inn on the Hill, 425 New Jersey Avenue
NW, Washington, DC. The press conference is set for 10:30 AM. Congressional
lobby visits are 1 PM - 5 PM.
For more information, to register for this Gathering -
www.hrc.org and go to the "Religion
and Faith" section
Calling for Presbyterian Voices, Dreams & Prayers
I want to ensure that as many Presbyterian voices, wishes
and dreams related to LGBT justice and equality as possible get expressed
during this historic gathering, rally and lobby day in Washington, DC.
Please do send your thoughts, wishes and dreams about LGBT justice and
equality to me at
email@example.com so that your voice can be lifted among others in
Washington, DC on April 16 and 17.
Please join More Light Presbyterians in prayer for this
gathering, rally and the Congressional lobby visits that indeed it will
become clear to all that LGBT Americans continue to be denied full, equal,
civil rights and protections afforded to heterosexuals and that this reality
is unjust, unfair and immoral. Now is the time for equality. Now is the time
May the prayer from the ancient Hebrew prophet Amos be
fulfilled on April 17 in our Nation's Capital: "Let justice roll down
like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
with hope and grace,
PS - please join us in prayer for this rally for LGBT
justice and equality, and if you want to share your voice, wish or dream for
April 16 -17 send it to
Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., National Field Organizer
More Light Presbyterians, 369
Montezuma Avenue # 447, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 USA (505) 820-7082,
Finding a new place to answer call
Gay graduate of Austin Seminary leaves denomination to pursue ministry.
A message from Michael Adee, National Field Organizer
of More Light Presbyterians
Karen Thompson said she is sad, but not bitter that the
Presbyterian Church is still struggling with sexuality issues in ordaining
ministers. God led her to the seminary, she says, though now she'll be
answering his call to serve elsewhere
Please join us in prayers of blessing for Karen Thompson,
Austin Theological Seminary graduate, who is leaving the Presbyterian Church
(USA) to follow God's call to serve as a pastor in another denomination, the
Metropolitan Community Church.
The rest of
Adee’s note >>
Has Anyone Asked The Women? Or, well, how about
asking the LGBT folks?
Becce Bettridge, Director of
the Network of Presbyterian Women in Leadership, attended the recent New
Wineskins Association of Churches' Convocation in Orlando, Florida. As she
summarizes her experience, "New Wineskins [has] issued
for congregations to leave the PCUSA and join with the EPC (Evangelical
Presbyterian Church). New Wineskins perceives this realignment as an
opportunity for PCUSA congregations to be united with a denomination they
consider to be a more faithful body of believers. As I engaged in
conversations with members of the EPC and listened to speakers representing
the EPC, I found myself asking questions about the ordination of women as
officers in the proposed New Wineskins-EPC churches."
In response to this experience, she
wrote an essay entitled
"Has anyone asked the women?"
One concerned Presbyterian woman, Karen
Ellen Kavey of Chappaqua, New York, responded to her with
a very thoughtful open
letter, which she has kindly shared with us.
New complaint filed in Pittsburgh same-sex marriage case
14 accusers say Janet Edwards willfully defied ordination vows, church
A new complaint has been filed against the Rev. Janet Edwards, the
Presbyterian minister in Pittsburgh who last year was taken to church court
for marrying a lesbian couple, only to have the charges dropped because the
court found they were filed four days late.
The Rev. James C. Yearsley, a Presbyterian minister who is currently
serving in Florida, filed a complaint against Edwards shortly after she
performed the marriage in June 2005, only to see the charges against her
dismissed because a special investigating committee filed charges against
Edwards after its deadline for doing so.
But now a new case may be brought against Edwards, who has been an
activist for the full participation of gay and lesbian people in the church.
Yearsley announced last month that he has submitted a new grievance
against Edwards that alleges she acted in "willful and deliberate defiance"
of her ordination vows and of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church
Yearsley and the 13 other ministers and elders are being represented by
Paul Rolf Jensen, a southern California attorney who has filed dozens of
similar complaints against Presbyterian ministers and governing bodies
throughout the United States.
The full report
from Presbyterian News Service >>
A little background >>
Reflections from Mount Kilimanjaro ....the Roof of Africa
Michael Adee, National Field Organizer for More Light
Presbyterians, has sent his thoughts on his recent trek to the mountaintop
... a journey to celebrate freedom, and the dignity of all God’s people that
is his own deep commitment. His
Ecumenical workshop planned on developing welcoming
ministry for LGBT persons/families
This announcement comes to us from More Light Presbyterians
Ready to revitalize, deepen or begin a welcoming and affirming ministry
or group in your local church, college, seminary campus or community?
If so -- MLP is co-sponsoring a faith-based community organizing workshop
next month - March 15 - 18 in Chicago with you and your church or
group in mind.
elusive as churches weary of gay clergy debate
Many members say they would like to move on to
religious mission [2-5-07]
An article in this morning's Atlanta
Journal-Constitution opens with the headlines above. The
reporter's basic point is that church members (Presbyterians, along with
Lutherans, Episcopalians and others, on both sides of the debates about
ordination and same-sex marriage) are increasingly anxious to get on with
what they see as the church's primary mission. As one Presbyterian
elder says, that means "helping
the poor, the homeless, the community at large."
Read the article on-line >>
Michael J. Adee, National Field Organizer for More Light Presbyterians,
has written a thoughtful essay exploring the implications of the article for
people who are committed to working for the full inclusion of lgbt
Presbyterians in the life and ministries of the PC(USA).
Covenant Network offers resources as controversies
multiply on matters of justice in ordination, equality in marriage, and more
The Covenant Network has sent out this note about the
The 217th General Assembly, in adopting the
recommendations of the Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity, and
Purity of the Church, offered the PCUSA an invitation to step back from
controversy and concentrate on living together as brothers and sisters whose
love of one another in Jesus Christ supersedes our differences.
Sadly, some Presbyterians seem either addicted to
conflict, or unwilling to tolerate views that differ from their own. In some
presbyteries, peace, unity and purity have been elusive; and yet, across the
denomination Presbyterians still seek to live out their faith and live into
the opportunities and responsibilities highlighted by the GA’s action.
The Covenant Network of Presbyterians has been developing
resources to help. I hope you have already discovered Guidelines for
Examination of Church Officers (2006),which you can access by
The Guidelines are meant to be shared widely, and
we hope that you will study and use this resource in your session and
presbytery. Also available from the online store is a CD, Legal Resources
in the Presbyterian Church (USA), which contains pertinent GA PJC cases
and other documents (including the Guidelines) that will be helpful
to those dealing with the intricacies of ordination, same-sex unions, church
property and other controversial issues.
Transgender ministers gather to explore and affirm their continuing call
The Rev. Erin Swenson,
a Presbyterian minister member of Greater Atlanta Presbytery, is featured in
a recent Newsweek special report on the first National Transgender
Religious Summit, held last weekend at the Pacific School of Religion in
About 65 ministers, priests and rabbis joined in
discussing their various denominations’ policies, ways to work within them
and ways to challenge and transform them.
Swenson has long been active in the leadership of More
Light Presbyterians, and in interpreting the transgender experience for
others, while she also helps transgender persons deal with their own
Newsweek article >>
Click here for items on
sexual justice posted from mid-2008 through 2009.
Items on sexual justice from past years are
Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!