Winter 2018 More Light Teach-In Series: Pastoral Care For LGBTQ Youth

When we baptize children into our community, we promise to nurture them in the faith and support them as they grow.  As a church, the promises we make when we baptize someone bring with them a commitment to take the journey with young people as they mature in their faith. What does that support look like for LGBTQ youth? How do we proactively create spaces in church so LGBTQ youth know they are welcome? This series will address practical ways in which congregations can proactively support LGBTQ youth.

Part 1: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 3:00 PM Eastern

What will we Learn?
Part 1 will offer a review of language and terminology, an overview of the current landscape for LGBTQ youth (including risk factors and suicidal ideation), and an introduction to what LGBTQ youth need to feel supported in the church and ways congregations can be proactive in their ministry for LGBTQ youth.

Series Trainer: Jess Cook

jessbiopoicJess is the Program & Communications Manager for More Light and is a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Prior to joining MLP, Jess was the Youth Programs Director at Side by Side, an organization in Richmond, VA serving LGBTQ+ youth. While at Side by Side, Jess worked with hundreds of young people through support groups, a leadership program, and various programs in the community. They created a parent support group and a meals program, and trained a wide variety of faith community leaders and service providers on best practices for working with LGBTQ+ youth.

A native of East Texas and lifelong Presbyterian, Jess holds a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary, a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Baylor.

Check out Jess’s TEDx Talk on what faith communities can learn from spaces dedicated to LGBTQ-youth for more.

Co-Trainer: Alex Patchin McNeill

Alex Patchin McNeill is the executive director of More Light Presbyterians and is the first openly transgender person to head a mainline Protestant organization. He is a life-long Presbyterian, and a nationally known educator and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Christians. He played key roles organizing faith communities for the passage of Amendment 10A in the PC(USA), and for marriage equality legislation in Maryland. McNeill has also campaigned for ballot measures and legislation to promote LGBTQ rights. His journey to ordination is currently being chronicled in the documentary, Out of Order. Alex holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and three dogs.

Cost: $35 (Watching with a group? The cost of each teach-in part is weighed based on group size. If you are watching with a group of 2-5 people, the TOTAL cost of Part 1 is $35; with a group of 6-20 people, the total cost of Part 1 is $50; with a group of 21 or more, the total cost of Part 1 is $100).

  • 1 – 5 participants: $35
  • 6 – 20 participants: $50
  • 21 participants or more: $100