In July 2011, the Presbyterian Church, USA, the largest of the Presbyterian denominations in this country, eased its restrictions and allowed for the ordination of GLBT individuals in committed relationships. That change was due in part to the hard work and fervent prayers of More Light Presbyterians across this nation.
What is More Light?
Marriage equality for all people is the particular goal of More Light Presbyterians. The covenant of marriage is a sacred trust between two individuals. Any couple able to forge that bond deserves the benefits of marriage as well as the ability to express that sacred trust freely and equally in the Church and society. Visit the More Light Presbyterians website >>
What makes St. Mark’s a More Light church?
St. Mark’s is part of a coalition of Presbyterian churches, known as More Light Presbyterians, who are committed to the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in society. As More Light Presbyterians, we believe that God is still speaking and has more light to shed on current issues.
Once we Presbyterians, like so much of the larger Church, relegated women second class status in the Church. After further scrutiny of the scriptures and much discussion we came to believe that we had been wrong. Our exclusionary policy had been contrary to the spirit of Jesus as well as the larger biblical witness.
As More Light Presbyterians we believe that the Church has also been wrong in their failure to accept its LGBT members into leadership in our congregations, realizing that a church which “excludes, dominates or patronizes others, however subtly, resists the Spirit of God and brings contempt on the faith which they profess.” (The Confession of 1967).
On Sunday, June 3, 2012, our congregation was a sea of brightly colored T shirts as we celebrated the gifts of the GLBT community and affirmed the next step in their struggle for full acceptance and equality. Each T-shirt featured three couples: a man and a woman, two men, and two women. The line below the illustration aptly expresses the heart of St. Mark’s: “Standing on the Side of Love.”
See photos from when St. Mark’s hosted the MLP National Conference in 2013:
We have made progress as a denomination, but there is more work to be done! Our mission is to advocate for LGBT justice in church and society, and welcome LGBT persons into the full life of our congregation.