The transcript of the sermon delivered by Richard Lindsay at (R)evolutionary Revival Worship Service on June 24, 2008, San Jose, can be found here.



On The Occasion of the Vote by the General Conference of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to Overturn the Ban on the Ordination of Lesbians and Gay Men

June 30, 2008


On behalf of the friends and members of Metropolitan Community Churches, we welcome the decision of the national governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to overturn the long-standing ban on the ordination of lesbians and gay men.

The decision by the General Assembly is a positive step forward for the many lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) persons who are called by God to serve as ordained clergy within the Presbyterian Church (USA) -- and will also bless the larger Church by opening new places of service to the ministry and giftedness of LGBT people.

To become church policy, this decision must be approved over the next year by a majority of the 173 regional presbyteries in the U.S. The friends and members of Metropolitan Community Churches pledge our faithful prayers for the final adoption of this policy throughout the upcoming ratification process.

We encourage our brothers and sisters in each presbytery, like the midwives of Egypt, to feel the call of life more strongly than anything else, and to unite both in ratifying this historic vote and standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality before God.

Many LGBT organizations and persons have devoted their lives to the pursuit of equality. Today, we honor those organizations, including That All May Freely Serve, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, and More Light Presbyterians, that have worked so long to make this day possible. We salute the many individuals whose lives have served as powerful witnesses to God's calling and grace upon lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons. In doing so, we acknowledge our friends and colleagues who worked for this day but did not live to see it, and those who have given their entire professional lives to achieve this level of inclusion. We are grateful for their vision and faithfulness.

Please join me in prayers that this action by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will serve as witness to the radically inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ and that it might inspire each of us to renew our commitment to spiritual justice for all God's people.

Grace and peace,


The Reverend Nancy L. Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches

Presbyterians Vote to Recognize Equal Rights for Families of Same-Gender Partners

June 27, 2008
By Le Anne Clausen

SAN JOSE—The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted 516-151 (13 abstentions) Friday night to recognize equal rights for families of same-gender partners.

In so doing, the Assembly sought to “renew and strengthen the long-standing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) commitment to equal protection under the law for lesbian and gay persons and the 216th General Assembly (2004)’s affirmation of the right of same-gender persons to civil union and, thereby, to all the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities of civil union.”

The Assembly further recognized that “married couples enjoy more than 1,000 protections, benefits, and responsibilities that are denied to committed couples in same-gender partnerships and their children.”

The Assembly also requested Presbyterians to urge state legislatures and the federal government to apply the principle of equal protection to same-gender couples and their children.

A special committee will be appointed by the Moderator, representing the range of perspectives within the PCUSA, to study the history and current policies governing marriage and civil union; the theology and practice of marriage in the Reformed and broader Christian tradition; the relationship between civil union and Christian marriage; the effects of current law on same-gender partners and their children; and the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.

However, the action clearly expressed its intent that “This overture seeks to renew and strengthen the commitment of the PCUSA to equal protection under the law, encourage steps to reinforce this commitment and to affirm the importance of pastoral care and outreach to non-traditional families, including those same-gender commitment partners. This overtures advocates for equal rights and does not seek to redefine the nature of Christian marriage.”

An action seeking to consider redefining the understanding of marriage as a covenant and civil contract between “two people” instead of the current language of “a man and a woman,” was defeated earlier in the evening 540-161 with three abstentions.

Still, the action asserted the PCUSA’s “Support [for] congregations, sessions, and ministers of Word and Sacrament who are seeking to extend pastoral care as well as outreach and evangelism to same-gender couples and their nontraditional families who are more and more our neighbors on our streets and our fellow members in our pews.”

The full text of the Assembly action can be found at:

For more information and related articles, please visit: That All May Freely Serve

New Church (R)evolution is the young adult program of That All May Freely Serve, which seeks full inclusion of all members of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).


Presbyterians Seek Alternatives to Litigation Against Departing Congregations

June 27, 2008
By Le Anne Clausen

SAN JOSE—The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted 519-157 to ask individual congregations and regional governing committees (presbyteries) to develop processes which allow congregations to depart the denomination without resorting to costly litigation.

Previous church policy has held that individual church buildings and property belong to the Presbytery in their geographic location rather than the congregation; and that a congregation wishing to dissolve their relationship with the denomination would lose their property in the process. According to speakers on the floor, 39 lawsuits have been filed by presbyteries and the national denomination against congregations seeking to leave the church body.

