“Welcome, we are so glad you are here!”
As we enter our churches, as we live as members, as we experience important life-cycle events (falling in love, marrying, having children, baptism, confirmation, coming out, transitioning, etc.), these words of welcome and the concurrent atmosphere of support, understanding and love are what we all long for. This manifestation of God’s Extravagant Welcome and the justice and societal witness that accompany it are the heart of what we hope to facilitate with Building an Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit. It is, at once, a critical goal for it calls upon the very core of the Christian gospel, and a goal that requires prayerful, conscious and faithful action.
The phrase “yet more light” originated in Pastor John Robinson’s sermon sending the Pilgrims off to the colonies, in which he stated the belief that God does not reveal God’s whole truth to any one person in any one point in history, and that we must continually be open to hearing the new things God is saying to us through the Word.
All Resources (Alphabetical)
Becoming a More Light Church
- Building an Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit (pdf) by the Institute for Welcoming Resources
- Developing More Light Ministry (pdf) an overview
- How Churches Engage in More Light Ministry (pdf) from Education, Communication, Ministry, More Light Churches Network
- How to Become a Welcoming Church Resources at the Institute for Welcoming Resources
- More Light on More Light (pdf) is a concise document on how and why to be and become a More Light congregation
- More Light: What Difference Does it Make? (pdf) by Members of the Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns Internet Mailing List
- Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati (pdf) is a chapter from Urban Churches Vital Signs: Beyond Charity Toward Justice, excerpted with permission of the publisher, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (Harold Gordon Porter, Pastor Emeritus)
- New Possibilities Workshop (pdf) is a seminar outline with the goal: to move participants to understand how sexism and heterosexism limit possibilities for personal growth and interpersonal relationship for all individuals, regardless of sex or sexual orientation (Charles S. Collins, Roc
- Taking a New Look: Why Congregations Need LGBT Members.
- What We Wish We Had Known (Blue Book) (pdf) is an extensive resource for congregational study, developed by the First Tuesday group at Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church
Sample Study Reports
- A Letter to the Congregation from the Session (pdf) from Third Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY
- Report to Session from the Ad Hoc Task Force on Church and Homosexuality (pdf) from Downtown United Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY
- The Church and Homosexuality: A Preliminary Study from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS), the former “Southern”church, which merged UPCUSA to become our current PC(USA) in 1983.
Sample More Light Declaration Statements
- “Here We Stand — We Can Do No Other” (pdf) is a sample Statement in Opposition to Amendment B, G-6.0106b (November 15, 1998) for consideration by any body
- A History of the More Light Movement (pdf) at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church and in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Two-page brochure including the David Sindt Story and a timeline from 1969 through 1998 (Thanks to Barry Smith, Lincoln Park Church, for this f ile)
- Gays / Lesbians and the Church (pdf) Report about one congregation’s results from a questionnaire / focus group to help assess how to make the congreation more welcoming
- Presbytery of Genesee Valley Motion (pdf) The Presbytery (with offices in Rochester, NY) expresses its view of a higher call to openness and inclusiveness and says it will no condone efforts to discriminate unjustly against candidates for ordination.