More Light Ministry

At Takoma Park Presbyterian Church we are working to welcome all in our community of faith, including our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered members. To this end, we have become a "More Light" congregation, one which not only includes members of all sexual orientations, but also ordains them to be deacons, elders and pastors.

For more information, contact us at swac@takomaparkpc.org.

Gilead Sabbath for More Light Sunday

In our country and throughout the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are calling into question the discrimination, violence, and persecution they face. They are acknowledging that, although these acts are often performed in the name of religion, religion is misguided when it causes suffering and pain. They ask, as did the prophet Jeremiah, so long ago, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why has the health of my poor people not been restored?" In ancient Israel, Gilead was a place famous for its healing balm. Its name can be translated as "hill of testimony or witness."

On our first observance of More Light Sunday, we joined in observing a Gilead Sabbath, bearing witness to the testimony of all those who suffer from spiritual and physical violence and persecution. Those who face the consequences of homophobia, and transphobia; the consequences of a colonial rule that caused cultural and sexual trauma; the consequences of the erasure of long histories of sexual and gender diversity; and the consequences of those who continue to seek to impose hatred and persecution in the name of religion.

The Gilead Sabbath Initiative was created in 2014 by the Religious Institute to encourage U.S. communities of faith to see, hear, and respond to the violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people around the world. Together with communities of faith across the country, we observed this Gilead Sabbath to raise awareness, prayer, and action about the experiences of LGBTQ people globally. For more information please access www.religiousinstitute.org/gilead/.

Part 2 of our More Light Sunday commeration is scheduled for June 26th.

Come Rainbow up the sanctuary this Sunday at 9:15

Small rainbow flag In the wake of another mass shooting, this time an attack on LGBTQ folks in a space that was supposed to be safe, we struggle with how to respond.

We continue to have hope that together lightness can overcome darkness. We invite you to join us in the sanctuary this Sunday morning at 9:15 AM before church to decorate with rainbow colors and messages of love. We will have some supplies but invite you to bring your own as well.

More Light Presbyteriam's Candle expressing God's love

Upcoming More Light Events

Capital Pride Events

Pride Week begins Tuesday, June 7, 2016 with an Interfaith Worship Service at Covenant Baptist UCC, 3845 S Capitol St SW, Washington, DC, from 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM.

TPPC will march with More Light Presbyterians in the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11th! Gather at 4:00 p.m. at Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P St. N.W. (near Dupont Circle metro station). Wear your More Light T-shirt or get one free at the parade. For more information, access http://www.capitalpride.org/events/pride-parade/.

Visit More Light Presbyterians booth at the Capital Pride Festival on June 12th. The festival runs from Noon to 7 p.m. on Pennsylvania Ave. between 3rd and 7th St. N.W. (Near Gallery Pl. metro stop.) For more information, access http://www.capitalpride.org/events/pride-festival/.

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Resources from National MLP website

For individuals and church groups engaged in a process of discernment as directed by the General Assembly, you might be interesxted in the following resources from the National MLP website (www.mlp.org):

http://www.mlp.org/2013/01/14/how-same-gender-marriage-strengthens-marriage/#more-605
In a National Public Radio interview with The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, he discusses how same gender marriages can inform straight marriages and how those lessons are woven into the new Episcopal rite for blessing same gender couples.

http://www.mlp.org/2012/12/27/an-conservative-case-for-lgbt-rights/
C.S. Pearce, an evangelical turned progressive, has authored a book that "discusses and deconstructs the Bible-based arguments that conservative Christians use against LGBT people, arguments that Pearce calls myths.’" Pearce’s family left the Presbyterian Church because they felt it was too liberal and she grew up in a nondenominational evangelical church. This We Believe: The Christian Case for Gay Civil Rights "demonstrates how traditional Christian beliefs about homosexuality are hurting all of the church, especially its most vulnerable members: young gay people who are convinced that their very essence is sinful. It summarizes the latest scientific research, current Biblical scholarship, and the teachings of Jesus to show why an ever-growing number of Christian leaders and laypeople now support marriage equality and other civil rights for gay, lesbian, and transgender people."

Anti-Bullying Resources

The theme for our last More Light Sunday as Bullying. Here we present some resources for support on bullying.

For help, talk with a counselor, parent, trusted adult, or pastor.

Montgomery County Schools Anti- Bullying Resources: (To report bullying, find counseling, web links):
     
www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/bullying/

Online resources:
      www.bullyfree.com

Online resource for LGBTQ youth:
      www.thetrevorproject.org

Six factors define bullying: (from Faula Fried’s book "Bullies and Victims"):

  1. Intent to harm — the perpetrator finds pleasure in the taunting and continues even when the victim’s distress is obvious.
  2. Intensity and duration — the teasing continues over a long period of time and the degree of taunting is damaging to the self-esteem of the victim.
  3. Power of the abuser — the abuser maintains power because of age, strength, size, and/or gender.
  4. Vulnerability of the victim — the victim is more sensitive to teasing, cannot adequately defend him or herself, and has physical or psychological qualities that make him or her more prone to vulnerability.
  5. Lack of support — the victim feels isolated and exposed. Often, the victim is afraid to report the abuse for fear of retaliation.
  6. Consequences — the damage to self-concept is long lasting, and the impact on the victim leads to behavior marked by either withdrawal or aggression.

LGBTQ Religion & Faith Resources

A set of links to resources maintained by the Human Rights Campaign provide resources related to religion, faith, and spirituality for LGBTQ people. For more information access http://www.hrc.org/resources/category/religion-faith.

LGBTQ Friendly Colleges and Student Resources

Attending college can be difficult, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students may have an even harder time than others. There is a guide that was created to help LGBTQ students understand how many campuses are helping to make the college experience more welcoming and supportive. For more information access http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/lgbtq-college-student-guide/.

More Light Presbyterians (MLP)

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church is a member of More Light Presbyterians (MLP) -- including the national organization and the National Capital Chapter. The mission statement of MLP is:

"Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the church a true community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians is to work for the full participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."
logo for More Light Presbyterians

Select this link to access the MLP WWW site.

Logo for gaychurch.org

Gaychurch.org is a web site dedicated to ministering to the gay Christian community and to the friends of our community.

Archive of Past Articles

Historical documents and old articles on related to GBLT issues in our church can be found on our More Light Archive page.



Webmaster : Brian C. Monsell