The story of Christmas is so often told as the story of triumph of light over dark. From John 1:5 to 1 Peter 1:19, the Bible is suffused with allusions to the comings and goings of light. How are we to understand this? As Christmas draws near and we ponder this question, I am humbled […]
The following is a sermon I gave on September 28th in support of Bisexuality Visibility Day. Please give it a read, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to reading them. Since I first heard it, the story in the Gospels of the woman with the years-long flow […]
In June at the General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) unanimously adopted a stance of solidarity with LGBT people facing persecution and criminalization around the world. It was an important, overdue step forward. In 81 countries where homosexuality is illegal, God’s global family includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who face persecution for simply […]
Reflections on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly & How Gracious Debate Can Lead to Action
At the 221st Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) General Assembly, something wondrous happened. We passed historic measures to recognize the love and commitment of all couples and to make sure that ministers can provide pastoral care around marriage to all couples in their congregations. This was an important milestone for our church, and a humbling one in my own faith journey.
I became aware of my trust in God when I was thirteen, during an overnight with the daughter of our church’s minister. We weren’t in the same school, but that year her dad taught our confirmation class and we became friends. We had turned the lights out—her mother had asked us to—but, as usual, we […]
Welcome to this second in a series of conversations between Christians with differing ideas about the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the eyes of God and the church! Dave Carver is a pastor in a local Presbyterian Church; we have been colleagues in ministry in Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for more than twenty years. Dave and I don’t always agree, but I’m delighted that he decided to participate in this conversation and share his journey and understanding of faith and LGBT inclusion.
It was 36 years ago that I shared my statement of faith during my ordination process. I’ve been reflecting on what I believed then and what I believe now. How has your faith changed over the years?
According to my daily calendar that features an uplifting quotation in the spirit of “Keep Calm and Carry On,” American lieutenant general Lewis “Chesty” Puller was the one who first said, “We’re all in the same pickle.” It came to my mind as I pondered a provocative comment by a conservative pastor friend of mine.
Jesus spoke of His followers as a family. He saw us as brothers and sisters and we certainly have our squabbles as all families do. What we seem to have lost is an ability in the church to call upon the healing powers of a family in order to remain the Body of Christ when we disagree. This is the church family I yearn for and feel called by God to work toward. I hope your mind and heart are touched by this podcast recording of a talk between my brother in Christ, Dave, and me. We’ve known one another for decades and had many conversations about our different perspectives on the place of LGBT in the church and in God’s eyes. As we speak together here, Dave and I are hoping that you will join us with your reflections.
I am grateful to share with you today my latest Believe Out Loud blog post, where I make connections between being "bi" in both spirit and body, as well as the quality of empathy I see in the Holy Spirit that fills the people on this day of Pentecost.