More light = you. One of the aspects I love about More Light Presbyterians is that we value not just one light, or two lights, but MORE light shining in this movement. We recognize that fairness, equality, and welcome for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people within the church and our world will only truly happen when many voices are raised together. Read more
More Light Presbyterians is happy to welcome Highlands United Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming into our family of More Light churches. The Highlands faith community is our first More Light church in the State of Wyoming!
The Session voted to become More Light understanding that they may face some pushback for the decision. Wyoming is a conservative state with a largely Republican electorate where LGBTQ rights often challenge strongly held religious beliefs. For example, First Presbyterian Church in Casper left the Presbyterian Church (USA) last year to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church because of the denomination’s decision to ordain openly lesbian and gay candidates for the ministry. Read more
Jane Erikson is a member of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ, the site of MLP’s National Conference this past September. Here is her reflection on the conference and a thanksgiving greeting from St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Tucson, AZ.
When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on June 26, my immediate response was exhilaration. Here was a giant step toward equality for my LGBTQ friends, and further evidence that justice was within our grasp. Read more
The holiday season begins next week with Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and New Year. For too many of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ), the holidays can feel more like Good Friday than Christmas Day. We feel spiritually homeless in our own families who were taught by the church that LGBTQ people are somehow outside of God’s perfect plan. Going home for the holidays can feel spiritually violent as we are bringing the sacredness of our capacity to love and/or gender identity and expression into places that should be nurturing, only to experience discomfort, disdain or even outright rejection. Read more
MLP Executive Director Alex Patchin McNeill gave this reflection at the Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial service at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, OH
Not so long ago, hardly anyone recognized me as a guy. I spent most of my time in public grimacing every time a seemingly friendly waiter or cab driver or friend of a friend called me “lady” or “ma’m.” My body was a blurry mirage of my female anatomy overlaid with a masculine of center presentation. Nowadays most people greet me as “buddy” or “hey man” or even a “hello sir” or “mister McNeill.” My weekly injection of testosterone has deepened my once high voice, smoothed out my round face (sort of), and broadened my shoulders to the degree that my history of being born female bears as much relation as a distant cousin, you can see the resemblance if you squint, but perhaps knowing we’re related is just a placebo effect. Read more
I am writing you this week feeling like we are sitting at the intersection of two worlds, one full of possibility to truly live into the calling God gave us for a more inclusive world, the other our still present reality full of mourning and hurt and pain of dreams deferred. Perhaps I’m feeling this most acutely because I’m writing to you from an airport, a literal intersection of multiple worlds, having spent a lot of time on the road these past few weeks. Today I am preparing to fly to Austin, TX for the ordination of John Russell Stanger, our MLP conference preacher and minister for advocacy and education at Presbyterian Welcome. John will be the first openly gay person ordained as a minister in Mission Presbytery. This weekend will be a fabulous celebration of a gifted minister whom God has called to service and for the community that affirms his calling. Read more
The average food stamp allowance in the District of Columbia is $32.14 per week. Donna Riley, one of MLP’s movement authors, is taking up the PC(USA)’s SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge and eating on $32.14 next week in D.C., November 17-23. Joining her is movement author and MLP staff member Antony Hebblethwaite who will be eating on $34.86 next week in Chicago, the average food stamp benefit in Illinois. Read more
On my homeward commute in DC, as I change from metro to bus, I pass by the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, on the corner of 16th and Eye St NW. There is a large banner proclaiming the words of Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This promise is one that Yahweh makes to Israel in anticipation of the end of the Babylonian exile.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile. (Jer. 29:12-14) Read more
“When I was 16 years old, I went on my very first date. I was young and cute and had blonde streaks I copied from one of Destiny’s Child’s early videos. Adrian was tall and lanky and the color of fresh sugar cookies. He was the first man to ever ask me out.” In a letter of blessings to her 16-year-old self for Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), prominent transgender writer and activist Janet Mock remembers this moment in the early days of her transition.
“Like any other first date, Adrian didn’t really see the girl he was hoping to woo.” Read more
I was born in Queen Victoria hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. The doctor slapped a gender into my body and told my mother, “You have a boy.” In South Africa during apartheid, where even homosexuality was criminalized, there were only two possible outcomes for gender: “boy” or “girl.” What I could not have understood as a child was that all kinds of other roles would grow out of being labeled a “boy.” I started learning at a very young age that “boys” were actually not allowed to be like “girls.” Read more