This issue has generated particular interest given the deliberation of the PCUSA over full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons in the life of the church, especially in recognizing same-gender marriages and ordination. Fear of congregations leaving the denomination has been a frequent concern expressed by those opposing full inclusion, and those favoring inclusion believe this is a significant reason full inclusion has not yet been affirmed by the denomination.

Speakers in favor of today’s action noted the burdensome cost of pursuing litigation and the barrier to open communication and pastoral care that often occurs with litigation. They also noted that such litigation is also “deadly to the cause of Christ,” and causes harm to relationships.
The action states, “the presbytery’s pastoral responsibility… must not be submerged beneath other responsibilities,” and that “it is our belief that Scripture and the Holy Spirit require a gracious witness from us rather than a harsh legalism.”

The Reverend Robert Austell, Presbytery of Charlotte, and Elder Archie Smith, Presbytery of San Joaquin, offered the following hope in their written rationale for the move:
“This could result in a final picture, not of two embittered enemies in court, but in mutual blessing and partnership in the midst of the sadness of parting. We envision presbytery leadership and local church leadership working together to bless and make way for a majority group and to take great care to relocate and shepherd a minority group. This could be the last great joint mission effort of two parts of Christ’s body who are focusing on different mission fields.”

Full text of the action may be found at:

Further information may be found by visiting:

New Church (R)evolution is the young adult program of That All May Freely Serve, which seeks full inclusion of all members of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).


Presbyterians Deny Recognition of Same-Gender Marriages

By Le Anne Clausen

San Jose, CA, June 27, 2008: The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted Friday evening to deny a change of language that would recognize marriage as a covenant between “two people” instead of “a man and a woman.”

The vote differed 540 to 161, with three abstentions. However, Youth Advisory Delegates, Theological Student Advisory Delegates, and Missionary Advisory Delegates were split nearly evenly on the issue.

The overture, originally presented by the Baltimore Presbytery, asked for the denomination to send the proposed amendments to the presbyteries for their affirmative or negative response. The Baltimore Presbytery reasoned that "in our churches and communities same gender couples are living together in loving, committed, monogamous relationships. They are raising children, caring for aging parents, and making positive contributions to their communities. These couples include new and long-time members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Their relationships are equivalent to a marriage in every way but formal recognition by the church and by most states in which they live, though some states are recognizing their relationships as marriages or civil unions."

Since 1991, the PCUSA has worked under an 'Authoritative Interpretation' that distinguishes between same-sex unions, which it has permitted within the church, and homosexual marriage, which it has not. In 2000, an ecclesiastical court ruling (Benton v. Presbytery of Hudson River) affirmed this teaching and distinguished between "a permissible same-sex ceremony and a marriage ceremony is that the latter confers a new status whereas the former blesses an existing relationship."

Still to be decided tonight by the Assembly is whether to affirm the committee's recommendation to recognize the family health care rights of domestic partners, and whether to persue through litigation properties belonging to congregations who elect to leave the PCUSA.

For more information, please visit:


Presbyterians Vote to Approve Change of Ordination Policies for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Ministers, Elders and Deacons

San Jose, CA, June 27, 2008: Shortly before noon on Friday, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) voted to change ordination policies of the denomination. Up to now, requirements included "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." The new passage simply states that candidates for ordination "pledge themselves to live lives obedient to Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, striving to follow where he leads through the witness of the Scriptures, and to understand the Scriptures through the instruction of the Confessions." The motion will now be sent to the individual presbyteries (regional clusters of congregations) for ratification, and will need to pass by a simple majority in order to change the Book of Order (constitution).

Also see the TAMFS announcement at


Hate Group Accosts Presbyterians at General Assembly

By Le Anne Clausen

San Jose, CA, June 26, 2008: Carrying signs and shouting epithets such as "Jesus hates you" and "All Presbyterians will burn in hell," a hate group accosted dozens of participants in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)'s General Assembly at the San Jose Convention Center Wednesday night.

The group arrived a day after the denomination's committee recommendation to the Assembly to delete G-6.0106(b), a clause that excludes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons in relationships from being ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament.

