Friday, August 19, 2011

Welcome to MLP's Amendment 10-A Site

On July 8, 2010, the 219th General Assembly (2010) proposed a change to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Constitution that would remove barriers to the ordination of openly lesbian and gay candidates to ministry by a vote of 373-323-4. The proposed change also needed to be ratified by a majority of the 173 presbyteries to become part of the Constitution. This site was active during the Yes on Amendment 10-A ratification campaign which ended on May 10, 2011 when the Twin Cities became the 87th presbytery to pass Amendment 10-A.

Pacific Presbytery After Ratification / Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / May 10, 2011
Campaign Results
Campaign Resources
Grassroots Work

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Ordination Guides Available for 10-A

Fair, accurate interpretation and implementation of 10-A, now known as G-2.0104 is our top priority. We have created Ordination Guides from an affirming perspective and we have sent them to staff in all 173 presbyteries. These guides are designed with the following persons and groups in mind: Sessions and nominating committees; seminarians, candidates and inquirers; Committees on Ministry and Preparation; Executive Presbyters and Stated Clerks; and Seminaries.

You can download, print out, share and use this Guide now by clicking the blue Download link next to the Scribd logo below. You may also share (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), embed or email the guide using the blue Share link on the right of the header below.

We need to get this affirming Guide in the hands, hearts, minds and actions of every Presbyterian congregation, every Committee on Preparation for Ministry and every Committee on Ministry. We believe that G-2.0104 can be a blessing for our Church and world. For 10-A to make the difference it can make, we need to make sure that it is understood, honored and followed by every church and presbytery. We know this is a tall order: 11,000 churches in 173 presbyteries. All of us doing our part can make this happen. Together we are building a Church that reflects God's heart.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

Our Honor Roll of Saints

Rev. David Sindt
A great cloud of witnesses is part of the change in our Church and the passage of Amendment 10-A. Since the founding of More Light Presbyterians in 1974 with the coming out of Rev. David Sindt, thousands of Presbyterians have prayed, dreamed and worked for our Church to welcome and affirm LGBT persons and their families.

While many of us are privileged to have been part of this historic moment, thousands of faithful LGBT Presbyterians and allies did not live to see the moment they worked to make possible. A special "honor roll" of these saints has been created to help all of us know and remember them. We need your help in completing this honor roll. Who should be on the list? If you would like to add someone, please enter their name here...

View the Honor Roll of Saints

Thursday, June 2, 2011

To Evoke the Better Angels of Our Own Nature

James Wieland is an ordained Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, New York and gave the following floor speech to the Presbytery of Western New York. Western New York passed 10-A by 77 to 44.

More Light Sunday at Westminster Presbyterian Church
Good Morning -

My name is James Wieland. I am a pediatric dentist, a life long Presbyterian - baptized in 1955, confirmed in 1970, and ordained as an elder in 1994. I was a lifelong member of the Youngstown Pres Church, until I transferred my membership to Westminster, 6yrs ago.

I can also describe myself as a born-again Christian, an ordained Elder, and an openly gay man. Born–again in the spirit and body of Christ, and I was made a new. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour.

My mother was a Sunday school teacher, my father a lifelong trustee and superintendent of the Sunday school, in Youngstown. It was a great church to grow up in but, I clearly remember hearing about the sin of homosexuality being preached from the pulpit in Youngstown. I must have been 8 – 10 yrs old.

From that time, until about 12 yrs ago, no matter what I had accomplished, how much my family may have loved me, or whatever “things” I had in my life – the shame that I felt about myself was an overwhelming factor leading my to grotesque self-abusive behavior.

Hate is an extremely powerful emotion. I had many suicide attempts, was entangled in severe alcohol/drug abuse and eventually found myself having been in jail, numerous hospitals and mental institutions and very near death.

Literally, I have been from Harvard yard to the grave yard, and back.

I was living a lie - lying to myself, to my friends and family. I too, was dying – in mind, body and spirit!!

Somehow, I never left the church… or more correctly stated, God would not allow me destroy the life that He had freely given me.

