More Light Presbyterians

Presbyterian Promise Summer Picnic.

Date Posted: July 4th, 2014 — 10:33am

You and your spouse, partner and friends are invited to a potluck on Sunday, July 27th from 4 – 7:30 p.m. at the home of John Merz. Celebrate with friends in Christ, eat good food, and hear more about Presbyterian Promise’s ongoing work of ministry and justice. There will be an update on the work of Presbyterian Promise’s new visioning task force.

Please bring your favorite appetizer, side dish, dessert, and wine/soda. Grilled items will be supplied (including vegetarian options).

Directions can be found by searching 49 Musket Trail, Simsbury CT on Mapquest or by calling (203) 208-0578. Please RSVP to or call (203) 208-0578.

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A Pastoral Letter from That All May Freely Serve

Date Posted: July 4th, 2014 — 10:23am

Below is a letter to all the churches who support the work of That All May Freely Serve and their independent affiliate organizations. First Presbyterian Church of New Haven is a founding member of one of their affiliates, Presbyterian Promise. Presbyterian Promise was organized to work for the full inclusion of our LGBTQI friends in Christ. For many years, the First Presbyterian Church Session sent overtures to the Presbytery for their vote. These overtures focused first on removing the ban on ordination for LGBTQ people. In 2010, that ban was removed. Since that time the Session has sent overtures to address the issue of marriage equality. This year was no exception, and the two overtures we sent on – first to the Presbytery and then to the General Assembly, passed. We include this letter as a pastoral response to the decisions of the 221st General Assembly. If you would like more information about the work of Presbyterian Promise, please talk with Jane Hindenlang or Dick Hansbany.

Dear Friends in Christ,

The decisions of the 221st General Assembly in favor of marriage equality are welcome relief following decades of conflict in our church. That All May Freely Serve believes that these outcomes of allowing pastors to legally perform weddings and for presbyteries to consider amending W-4.9000 will bring us closer together than was possible just one week ago. The impact of the commissioners’ votes powerfully addresses the violence tied to the exclusion of our family members who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ/Q) with a clear answer that the church has chosen a new way. We rejoice in this prophetic response that establishes a loving witness for all and advances us in the elimination of discrimination in our denomination. As Paul says, “Love is not boastful or rude,” and we see these events as a call to come together.

As members of the PC(USA), our LGBTQ/Q community has been greatly impacted by the deliberations and decisions of previous General Assemblies — decisions that have wounded our congregations, families and friends, while pushing many others away. Yet, on this long journey, we have always striven to honor the full humanity and dignity of those who oppose us, and we are especially alert to doing so now. We bring our Christian love, healing and hope to our future together. The ministry of That All May Freely Serve is dedicated to such healing, as we advocate for justice and love for all in the PC(USA), making sure that no one is ever alone in this struggle and carrying the message of the Good News wherever we go.

The 221st General Assembly’s decisions fill us with gratitude, joy and hope for the conversations and healing that can now occur throughout the church. We readily join with all of good will on this Emmaus path. We embrace the road of reconciliation of our many families in the Body of Christ, and we pray without ceasing for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this new dawn of hospitality and justice for all.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Peace be with you!

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Presbyterian Promise Invites You!

Date Posted: February 2nd, 2014 — 8:34am

Presbyterian Promise invites you to meet and talk with Alex McNeill, the new executive director of More Light Presbyterians, one of the major voices advocating and working for LGBT equality in the Presbyterian Church USA. The weekend will focus on how we can live into the dream of equality in the PCUSA and on transgender issues and what we still need to do to make sure all are welcomed, respected and included in God’s Presbyterian family. Join us for all three public events.

Saturday, February 22 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Connecting the Dots: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation: A workshop

Have you ever felt tongue-tied in discussing the nuances of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender identities? Have you wished there was a better way to talk about gender identity and sexual orientation that doesn’t segment people into categories but unites us all in a journey of discovery and expression? We promise this workshop will inspire new ways of thinking and teaching others about gender and sexuality that you won’t want to miss. This event will take place at the Wilton Presbyterian Church, 48 New Canaan Road, Wilton, Connecticut

Sunday February 23 –

There will be two opportunities to meet and talk with Alex.

9:30 to 10:30 – Christian Education class focusing on transgender issues.

3:00 to 5:00 – Presbyterian Promise Annual Meeting: “Shaping the Future.” Alex McNeill, Co-Pastor Bill Goettler and church member Margaret Fox, Yale Divinity School, Yale Law School and Candidate for ministry in the Presbytery for Southern New England, will engage in a lively conversation about the future of MLP and the entire LGBT movement and its continuing witness to God’s welcome and love. There will be music and food and joy. Be with us.

Alex Patchin McNeill is the new Executive Director at More Light Presbyterians. He is the first openly transgender person to head a mainline Protestant organization. He is a life-long Presbyterian, and a nationally known educator and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Christians. Alex holds his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School He currently lives in Maryland just outside of Washington, DC with his wife and three dogs.

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News from More Light Presbyterians

Date Posted: October 3rd, 2012 — 8:59pm

Presbyterians Doing Justice

The words of Micah are ringing in our ears this week:
“God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Holy One require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Presbyterians all over the country are accustomed to working for justice for LGBT people in the church – especially in those years when we’re heading into a General Assembly and we prepare to prayerfully discern the will of God through the voices of the people. What may not be as obvious are the ways Presbyterians are working to do justice on behalf of LGBT people in civil society, 365 days a year.

Involvement in local chapters of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, working to elect local council members and state legislators who will enact just legislation, and reaching out to those who have been historically wounded by the church are just a few of the ways Presbyterians across the country are following Micah’s directive.

Right now, Presbyterians in the four states where marriage equality is up for a vote in November – Washington, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine – are having thousands of sacred conversations with voters, and organizing for justice. Pray for peace and work for justice.

For more information about the work of More Light Presbyterians, go to their website:

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