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 (Part-time)
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 (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.
[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
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
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
The theme for More Light Sunday on June 1st is, “Life-changing conversations rooted in pride and love.” This year’s More Light Sunday theme gives us an opportunity to reflect on our call to engage in difficult, but life-changing conversations. More than at any time in the history of our work for the welcome and affirmation of LGBTQ people, these conversations offer the possibility to further God’s transforming work in our denomination. Read more
A year ago in this blogspace I articulated concerns about the LGBT movement’s focus on marriage to the exclusion of other important justice issues in and beyond the LGBTQ community. As General Assembly rapidly approaches and marriage is again at the center of our agenda, I hope we can remember and reclaim what’s Queer about this particular struggle. Read more
Just recently I had a conversation with a friend who is in deep distress over what is going on at their church. An outspoken group of their congregation’s leadership is talking of leaving the PCUSA if the church allows ministers and sessions to choose for themselves whether they will perform or host same-sex weddings. At the minimum the leaders of my friend’s church want to change their by-laws to make it clear that they will never allow same-sex marriages, just like they already did concerning ordination after the “fidelity and chastity” language was removed in 2011. Read more