More Light Teach-Ins

Has your congregation asked, “we’re welcoming, now what?”

copy-of-netwrokinggroupsMore Light has launched Online Teach-Ins and networking groups to help our congregations live into their LGBTQ inclusion. This includes a series of webinars and conversation groups focusing on topics impacting the LGBTQ community such as racism and racial justice, transgender inclusion, homelessness, and immigration. Learn more about how your church can get connected with a peer network to share best practices and explore challenges within your ministries.

What is a teach-in?

A teach-in is similar to a general educational forum on any complicated issue, usually an issue involving current political affairs. The main difference between a teach-in and a seminar is the refusal to limit the discussion to a specific academic frame or scope. Our goal is to offer MLP members and leaders the opportunity to learn together, share their ideas and experiences working for social justice in their congregations and communities, and explore opportunities for peer coaching.

Spring 2017 More Light Teach-In Series:

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We’ve gotten so many requests, we’ve brought back and expanded the Gender Justice and Trans Inclusion Teach-In series. This spring, join hundreds of other advocates how to be a confident ally to transgender people. This series will cover new threats to transgender lives as well as how to welcome transgender and gender nonconforming people into your congregation. Past participants report our trainings helped them bring their faith into conversations about transgender identities and empowered them to take action.

Gender Justice Teach-In Series:

Session I. Connecting the Dots: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Missed the last Teach-In session or want to share a video in your community? Click here to watch and share!
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What will we learn?

How can our congregations be places of welcome for transgender and gender non-binary folks? The starting point for that journey is learning how to discuss the nuances of gender identity and sexual orientation in order to provide a strong foundation of welcome. This teach-in gives participants a vocabulary for welcome and offers fresh ways to discuss gender identity and sexual orientation that look for commonalities rather than categories.    

Session II. Theology of Trans Inclusion

What will we learn?
What does trans inclusion look like? In this training, we’ll dive into the rich Biblical foundation for trans inclusion and explore how churches have successfully made worship more welcoming. Participants will walk away with tools and tactics to make their church spaces more intentionally inclusive of trans identities.  Past participants report that our framework has helped their congregations welcome trans people as well as become more sensitive and open to people of other marginalized groups. 

Session III. Faith in Action for Trans Inclusion

What will we learn?
What good is light hidden under a bushel when people in your community live in darkness?  This training surveys what opportunities for action the current legislative landscape offers faith-led advocates. Beyond national and state-level action, participants will also learn how to implement proactive policies and programs in their home churches. 

 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.


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Looking for resources and archives of the trainings? Be sure to check them out by clicking the notebook icon. We’ll be updating this page as we go with slides from the trainings, and supplemental resources to help you continue to dig into these important topics.


Fall 2016 More Light Teach-In Series:

Racial Justice, Power and Privilege

Session I. Racism and Racial Justice

Teach-In: October 26 • 3:30-4:30pm EST.
Conversation: October 28 • 3:30-4:30pm EST.
Register: Click here to register: http://tinyurl.com/MLPteachIn

What will we learn?
Too often we talk in terms of interpersonal kindness or rudeness when we discuss racism. This session will make the distinction between structural racism and interpersonal conflicts related to race. We will also learn a common vocabulary for talking about racism and developing a shared understand of what Racism is and how Racial Justice can counter it.

circlejessicavazqueztorresTrainer: Jessica Vazquez Torres
Jessica Vazquez Torres is a proven leader with 15 years experience in anti-racism, anti-oppression, and cultural competency workshop development and facilitation. She is active in peace and justice concerns, including worker justice, immigration reform and anti-racism. Jessica is deeply committed to addressing social structures and cultural dynamics that marginalize and minoritize communities and limit their access to resources. Jessica, a 1.5-Generation ESL Queer Latina of Puerto Rican descent, holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Session II. White Privilege and Internalized Dominance

Teach-In: December 13 • 3:00-4:00pm EST
Conversation: December 15 2:00-3:00pm EST
Register: c http://tinyurl.com/MLPteachInPart2

What will we learn?
Join us for Teach-In #2 in our Racial Justice series as we explore the meaning and impact of white privilege and internalized dominance. The next step on a path towards racial justice is to recognize how internalized dominance, as white people and as people of color, impacts community-building and relationships. How can white people recognize and acknowledge white fragility (hurt feelings and shame) and stay the course with racial justice commitments? How can people of color and multiracial people, speak truths about how white privilege impacts multiracial spaces, relationships, and change efforts? Participants will explore the impacts of white privilege, internalized dominance, ways to make space for truth-telling, and how to support others who are paralyzed with feelings of shame that may serve as a block against transformative work for racial justice. In the conditions of recent years, and a post election landscape, understanding the impacts of white supremacy, privilege, and internalized dominance is vital to any work for social justice. Our resistance to these forces and systems reverberate throughout our being, calling us to live out the most important tenet of the Gospel “to love our neighbor!”

mollycircleframeTrainer: Rev. Molly Casteel
Molly Casteel is called to advocacy and anti-oppression change work and has worked in various settings in the field for over 20 years.  She is a teaching elder (Rev.) in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and serves as an Assistant Stated Clerk in the Office of the General Assembly with a Constitutional portfolio of representation, inclusiveness and antiracism.  Her primary work connects across age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, ability, theological perspective and other identity differences and how behaviors, system structures and policies create and maintain inequities among folks.  She provides consultation and training services to mid councils of the denomination.  Having served in a variety of ways in secular and in church settings with intersecting social justice issues, she believes strongly in faith and diverse community being a holy impetus for engaging the world where it is and dreaming (and doing) so that more folks’ dignity and well-being is a necessary condition for community wellness and satisfaction. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her partner and 2 dogs.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, hiking and spending time with loved ones.

Session III. Taking Action for Racial Justice 

Teach-In: January 10 • 3:00-4:00pm EST.
Conversation: 
January 12 • 3:00-4:00pm EST
Register: Click here to register: http://tinyurl.com/MLPteachInPart3

What will we learn?
Making choices to dismantle racism in our schools, congregations, workplaces, and communities takes skill. The teach-in will explore strategies and tools for working together to integrate racial justice measures into our ministries. This teach-in will be facilitated by two pastors who have helped lead their congregations in taking action for racial justice.

 Trainers: Annanda Barclay and Rev. Mamie Broadhurst
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Annanda Barclay is certified ready to receive a call under the care of Mission Presbytery. She obtained her M.Div. at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. Annanda is a Forum for Theological Exploration Ministry Fellow. She is currently the 2016-2017 Pastoral Intern at First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, California. Where she leads worship and serves the community as if she were an associate pastor. Her services to the Church and the denomination include, co-authoring the chapter on Black Lives Matter in the anthology Faithful Resistance, by Rick Ufford-Chase, providing pastoral support for Stanford’s Queerituality student group, and serving on the Steering Committee for the Janie Spahr Initiative at the Center of Innovation and Ministry in SanFrancisco Theological Seminary. Annanda, enjoys pilgriming about life, nerding out on eco-housing, sustainable living, hiking and kayaking. Aside from being granola, she loves family, friends, her beloved dog Wes, and seeing The Divine in the eyes of everyone she meets.

mamiebroadhurst_circleRev. Mamie Broadhurst is the pastor at Covenant Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. She previously served with the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a mission-co-worker in Colombia, South America and as a Young Adult Volunteer in Guatemala. She is a white, heterosexual, married, Christian, southern mother which means that she knows privilege, and she knows manners, and she’s trying to learn when and how to transgress them both.