The group brought large signs declaring, "Homosexuality is a Threat to National Security," and positioned themselves on the plaza outside the Convention Center. Presbyterian commissioners (voting delegates), youth delegates, and other participants in the Assembly were returning from a supper break when the incident occurred.

In response, members of New Church (R)evolution (NCR), a young adult program of That All May Freely Serve, formed a nonviolent counter-witness by kneeling in a line in front of the protestors and praying and singing about God's love for all people. NCR members also offered freshly-baked cookies to comfort Presbyterians who were distressed at the behavior of the protestors.

A male protestor who appeared to be leading the group shouted obscenities at the women kneeling. After several more statements such as these, a young woman kneeling with the group broke down in tears. One of the protestors shouted at her, "You'll be crying when you're burning in hell!" Later, another young woman observing the group also broke down in tears as the man began to harangue her also. NCR members counseled the women and escorted them away from the man.

The group's signs advertised that they belonged to Bema Ministries. According to Bema's website (, they are "a husband and wife evangelism team…..[intending to] publicly preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, mostly on college campuses and at large events such as the Super Bowl, Mardi-Gras, Fantasy Fest, and the like." A photo on their site shows two of the group members who were present at the Convention Center incident smiling and wearing t-shirts saying, "Only Jesus Christ the Messiah can save you from burning in Hell!"

Later in the evening, Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick, the administrative head of the PCUSA, advised the Assembly that the police had been called to intervene with the protestors because their behavior had "offended and concerned" many members of the Assembly. However, he explained, the police could not intervene further since the protestors were on the sidewalk and not on public property.

New Church (R)evolution plans to continue being a nonviolent presence in response to the Bema group throughout the Assembly as needed.

For photos and more details, please visit

Other links:
Also available on Facebook "New Church R Evolution"


Howard B. Warren Award to Jim and Jackie Spahr

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today That All May Freely Serve honored two life-long advocates of LGBT equality. Each year TAMFS presents the Howard B. Warren Award to individuals who embody the same passion and radical inclusion that Howard Warren envisioned for the church. Warren was often described as “God’s Glorious Gadfly!” Today we celebrated Warren’s deep-seated love for the Church as TAMFS presented Jim and Jackie Spahr with the Howard B. Warren Award.

Jim and Jackie have a long history of supporting LGBT equality. They were the founders of the PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter in their community, and were at the forefront of advocating for full insurance coverage of those living with HIV/AIDS. Jim and Jackie have also been strong proponents of marriage equality and full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church.

Today’s event took place outside the San Jose Convention Center where the 218th General Assembly of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is currently meeting.

More at


Glimpses of the New Church Revolution: Techno Evening Prayer

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

By Le Anne Clausen

An abandoned parking lot sits in the midst of the city, not far from the glitz of convention centers and high-rise hotels. Strains of Moby and a thumping beat lead people into this space off the beaten path. Sidewalk chalk marks out a labyrinth to one side, and young adults walk along its paths thoughtfully. There's an RV, and undulating images to accompany the music are projected against the large white walls of the vehicle. Nearby, there's a table with cookies and a cooler full of water to revive tired worshippers. Dozens of tea lights flicker and form paths in the darkness.

Welcome to Techno Evening Prayer, held nearly every evening during the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). Members of the New Church (R)evolution create the alternative worship space each evening, after the fervor of the Assembly proceedings.

In a quiet corner, a rug and pillows allow people to pray quietly alone or with a prayer leader. In the center, people are dancing, wearing and waving glow sticks. Others are playing with beach-balls. Still others are painting designs on each others' faces. The music is lowered for opening and closing prayer and words of welcome.

Here twenty to thirty young adults, and often members of older generations gather to dance, sing, pray, hug, cry, shout and laugh with one another. There's something for everyone, and leaders and participants alike actively seek to make everyone feel welcome.

Sure, it's advertised as the 'church of the future,' but what does this have to do with full inclusion of LGBTQ members of the church? For some, it is simply a safe place to express identity and practice acceptance of themselves and others as they are created. For others, the variety of activities available as forms of prayer and worship illustrate the many kinds of people that are in our churches and how worship and prayer in community need to be made available and accessible to all.

Last night, after an anti-gay hate group accosted members of the Assembly, worship participants drew out in sidewalk chalk all the meanings they could think of for love. The parking lot was filled with handwriting and some profound thoughts, from 'Love doesn't endure abuse' to 'Love is Radical' to '[Love] is always enough.'

