Out of Order is a feature length documentary following the journey of three LGBTQIA+ members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) seeking ordination. The passage of 10-A, now known as G-2.0104, removed barriers to the ordination of openly LGBT candidates for ministry at a policy level.
Reality on the ground is often very different. Kate LeFranc, a cast member in Out of Order, has been looking for a job with a Presbyterian congregation for two years. “Every time she is close to being hired and discloses her sexual orientation, she’s overlooked in favor of a different candidate…as Kate’s story proves, congregational prejudice is far more insidious.”
Writing for Unbound, John Russell Stanger describes the challenges facing the group of LGBTIA+ future ministers meeting at a retreat in the South where the film begins. “In the last eight years and we have brought together almost 75 inquirers and candidates together from around the country in that time. Since the retreat began four people have been ordained. Sadly, 13 have made the difficult decision to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) because of the deep pain they have experienced in our denomination.”
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The film does more than document the struggles of LGBT people seeking to serve the Presbyterian Church (USA), but also outlines the unique contributions LGBT people of faith can bring to the church.
It tackles the issue of homophobia by subverting cliches of lesbian and trans people, instead offering a new vision. Our cast of characters challenges the legacy of spiritual violence and proposes a new face of Christianity; one that both welcomes queer clergy and celebrates its leadership. Out of Order is the first film of its kind to positively portray queer people of faith actively changing the meaning of church through alternative Christian communities, worship practices, and theological interpretation.
If you think this is a film about being gay or being a Christian, think again. Out of Order is about empowerment. It invites everyone, gay, straight, faithless or religious to stand up and start making a difference. As Secretary of State Hilary Clinton declared at the International Human Rights day in Geneva, “LGBTQ people are not less than human. That is why gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.”
Amanda Bluglass, Director of Out of Order, is an award-winning UK-based independent director specializing in documentaries and factual films. With nearly twenty years’ experience working in moving image, she has been a BBC news reporter, TV producer and radio journalist. Her aim is to tell true stories through arresting visual images, using sumptuous cinematography. In a blog post at Out of Order, she describes how the filming will unfold.
This is not a film which has been scripted in advance or planned. We don’t yet know what is about to happen. What will happen to Alex as he meets with his ordination committee? Will charges be brought against Mieke? Will those who disagree with queer clergy and same-sex marriage engage with us and open a discussion on film? We don’t yet know.
For all of us on the production team it is about courage: for those risking their jobs within the church or those of us hoping to raise the funds to complete filming – it’s all a big risk. It’s pretty terrifying, to be honest. But we all believe wholeheartedly in the project and we feel more alive for being part of it. Our instincts are to hold fast to what we believe in, and we are creating an amazing family on this film which lends support at every turn.
If you would like to support this project with your prayers and financial contributions, visit the Out of Order website.