From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Welcoming Service models inclusive church

Date Sun, 27 Jun 2004 21:24:43 -0500

Note #8323 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Welcoming Service models inclusive church
June 27, 2004

Welcoming Service models inclusive church

Worship event is co-sponsored by 3 GLBT organizations

by Vicki Fogel Mykles

RICHMOND, June 27 - A capacity crowd of more than 100 Presbyterians - of all
ages, genders, ethnicities and orientations - gathered Sunday in a Marriott
Hotel ballroom for the Welcoming Presbyterians Service of Worship.

The event was co-sponsored by three gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
(GLBT) organizations: That All May Freely Serve, More Light Presbyterians,
and the Shower of Stoles Project.

The worship music ranged from upbeat, multi-lingual Calypso rhythms to soft
psalms petitioning for peace, justice and freedom.

The readings, from 2 Kings and Galatians, were the basis for two sermons by
Elder Michael Adee of First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, NM, and the Rev.
Eily Marlow, associate chaplain at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Both preachers referred to God's inclusive love for all of humanity, the
angst of exclusion and the sacramental promises of Baptism. Personal stories
recounting the pain of rejection were tempered by knowledge of God's
pervasive claim on all humans. Also woven through both sermons was a thread
of hope that one day all Presbyterians will be welcome to participate fully
in the PC(USA).

Martha Juillerat, the founder and national program director of the Shower of
Stoles Project, presented a large baptismal bowl, a gift to the from the
Reconciling Network of United Methodists, and shared stories about the use of
water in God's scheme of creation. She said gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgendered Methodists are holding their Presbyterian brothers and sisters
in prayer during the 216th GA.

The service concluded with a Communion service and the passing of the peace.

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