Skip to content

Join the MLP Blogging Team

MLP is committed to bringing you personal commentary, inspiring news and social action that helps transform the church and society into a welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. In January, 2014 we launched an Editorial Board, a team consisting of key staff/board members and a volunteer advisory team that will assist us with movement listening, blog content development, and promotion. Read more

What’s love got to do with Ratification, Ferguson, and Congregations?

The answer for me is, everything. Unlike the amazing Tina Turner, I’m not talking about protecting our hearts so we may reap all the benefits of platonic relationships.  I’m talking about the fact there will always be pain and sadness on this side of the Jordan.  It’s unavoidable, it’s tiring, and honestly, it sucks.

It seems this American summer was just as bitter as it was sweet.  A lot was happening in our national community.  I have to agree with those who don’t believe there was ever a simpler time.  They’re onto something.  I think that’s why Tina, calls love “A second hand emotion” and “sweet old fashioned notion”.  Nostalgia binds us from acknowledging the painful truths of the past by just focusing on a good experienced by a dominant group. Read more

UMC #BiblicalObedience in #Ferguson

Though I’d love to be able to always know precisely all the details of what the Lord calls me to do, many times all I know to do is to “get a move on” as my late father used to say. To get up and be led by the Spirit, which is how Jesus ended up in the wilderness to be tempted, is not at all comfortable. Monday morning I had a prophetic discomfort. Waking up seeing the continued events in Ferguson, Missouri, I knew I was being called by God to go to Ferguson to give my support to the protesters, as they are demanding justice in light of the killing of 18-year old Michael Brown.

Bishop Mel Talbert has urged us to practice “Biblical Obedience.” Though the context of his urging is specifically related to justice and full inclusion within The United Methodist Church for LGBTQ persons I hear his plea more broadly aim. Succinctly put, it requires us, according to Micah 6:8; “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I’m practicing Biblical Obedience in Ferguson. Read more

Presbyqueerian and the Three Churches

Once upon a time there was a Presbyqueerian who lived in the City of Magnificent Intentions with lots of Family.  Even her church was filled with Family. They marched together through magical streets lined with rainbows, telling everyone they were safe and welcome and loved by God.  And they were. Even and especially people who had been clobbered before by the Trolls of the Troubling Texts. Many Family members, including the Presbyqueerian, had long ago slain the Troubling Text Trolls and would just as soon have left them behind and forgotten about them. But the Church in the City of Magnificent Intentions decided one summer to take on troll after troll, text after text, week after week.  Presbyqueerian knew it was important to help take on the trolls, but was not enthusiastic about facing them again — not because they were so scary anymore, but because she was so tired of fighting them. Read more

Ohio Faith Organizing Coordinator

Ohio Faith Organizing Coordinator (Part-time)

POSITION OVERVIEW

More Light Presbyterians seeks a part-time faith organizer based in Ohio to take the lead organizing Presbyterians for an educational campaign on fair treatment of all Ohioans regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. The position is a contract position for 15 hours a week through January 31, 2015.

More Light Presbyterians values education for congregations and clergy to know how to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. We know that through active engagement of leaders and congregations in Ohio toward this goal we can:  (a) educate the public that discrimination against LGBT people is still legal; (b) create greater understanding about the need for redress for the harms caused to LGBT people by discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations; and (c) counter oppositional education that uses religious freedom or religious exemptions as a means to discriminate when others seek to secure LGBT-inclusive statewide nondiscrimination protections. Read more

Communications Director job opening at More Light Presbyterians

Communications Director (part-time)

This job is title is “Communications Director” — because that’s the closest approximation we could find — but really this position is about so much more. An ideal candidate (could it be you?) is somebody who’s willing to be bold about what’s possible for MLP’s communications in the future. We want creativity, collaboration and — above all else — somebody who wants to dive in and make this job their own. The movement for LGBTQ inclusion in the church and world is in an exciting place right now. We are in the process of achieving marriage equality in the PC(USA) as we are working on expanding our welcoming congregations. More Light Presbyterians is leading this movement, shaping the conversation and setting the course for the coming years. Everything this position does is vital to this effort.

One thing to note is that MLP doesn’t expect the ideal candidate to have all of the qualifications listed here. (But if you’re a unicorn and you, in fact, do have all of these then by all means please apply immediately if not sooner.) We’re more interested in somebody who has some of these qualifications but is willing to learn the others they’re lacking. We want somebody who’s going to work hard, be a team player and show real passion for our mission. MLP is dedicated to leadership development and if you have some but not all of these qualifications, apply anyway! We can make sure you get the training you need along the way.

Read more

Heteronormativity and the Book of Order

[Disclaimer:  one of the functions of the MLP editorial board is to lift up alternate perspectives around the church. If others have a different take on this or other issues, your comments are also welcome here. ]

As I watched John Wilkinson offer an amendment to the proposed amendment to the Book of Order on marriage at the 221st General Assembly in Detroit, my heart sank. A clean simple statement that marriage involves commitment “between two people” had to be qualified: “between two people, traditionally one man and one woman.”

With the amendment coming from a More Light church pastor, and with this not being my first observation of GA plenary, I immediately recognized the move as strategy. I appreciated the “big tent” intention to include a wide range of views on marriage in the PCUSA. I understood the strategic move to appease some “traditional marriage” advocates in the church in order to ensure passage of the amendment in the presbyteries. Still,  this is deeply problematic language to enshrine in our constitution. Read more

Follow MLP at the 221st General Assembly

More Light Presbyterians will be blogging from the 221st General Assembly in Detroit at:

http://ga221.org

Sacred Work as Old as the Church

Recently I spent an afternoon at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, doing some research for a group who are bringing an overture to General Assembly, the governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

It had been a long time since I’d been in a historical society, but the smell of old paper, the hush of the reading room, the pressing desire to read everything soon seemed familiar again. The historical society is located in the heart of Old City Philadelphia, not far from Independence Hall, Washington Square, and the Liberty Bell, touchstones of our nation’s struggle, so many years ago, to forge a path to independence, liberty, and justice for all. Of course, historians of American history and activists alike agree that this struggle continues for many in the US, even with advances in rights for immigrants, people of color, women and LGBT couples. Read more

Inspired and Inclusive Equality: Going Back to Detroit to GA for Daddy

For the better part of the last thirty years, my father has been a social justice activist serving as a leader within his Christian denomination, most specifically in various leadership roles where he could be an advocate for anti-racism education, universal health care, peace with justice in the middle East, and for full inclusion of our LGBTQ family within the body of Christ. Read more