More Light Presbyterians is pleased to welcome Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey to our family of More Light Churches. The session voted unanimously on Tuesday, April 23 to become a welcoming and affirming More Light Church. Rev. Blake Spencer is the pastor of the congregation.
Ruling Elders at Ocean Heights had this to say:
One elder, whose daughter is a lesbian, said, “It’s amazing to me where we are today. When we first talked about this issue when our former pastor Alexandra Lusak was with us, people left our congregation. Now, we sit at this table and simply say, ‘This is who we are.'”
Another Elder, said, “I’m sorry we have to make this designation to be a More Light congregation. One day people will know we value and cherish LGBTQ folks as children of God because we call ourselves Christian.”
Dan, our gay elder, said, “I’ll never forget when I first joined this church the pastor said, ‘God loves you.’ It was the first time I had ever heard those words. This is why I am in this church.”
Rev. Blake Spencer writes, “Obviously I am deeply moved by the action of the Session of Ocean Heights Church. I cannot express in words what it means to be able to continue my service to the church. The call to Ocean Heights is one I do not take for granted. It was my life-line and in the process I have re-discovered my calling, I have re-discovered my joy for ministry. I’ve tried to express to this congregation just how important and incredible their welcome and acceptance of me has meant for my life.”
Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church moved into their current location on the first Sunday of Advent this year. They are a 150-year-old church with the passion to take risks and the joy to live into new beginnings.