Contrary to rumor, the RCA's heart for LGBTQ inclusiveness is beating strong!  
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Why is this the best General Synod photo? Because of the layers of meaning it represents. 

Somewhere around 60 people gathered outside the chapel at Trinity College for an inclusive worship service on Sunday, June 12. A sense of heaviness had been rising: Synod conversations were coming about the RCA's response to same-gender marriage, and by extension, about LGBTQ people. Complaints had been made about our publicity posters the night before, and again that morning as we attempted to use an RfA banner to direct worshipers to our location. Apparently someone felt the need to protest about a worship service. As people arrived, most were just learning about the massacre at a gay bar in Orlando. Although the sun was shining and a cool breeze blew, things felt sober, indeed. What else to be done but gather in silence? What else but  a prayer of lament, offered by a gay man, an elder in the Reformed Church in America?

It was then, in that prayer, that we remembered who and whose we are. "I am at home," we sang. "I am at home in this world of creation, I am at home in the body of Christ. I am at home with the breath of the Spirit. I am at home with the Love of my life."                                                                   (Hymn by Liam Battjes)

We recalled our baptism. The Word was spoken and heard, the Lord's Supper was shared, prayers and songs were offered, we were sent forth in hope. All of this, led throughout by people who know themselves to be loved and called by God, and who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer.  

Who gathered in the presence of God that morning? We were ministers, elders, and laity. Believers and seekers. We were an infant in a stroller, a young, newly-ordained gay man, a white-haired General Secretary emeritus. We came to the Table unaided, or with canes, crutches or walkers. Our skin was not all the same color. Our ancestors were not all Dutch.

We were simply, profoundly, the body of Christ -- grateful to be at home.



 
 
 
 


 

Find resources about General Synod 2016 at this new page on our website, including a link to "#WeAretheRCA," a blog series of daily letters by LGBTQ people and allies compiled by Rev. Stacey Midge.

Help us Grow!
 

To encourage others to demonstrate support for RfA's mission, Phil and Nancy Miller of Holland, Michigan, have offered us a generous matching funds challenge up to $25,000!  Here are all the details!


Stories, "Outsights," Resources & More.
All of these are found at RfA's website.  Check out a couple of new and powerful stories by Kate Mears and Kevin Muur, and recent opinion pieces by guest bloggers, Bob Mutch, Donna Field, and others.
Here's a BIC workshop for congregations in the Regional Synod of Albany, to foster conversations about becoming more LGBTQ inclusive. Space is limited, so register now!
Would you like to schedule a BIC in your area?  Contact RfA's Community Coordinator, Cameron Van Kooten Laughead.
Mary Kansfield
RfA Historian
Mary Kansfield has lived RfA's history, and is the author of an essay documenting our first ten years, titled,  "Making Room for All."  The essay is found in the newest volume in the RCA Historical Series, titled, "Yes! Well..."  Exploring the Past, Present, and Future of the Church:  Essays in Honor of John W. Coakley (James Hart Brumm, editor). Congratulations, Mary!
 

 
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