More Light Presbyterians’ National Conference will take place next Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, in Rochester, NY. More Light Presbyterians, founded in 1974, is a group of Presbyterian congregations, clergy, and laity working “for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).”
The “Reflecting God’s Heart” convocation will celebrate the passage of both Presbyterian Amendment 10-A and of marriage equality in New York. It is the first major pro-LGBT Presbyterian gathering since the passage of Amendment 10-A by the Presbyterian Church (USA) on May 10, 2011. Amendment 10-A, which went into effect on June 10, allows for the ordination of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ministers, elders, and deacons.
More Light Presbyterians also recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of full LGBT inclusion at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hal Porter, speaking at the 20th Anniversary celebration, remarked that “certainly, because of the inclusion policy, we all began to experience a depth of the Gospel that we had never known before, gay and straight together.”
The Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, who is the moderator of More Light Presbyterians and who came out as bi following the passage of Amendment 10-A, noted in The Huffington Post that “while many faithful Christians today are beginning to move in the direction of full inclusion, Mt. Auburn has been showing us the way to the future of the church, since the early 1990s.” Mt. Auburn, she said, has served as a guide for the progression of many denominations and congregations towards affirmation and acceptance of all people of faith.
By amending their constitution, the Presbyterian Church (USA) joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Episcopal Church, and the United Church of Christ as a fully inclusive denomination. In light of frequent portrayals of anti-gay opposition as being a predominantly religious movement, GLAAD is always happy to highlight the voices of LGBT affirming people of faith, congregations and denominations.