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Lesbian Candidate for Ordination Welcomed with Love

Southern New England Presbytery has championed LGBT people in the PC(USA) but it has often been a contentious undertaking. This is the Presbytery of the Osborne case in the late 90s, and actions on the floor of presbytery have often been harsh and divisive. There are two More Light Churches and several welcoming and affirming churches in the presbytery and our friends in Presbyterian Promise have done very good work there over the years. Read more

Why Marriage Won This Time

Rev. Debra Peevey directed the efforts of More Light Presbyterians during the Amendment 10-A campaign. In the last election cycle, she directed faith efforts in Washington State to help pass Referendum 74, a ballot initiative to approve Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 allowing same-sex couples to marry. In a recent Keen News Service article, Debra discusses the contributions people of faith made in the significant marriage equality victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. Read more

An Advent Reflection

By Rev. Heidi Peterson

The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GA PJC—the highest court of our church) recently ruled in two separate cases on matters affecting the openness of the church.  The first case (Presbytery of Newark vs. Rev. Laurie McNeill) involves an ordained minister (Laurie McNeill) who married her life partner in a jurisdiction where same gender marriage is a civil right.  The GA PJC ruled that her act of marriage did not violate the church’s constitution.  Presbyterian ministers are prohibited from performing same-gender weddings.  However, nothing prohibits gay ministers from being married. Rev. McNeill’s ceremony was performed by an Episcopal priest.  The decision offered the observation that it is a “tortuous place in which the PCUSA finds itself on the matter of same-gender marriage.” Read more

Sign Faith Leader Petition Rejecting Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda

The Ugandan parliament is again considering the infamous anti-gay legislation (the Bahati Bill) that allows for the death penalty and imprisonment of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people.  Importantly, even talking about the human dignity of LGBT people could become a crime. People of faith and advocates alike who believe in the dignity of all and the availability of salvation to all could suffer imprisonment for supporting—or even discussing—the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Ugandans. Read more

Standing On Top of the Box Reaching for the Stars

By Nicole Garcia

I live outside of the binary gender system and strive not only think outside the box, but dare to stand on top of that box to reach for the stars. To describe how I do this, I will relate a small part of my story; is my own experience. I can only speak for me: a transgender Latina who has lived for 52 years. Read more

We Are One Human Family; Sharing Your Gender Story

By Alex McNeill

Friends, we have a lot of work to do. As an openly transgender inquirer for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), I continue to be pleased as punch that amendment 10A is now the law of the land. However, I am writing from the trenches to tell you that there is a lot of work to be done until we can celebrate the day that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are fully welcome in our denomination, let alone into our pulpits. Our victories are still bittersweet. For as many of us who have been ordained since 10A, or had charges dismissed for marrying our spouses, there are countless others who can’t find a call despite being certified and ready, or who face preparation committees or Presbyteries that use an open question time as a free invitation to abuse or berate us. Read more

Transgender Faith Leaders Create Welcoming Communities

GLAAD’s Religion, Faith, and Values Program is highlighting the achievements of trans faith leaders in this Transgender Awareness Week. Each of these faith leaders, including Rev. Dr. Erin Swenson in the Presbyterian Church (USA), have worked tirelessly to make our religious traditions more open and welcoming spaces for all people. Read more

I AM: Transgender Awareness Week

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.” ~Psalm 139:14-16

This week is Transgender Awareness Week culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Tuesday, November 20th. Each day leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance, MLP will share a story from I AM: Trans People Speak, a project of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. We encourage you to listen to these beautiful stories each day (watch our Facebook Page each day). Read more

Smudged Lenses

MLP board member Danny Morales, a candidate for ministry in the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, preached his first sermon last week at Riviera Presbyterian Church, the congregation where he is Associate Pianist and Pastoral Assistant. We invite you to share in this moment of Danny’s unfolding ministry by reading his sermon below. Read more

More Light Church Challenges Boy Scouts’ Anti-LGBT Policy

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, a welcoming and affirming More Light Church in Maryland, has formally challenged the Boy Scouts of America’s recent reaffirmation of their anti-gay policy and created a model for other congregations to follow. Pastor Mark Greiner recently shared a statement with the congregation reiterating support for their Boy Scout troop and their inclusive policy. Scout Troop 33 also adopted a rainbow theme for their annual pancake supper, a tradition that reaches back to the 1920s. Read more