Techno Evening Prayer will continue to be held each night at 11:30 until Friday June 27, 2008, just off the Parkside Walkway between the San Jose Civic Center and the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

For pictures, please visit:

Le Anne Clausen
Director, Center for Faith and Peacemaking


Old Time Religion Meets New Church (R)evolution in San Jose

San Jose, CA, June 25, 2008: Change was in the air at the (R)evolutionary Revival Worship Service in downtown San Jose. One hundred enthusiastic participants sang, danced, and clapped their way through the service; most of them were in San Jose for the biennial General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). New Church (R)evolution, a young adult outreach of That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS), sponsored the event.

TAMFS is a national ministry based in Rochester, New York, working to create an inclusive church for all who are disenfranchised: a church honoring diversity and welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons as full members. Full membership includes eligibility for ordination to the offices of elder, deacon, and Minister of Word and Sacrament.

Joining with the Presbyterians was a choir and praise band from the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, who brought their upbeat inspirational gospel music to the crowd. "The choir was absolutely uplifting and remarkable," said Lisa Larges, Minister-Coordinator of TAMFS, “The Spirit is definitely on the sidewalks of San Jose tonight.”

New Church (R)evolution team leader Richard Lindsay preached the sermon, which called on the Presbyterian Church (USA) to govern based on the needs of the rising generation of leadership, rather than re-fighting the battles of the past.

"There is a new Generation rising up in this church," Lindsay said in his sermon, "a welcoming generation that doesn't feel the need to fit sexuality and gender into the traditional categories."

Lindsay stressed the need for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to let go of fear about the future of the church and be a justice-seeking organization.

"God has not fully revealed to us what the future of the Mainline Protestant church will be, but we do know what it will not be," he said. "It will not be a white-dominated, male-dominated, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, anti-immigrant, racist, classist church. That model of church is over. The Mainline church may be in the desert, but you cannot take the people of God back to Egypt and call it a renewal."

Earlier in the afternoon, one of the committees of the General Assembly, Church Orders and Ministry, decided decisively to recommend that G-6.0106b be removed from the Book of Order, one of two parts of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s constitution. This provision, also known as Amendment B, has been used to exclude LGBT persons within the Presbyterian Church from being ordained to serve as church officers or ministers.

The entire body of the General Assembly will now convene in plenary sessions for the next three days. Minister- and Elder-Commissioners, along with Youth Advisory Delegates, Theological Seminary Delegates, and delegates representing the international mission of the denomination, will decide whether or not to heed the invitation of the welcoming generation to be fair and inclusive.

The transcript of the sermon is available here. The video clips of the sermon can be found here.


Group Praises Today's Action by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Committee Paving Way for LGBT Ordination

San Jose, CA, June 25, 2008: That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS), a group advocating for full membership of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), hailed a 41 to 11 committee vote to remove discriminatory language from the church’s constitution, opening the door for ordination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

"Today was an historic day for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who have been waiting for the Presbyterian Church to embrace all people as equal members," said Lisa Larges, Executive Director of TAMFS. "This was the most votes on record affirming LGBT people who are called to ministry."

The next step in the process is for the full assembly to vote on the recommendation made by the “Church Orders and Ministry” committee. The vote is expected to occur either Thursday or Friday of this week. If the full assembly votes affirmatively on the committee’s recommendation then each of the 173 presbyteries across the country will have to ratify the decision before it takes effect.

For more information about the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) please visit HYPERLINK

For more information about TAMFS please visit HYPERLINK

Posted By (R)evolutionary to New Church (R)evolution at 6/25/2008 11:20:00 AM


Young Adults Press for Changes in Presbyterian Ordination Policy

San Jose, CA, June 23, 2008: Young adults have seen the future of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and it is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. This was the message of members of the New Church (R)evolution team on the first day of business at the Presbyterian General Assembly. Members of the New Church (R)evolution team greeted commissioners, delegates, and observers while riding Segways and bearing signs that said "The Church of the Future." As representatives of this "future church," they thanked commissioners for being the General Assembly that removed barriers to ordination for LGBT people.

