Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!
Today, on National Coming Out Day, we rejoice as we participate in the ordination of Alex Patchin McNeill, More Light’s Executive Director! This day has been a long time coming for Alex, and an even longer time for More Light and the Church. Alex is the first openly transgender man to complete the process of ordination in the PC(USA) and we celebrate this day with him and with all those who’ve made it possible for all those who feel called to ministry to live into their calling in the fullness of their identity.
It has been quite a week for More Light! Earlier this week, as the Supreme Court heard arguments debating whether federal law prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender identity and/or sexual orientation, the More Light staff and board participated in the CoInspire Conference at Montreat. We sang together, laughed together, cried together, broke bread together. At the end of a powerful sermon preached by Rev. Traci Blackmon, we looked on another in the eye and affirmed: “I see you, and I see God in you.” Throughout the week we dug deep into the ways white supremacy distorts our ability to see the divine image in ourselves or one another.
At More Light, we frequently talk about God’s abundance as a way to understand ourselves and one another. White supremacy thrives on scarcity, pitting us against one another as we focus on the looming threat to our individual identities. And that threat is real, especially for those whose identities are being actively relegated to the margins. Scarcity tells us to hide, to silo ourselves. Abundance, however, encourages us to see the ways in which we are connected and to see that connection as an asset. Scarcity tells us to stockpile our food; abundance encourages us to build a bigger table. Scarcity tells us to see others as a threat; abundance shows us that every person we meet is a beloved child of God.
In the face of those who seek to eradicate us, two of the greatest assets we have are our visibility and our community. In letting ourselves be seen we are living into the fullness of who God created us to be. In leaning into a community we are reminded that we are not alone.
On this National Coming Out Day, our hope and prayer is that we may all continue to trust the abundance offered to us and that as we find the courage to let ourselves be seen, and encourage one another as we stand together, resting in the certainty that we are loved beyond measure by a God of infinite abundance.