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
Kentucky, where I live, is a very red state. So red, in fact, that some churches hold gun raffles to draw people in. And when it comes to LGBTQ equality, some people would rather allow their ministry to suffer than embrace progress. So it isn’t surprising when someone who might otherwise call themselves a Christian elects not to do so, in an attempt to distance themselves from others who have claimed the name; some who are among us now, as well as people throughout history who have used our religion to justify their ignorance or violence. Read more
Take my yoke upon you. My yoke is easy, and my burden light.
Every now and then a familiar line from Scripture will suddenly lose resonance for me. It’s not a good feeling. Right away I find myself batting at it like a radio gone dead, as though batting at it will make it work for me again. It doesn’t help that I have to wrestle first with the truth: there’s really no way to be sure what Jesus actually said. I’m no Bible scholar, and so there’s nothing to do but trust that, after two millennia of translations, these words are at least true to what a disciple (whom Tradition has named Matthew) wrote down. Read more
The history of More Light Presbyterians began in 1978, when the General Assembly of the then United Presbyterian Church voted that gays and lesbians should be welcomed into membership but should not be ordained as deacons, elders or pastors. Sessions and congregations dissatisfied with the concept of excluding a whole class of God’s people from church leadership, began adopting resolutions proclaiming their intention to be inclusive in all aspects of their ministry, and to continue to seek more of God’s light on issues of sexuality. These churches believed that gay and lesbian persons are part of God’s good creation, are meant to enjoy God’s gifts of love and intimacy, and are called to serve God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. These congregations became known as More Light Churches and joined together into the More Light network. The first to make such a declaration was the West-Park Presbyterian Church in New York City in 1978. We are now approaching nearly 200 More Light Churches nationwide, and have added three new More Light churches in the past month! Read more
Ah, privilege! What a loaded word that is, isn’t it? By just saying that one word, you can depress or enrage entire groups of people. I didn’t even really know what the word meant until I got to seminary. It wasn’t a word I grew up hearing. It wasn’t a topic of conversation at my school or in my community. Yet, now that I know that word, I have come to realize just how privileged my life really has been even when I wasn’t aware that it was. Read more