I stand before you today, simply because of the Mercy and Grace of God. Without His love, compassion and concern for me as a human being, a gay man…. I would not be alive.

Twelve yrs ago, I was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease. I was so sick that I do not remember asking for God’s help, but what I did receive was a second chance at life. I have been freed from the demons of addiction and self-hatred that had haunted me for many years.

I just celebrated my 12th anniversary of a clean and sober life, and nine yrs ago, this past March 13th; I underwent a successful liver transplant….

His Mercy and Grace are the only reasons I am alive today. I am becoming the person that He meant me to be – My church family is a very integral part of my life – I can look to any of them for support, love, and full acceptance, with the assurance that His spirit is omni-present in all...

I can only be a power of example to others, live my life with honesty and personal integrity. I thank God everyday for His gift.

To paraphrase former president Jimmy Carter – “My faith demands - that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can, with whatever I have - to try to make a difference”

I would also like to share part of a story from Mike and Janet Fazzini members of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, the Pittsburgh Presbytery and PFLAG. I met them at a More Light national conference and they have a gay son.

“A well-loved local minister — a closeted gay man — committed suicide. That’s when we went from being passive as Christians to becoming active. It was incredible that a man of such faith, with a wide circle of people who admired and loved him, who meant so much too so many, nevertheless could be so hidden and so threatened by the prospect of being outed. He had loving people all around him yet he could not be fully honest with them. We may not have known him personally but it was a defining moment for us as Christian activists.”

James 3:17-18 “…the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It knows no partiality and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.”

In closing, remember these words from Abraham Lincoln that we are here today “…to evoke the better angels of our own nature.”

Thank you and God bless.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NBC LA: Presbyterian Churches Vote to Ordain Gay Ministers

After 33 years of debate the Pacific Presbytery has voted to allow openly gay people to be ordained as Ministers, Deacons and Elders. Brian Symonds, who hopes to become the first openly gay person to be ordained in Southern California, talks about the decision with Colleen Williams on Nonstop News LA.

View more videos at:

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Light Update, May 2011

Thousands of Presbyterians all across the country are expressing their hopes and dreams for a Church that:
  • reflects the heart of God by embracing all persons,
  • embraces a "no boundaries" Gospel that is "good news" for all persons, not just some,
  • celebrates ordination standards that will now focus again on faith and character rather than marital status or sexual orientation,
  • does not discriminate!

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Living and Loving Honestly, According to the Way I Was Created

    Kevin Henderson
    Kevin Henderson's speech in Sheppards & Lapsley. Kevin is an ordained elder at Edgewood Presbyterian Church in Homewood, Alabama and an inquirer under care of the presbytery. Sheppards & Lapsley passed 10-A by 80 to 52.

    Mr. Moderator, I am Kevin Henderson, Commissioner from Edgewood Church, an Inquirer under the care of this Presbytery, and a soon to be seminarian. 

    Two years ago I told this body that after decades of struggle and denial -- including marriage and children -- I finally accepted that God made me a gay man.

    Two years ago when I made that statement, I was in the 12th year of a faithful, committed relationship with my partner, Steven. Because of that relationship, G-6.106b deemed me unfit for ordained service regardless of my calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for ministry.

    Eleven months ago, Steven passed away suddenly.  This devastating loss, paradoxically, has made me “acceptable” for service because I am now a single man living in chastity.  The irony of this is absolutely heartbreaking.

    As I mourn Steven and move towards seminary, I have thought about what would happen if I am ever blessed to again find another faithful partner.  Would that change my qualifications or my gifts for ministry?

    I am grateful that 92 presbyteries have voted for Amendment 10A, allowing me to be judged according to the traditional standards of our denomination while living and loving honestly, according to the way I was created.

    I urge you to join our sisters and brothers in the growing majority of presbyteries and vote Yes on Amendment 10-A.

    See Also:
    Presbyterians to drop ban on gay clergy, The Birmingham News
    Quotes about 10-A from Kevin Henderson were published in the The Birmingham News on Tuesday, May 17.