We urge sessions and clergy to have conversations now about whether or not officiating at and/or hosting same gender marriages will be part of their ministry and if so, to be clear in that proclamation and witness.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will vote on whether or not to welcome gay scouts and leaders next week. The proposed Membership Standards Resolution to be voted on reads, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” but the organization “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.” More Light Presbyterians has called on the BSA to welcome both youth members and adult leaders in the future policy. Read more
Friday, May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO). IDAHO is inspired by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights that declares that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
In almost 76 countries around the world, loving someone of the same gender is still considered illegal and in some cases can result in lifetime imprisonment. In seven countries, it is even punishable by death. In many more countries still, citizens are denied their right to live according to their preferred gender identity. Read more
Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree, Professor Emeritus of Ethics and former Dean of Yale Divinity School, was recently charged by several New York United Methodist ministers for officiating at the marriage of his gay son. He faces a possible trial in The United Methodist Church (UMC). A recent commentator in the UMC wonders what would happen if all those involved in a church trial simply didn’t show up. Why even consent to bigotry as people who follow the welcoming gospel of Jesus Christ? Read more
More Light Presbyterians calls on Congress to pass comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform, including a provision allowing a path to citizenship for the same-gender spouses of American citizens. Our faith calls us to show empathy, to recognize the face of God in the other. “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33,34). Read more
After charges were filed against United Methodist minister Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree for officiating at the marriage of his gay son, Rev. Vicki Flippin wrote an important confession about how clergy members are impacted by church policies prohibiting the marriage of same gender couples. She serves as the Pastor of Social Justice, Exploring Faith, and Inter-generational Ministries at The Church of the Village, a progressive United Methodist community in New York City. Flippin is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and the University of Chicago. Read more
The Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR) at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has just published a new Bible study resource on God’s radical love and welcome. The resource, Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical Texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater by David R. Weiss, is available to download without cost. This Bible study for use in your congregation is dedicated to Dr. Michael Adee, the former Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians. Read more
Nicholas Haddad and Thomas Ogletree announced their wedding ceremony in the Weddings/Celebrations section of the New York Times. Their October 20, 2012 marriage was officiated by Thomas’ father, the Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree, a United Methodist minister. Dr. Ogletree is Professor Emeritus of Ethics and former Dean of Yale Divinity School. Several United Methodist ministers in New York have filed charges against him for officiating at his son’s marriage, which violates church rules and exposes him to a potential church trial. Read more
Many churches will celebrate More Light Sunday on June 2, 2013, the second Sunday after Pentecost. We will still be in the season of celebrating the birth of the church, and the lectionary Psalm for the day is Psalm 96 – “Sing to God a new song, all the earth!” It is time for the church to sing a new song about its welcome of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) people. It’s time to sing new songs of welcome and justice and love and adoration. By celebrating More Light Sunday, you are joining with other congregations, campus ministries, and chapters around the country to proclaim God’s extravagant welcome. We also recognize that this particular Sunday might not work for you, so it is absolutely fine to hold More Light Sunday on any other day. Please register here to let us know when you plan to celebrate More Light Sunday. Read more