Welcome to deafprofessionalnetwork.com, a website dedicated to respectful dialogue and reconciliation in the church and the world, especially around the inclusion of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers.
As a Presbyterian, I belong to the reformed tradition in which change is both possible and necessary in Christian life. Scripture also teaches me that Jesus “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18), and I feel very deeply that my calling as a minister is one of reconciliation. I hope that our dialogue and study together on this Web site will reconcile us all to the fine future for the church and the world God has in store for us.
About Rev. Janet
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA of parents from generations of Presbyterian faithful, I was ordained in 1977 as Minister of Word and Sacrament and became an Instructor in Homiletics and Liturgics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Seeking more experience in ministry, I then served Morningside Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ in McKeesport, PA and Mellwood Presbyterian Church, each for about three years. I was elected Moderator of Pittsburgh Presbytery in 1987.
With two sons and a physician spouse on call every third night, I paused in serving as the pastor and began attending with my family the Community of Reconciliation, an intentionally interracial, interdenominational and inclusive church in the heart of Pittsburgh’s university district. After twenty-four years of experience there, ranging from Interim Co-Pastor to teaching toddler Sunday School, my husband and I turned to the Community House Presbyterian Church on Pittsburgh’s North Side, an inner city neighborhood. One of its ministries is the use of media to build community and our lives in Christ.
When my children started school, I returned to Duquesne University and earned a Ph. D. in Spirituality with a call to be a “pray-er,” to find a way in this world to pray without ceasing. This effort has shown me that our spirits walk an inner journey and an outer one. I am dedicated to seeking God in Christ through both contemplation and social action.
Called to the ministry of reconciliation and inclusion, I joined the Taskforce on Ministry with Sexual Minorities of Pittsburgh Presbytery in 2000. My participation in the work of this taskforce led to being asked by Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole to officiate at their June 2005 marriage ceremony. After a year of prayerful discernment and preparation, I presided at the joyous ceremony celebrating Brenda and Nancy’s blessed love and commitment to each other. The Presbyterian Church (USA) pressed disciplinary charges to challenge this pastoral care and the Judicial Commission of my presbytery unanimously acquitted me in the fall of 2008 for officiating at Nancy and Brenda’s wedding.
I now sit on the board of directors of Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization, and also on the board of the Pittsburgh Presbytery Foundation, an entity that supports the work of my local presbytery. I also served from 2005 until 2013 on the board of More Light Presbyterians, including a term as Co-Moderator.
I have sought to grow the ever-expanding conversation about the inclusion of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers in Christ. My hope is that this Web site will offer us another space, an online space, for respectful dialogue and fulfillment of the mission Jesus gave us: reconciliation.
I welcome the opportunity to continue our dialogue. You can email me at: RevJanetEdwards@gmail.com
If you’d like to share a resource that could shine more light on our conversation, please email me as well!