Practicing acts of "guerilla hospitality," team members handed out coffee with labels that said, "Provided by the Welcoming Generation." Later in the day, the same team handed out cookies freshly baked in the New Church (R)evolution RV, parked just off the convention center site. "We just anted to provide some kind of outreach that brought a smile to people's faces and wasn't about debating the issues with commissioners," said Katie Moore, a member of the New Church (R)evolution team.

During the General Assembly lunch break, team members threw plastic balls to commissioners with questions written on them like "What gifts do LGBT people have to bring to the church?" Answers included ideas like, "preaching," "leadership," "music," and "teaching." Or simply, "The same as anyone else."

New Church (R)evolution is a young adult outreach of That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS). TAMFS is a national ministry based in Rochester, New York, working to create an inclusive church for all who are disenfranchised: a church honoring diversity and welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons as full members. Full membership includes eligibility for ordination to the offices of elder, deacon, and Minister of Word and Sacrament.


New Church (R)evolution Team Witnesses to General Assembly Worshippers

San Jose, CA, June 22, 2008: Members of That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) and the New Church (R)evolution team provided a witness in front of a worship service being held during the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) General Assembly on Sunday morning. The team held signs with messages like "We are all God's children," and "The church has room, why no use it?" The team drummed and handed out buttons, along with help from their friends from the Central Presbyterian youth group from Atlanta. The buttons had the message "I'm a member of the Welcoming Generation, join me!" Asked to explain the idea of the "Welcoming Generation," Lisa Larges, minister coordinator of That All May Freely Serve, said, "The Welcoming Generation is anyone of any age that wants the church and the world to be inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people." Larges explained that TAMFS was at General Assembly this year to encourage the church to govern from the perspective of the Welcoming Generation. "We have to start being the church we want to see."

Members of the Central Presbyterian youth group held signs asking those attending the service to support a resolution also supported by the TAMFS team allowing youth under the age of 18 to serve as volunteers at General Assembly. The young people were denied the opportunity to serve as ushers and communion volunteers for General Assembly worship.

New Church (R)evolution is a young adult outreach of That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS). TAMFS is a national ministry based in Rochester, New York, working to create an inclusive church for all who are disenfranchised: a church honoring diversity and welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons as full members. Full membership includes eligibility for ordination to the offices of elder, deacon, and Minister of Word and Sacrament.


Techno Evening Prayer, Opening Service

San Jose, CA, June 21, 2008: New Church (R)evolution, a group formed by That All May Freely Serve, had their first Techno Evening Prayer service on Saturday, June 21 in downtown San Jose. This time of post-modern prayer was a time for people at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly to mediate and worship with their bodies. Techno Evening prayer was started to give people the chance to have a little fun and wind down from the stressful days of the General Assembly.


Moderator Election

San Jose, CA, June 21, 2008: On Saturday night, the assembly gathered to elect the moderator for the 218th general assembly. The night was charged with energy. The four candidates nominated were all spectacular men, each qualified in his own way to be Moderator. The issue over LGBT ordination was the third question to be asked. Two of the four candidates answered that while they were for full inclusion, they did not think the church was there yet. Also asked was a question about a specific Transgender individual who felt the church was taking Jesus away from here. This was a historical moment in the PC(USA). Never before had the word “transgender” been uttered on the floor of GA, other than prefacing it with “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual...” As historic as this moment was, none of the candidates even acknowledged that this was a Transgender issue. The candidates bypassed the issue by speaking about “homosexuality” or saying, “I need to know the context.”

After the questioning, the floor voted. Bruce Reyes Chow was elected after only two rounds of voting. Bruce will be bringing the new generation into the PC(USA). He is definitly a peace maker and will work with both sides of the church in order for compromise. NC(R) is ecstatic that the church is gearing up for the new generation, where LGBT exclusion is a thing of the past.


(TAMFS ) The New Church (R)evolution at General Assembly

Our NCR team is complete and we would love to have others join in our events during GA. If you’re coming to GA and would like to help out, contact Lisa at . This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

At it’s May 3, 2008 meeting the That All May Freely Serve unanimously adopted the following positions to guide our work at the 218th General Assembly:

  • that in accordance with TAMFS' historical stand, our strategy for GA is to support Delete B Overtures and that in addition we support the Overture to correct the PJC decision that separates belief from practice.
  • that TAMFS support legislative changes that broaden the definition of covenantal relationships recognized by the church.
  • that TAMFS support the Overture regarding the correction of the Heidelberg Confession.

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