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.

Open Doors Chapter of More Light Presbyterians Closes And Moves to a Congregational Initiatives Network

The Open Doors Chapter of More Light Presbyterians has brought its operation to a close after two decades of advocacy for full participation GLBTQ people in the Presbyterian Church USA, our Presbytery, and our churches. The group had its last annual meeting in January, and celebrated our watershed achievements over the past six years in the PCUSA General Assembly -- the removal of the anti-GLBTQ "Amendment B" from the Presbyterian Book of Order in 2010, and the passage of same sex marriage in 2015.

TPPC and its members and friends can continue to participate in GLBTQ advocacy on a local and national level by participating in the Congregational Initiative Network that the Open Doors Chapter is setting up as a clearinghouse for disseminating information about what is going on in our congregations. We hope to share ideas, invite participation, and encourage action. If you would like to receive e-mail notices from the Network, please contact Hannah Webster at harowe@gmail.com.

We also encourage TPPC and its members and friends to support the National More Light Presbyterians organization, which continues to advocate for inclusivity in the Presbyterian Church. And we hope to have a good showing of our local Presbyterian churches in the Pride Parade in June – this time with the More Light banner that was presented to our church and all of the other Open Doors congregations as a farewell gift from Sherry Trafford, our board chair.

Upcoming More Light Events

Western Presbyterian Church will host the DC premiere screening of Out of Order

Western Presbyterian Church will host the DC premiere screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary, Out of Order, on Saturday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. The screening is open to the public. Western Presbyterian Church is located at 2401 Virginia Ave., NW, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood in Washington, DC. The event website can be found at https://goo.gl/UxGSyf .

Out of Order is a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faith leaders as they confront entrenched bigotry and work to build loving support within their churches. Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Elizabeth C. Jones described the film: "Absolutely riveting and deeply moving. A timely film and important contribution to the struggle for LGBTQ equality." Additional information on the film is available at www.outoforderdoc.com.

Alex McNeill, executive director of More Light Presbyterians, and the Rev. Mieke Vandersall, Founding Pastor of Not So Churchy and the previous Executive Director of Parity, both of whom are in the film, will attend the screening and will give remarks. Following the program, there will be a reception to celebrate the film. Tickets are free, but a suggested donation of $10 is being collected to sponsor More Light Presbyterians, a movement that engages over 210 congregations and thousands of individuals to enable Presbyterians to lead LBGTQ service and advocacy in communities nationwide.

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.



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