The history of More Light Presbyterians began in 1978, when the General Assembly of the then United Presbyterian Church voted that gays and lesbians should be welcomed into membership but should not be ordained as deacons, elders or pastors. Sessions and congregations dissatisfied with the concept of excluding a whole class of God’s people from church leadership, began adopting resolutions proclaiming their intention to be inclusive in all aspects of their ministry, and to continue to seek more of God’s light on issues of sexuality. These churches believed that gay and lesbian persons are part of God’s good creation, are meant to enjoy God’s gifts of love and intimacy, and are called to serve God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. These congregations became known as More Light Churches and joined together into the More Light network. The first to make such a declaration was the West-Park Presbyterian Church in New York City in 1978. We are now approaching nearly 200 More Light Churches nationwide, and have added three new More Light churches in the past month!
Out of this historic mission of networked More Light churches, The board of directors and staff of More Light Presbyterians is excited to announce the appointment of Rev. Robin White as our new Pastoral Care Point Person. This new role on our board of directors is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen local More Light churches in their witness and work towards the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in society. We want to take our existing cadre of churches and link them together to build a stronger, more interconnected and deeply engaged network. By bringing More Light together, as a whole we will bring a brighter witness to the exciting days ahead.
Rev. Robin White is an openly lesbian minister and has been ordained 28 years serving congregations in Maryland and Delaware. She is now honorably retired and serves on the MLP Board. Robin resides in the mountains of West Virginia with her spouse, Rhonda, and their two dogs and two cats. She has spent much of her time over the past few years caring for her terminally ill father, and her 90 and 91 year old in-laws. She volunteers at an ovarian cancer retreat where she serves as a yoga instructor, in addition to providing spiritual and pastoral care. Robin designs and builds furniture and in her free time she loves hiking, kayaking and camping.
The purpose of the Pastoral Care Point Person is to provide pastors, clerks of session and More Light committee liaisons with someone to contact for information and support as you work to strengthen the affirmation of LGBTQ people in your church, local community, state and presbytery. We also want to find ways to help connect you with other More Light Churches in order to help inform the work of your congregation.
Over the next few months, Rev. Robin White will be contacting you to get to know you a bit and to find out about your congregation’s unique challenges and opportunities in living into its MLP witness. Whether or not your church is More Light, if there are ways in which the MLP board can assist you and/or your congregation, please feel free to contact her. Robin’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she is here to serve as a resource person, a link to the national board or simply a listening ear.
We know that no single individual or congregation can do this work alone. By having a designated pastoral care point person, we can create stronger networks and deepen our witness to LGBTQ welcome in our church and world. Thank you for all the ways you help us to do this work together. We couldn’t do it without you.