Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recently used the plight of LGBTQ people in Africa to justify delaying same-sex marriage in the Church of England after it became civil law. He felt that moving too quickly could endanger the lives of Christians in homophobic/transphobic parts of the Anglican Communion because “everything we say here goes round the world.” The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson responded to the Archbishop’s statement by saying, “While we deeply grieve the deaths of Christians anywhere, we should also grieve and oppose the oppression, violence and deaths perpetrated on LGBT people around the world.” Robinson points out that “we cannot give in to the violent acts of bullies and must discern and then pursue God’s will for all of God’s children.” Read more
“My Presbyterian church, in particular, was filled with kindhearted, caring Christians,” wrote Matthew Vines in his new book, God and the Gay Christian, the biblical case in support of same-sex relationships. “But when it came to homosexuality, their views were set. If you were in a gay relationship, you were living in sin. Period…Our pastor lamented from the pulpit that progressives in our denomination were advocating for the ordination of ‘practicing homosexuals.’ Heads shook in dismay and disappointment.”
After the Presbyterian Church (USA) removed barriers to the ordination of openly lesbian and gay candidates, Vines’ church in Wichita, Kansas left the denomination. Read more
“We served him at the table
with wine, unleavened bread.
‘The one who will betray me
now eats with me,’ he said.
His friends would not believe him,
but one by one that night,
as soldiers came to take him,
they scurried out of sight.”
- We Sang our Glad Hosannas – The Faith We Sing #2111
When we sang this hymn at my church on Palm Sunday, I was struck by the implied question of this stanza. How could the same people who were invited into the intimacy, the hospitality, and the radical love of the Table turn their backs on Christ so quickly? How is that we can feast with one another, tell everyone that there is room for all, and then turn our faces from another’s pain while the hint of wine still lingers on our lips? Read more
Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering…be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside…saying, “…This must never happen to you.” …Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:21-28).
“No son of mine is going to be a faggot…get out of my house.”
“When I visited with Felix at his church, there was a lot of this ‘faggots are going to hell stuff.’”
These searing proclamations were uttered by Felix’s mother and his church. Felix was the childhood best friend of MLP board member Eric Thomas. In a recent interview produced by the LGBT Story Archive project, “I’m from Driftwood,” Eric compares his experience coming out as gay and having an accepting mother and church with his friend Felix who came out as gay to an unsupportive mother and church. Nurtured in a welcoming and affirming environment, Eric was able to build a strong faith that led him to Seminary and now to Ph.D. work at Drew University. Things turned out very differently for Felix. When he died, recalled Eric, “the report came back that it was complications with both AIDS and with drug interactions that exacerbated his situation.” Read more
So was Jesus and his followers streaming through the streets of Jerusalem a parade or a march? Were the palm-waving crowds welcoming a demonstration against Rome or simply enjoying a party? Are we talkin’ political movement or Mardi Gras? (This will be familiar to those of you who hear the same conversations about annual Pride observances!) Read more
On the final descent into Tucson International Airport, I look out the window to be welcomed home by the Catalina Mountains. I can feel my roots digging back down into the dry Arizona dirt, my shoulders relaxing into the spring heat. Recently, though, my sense of homecoming has been unsettled by a reminder of the violence and fear that also lives here. I look around this desert and have a hard time imagining a culture of peace — I see, instead, the Tohono O’odham Nation divided by a border created by an occupying society, forced to present documents as they enter and leave what remains of their traditional land. I see the prisons we fund and fill, the drones we build and fly, and the people, like me, who sometimes can’t see how it could be any different. Read more
by Michael Adee, a friend and former Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians. Jack Cover served on the MLP National Board of Directors and died on Monday, March 31 at his home in Raleigh, NC. This reflection was read today at his memorial service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his surviving wife, Cam and family.
I met Jack through the church as have many people. Jack believed that God’s love was for everyone, no exceptions, no one left out of God’s love and God’s embrace. And, this strongly held belief by Jack became the signature of his life. Read more
When I first set foot on my college’s campus, almost ten years ago, I had no intention of sticking with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the denomination that had raised me. In the months before my departure for college, my little home church had been rocked by abuse in its youth group, the offense — and the church’s position on it — upending the notion that church had anything to do with integrity or trust or love. Read more
Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility and More Light Presbyterians celebrates the courage it takes for trans* people to live openly and authentically. This is also a day to celebrate the great diversity of individuals working to make society a welcoming place for people of all gender identities and expressions. Read more
Many of us observe the Lenten season by giving up certain kinds of luxuries or behaviors as a practice of experiencing daily a reminder of the sacrifice God made through Jesus at the cross. For many of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or love someone who is, just living our lives can feel like a daily Lenten practice of being aware just how much we have to give up to be ourselves. The past few weeks have been particularly full of heartbreaking reminders from international charities, national craft store chains, and by murders of lesbian teenagers that we have not yet realized the fullness of God’s extravagant welcome for LGBTQ in our churches or world. And yet, even amid our Lenten walk with Jesus to the cross, there are moments of extraordinary, world-changing hope Jesus shares with his disciples as glimpses of the world yet to come. Read more