A New Vision for TAMFS
Saturday, February 23, 2013; Austin, Texas
We are truly blessed in the PC(USA) for these and other progressive organizations working tirelessly for a fully welcoming and inclusive church:
Presbyterian Promise in New England
Presbyterian Welcome in New York
Presbyterian Voices for Justice
More Light Presbyterians
That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS)
How good it is to have such witness and missions in the PC(USA) in these times!
In mid-year 2012, That All May Freely Serve began anew, continuing as a ministry of Downtown United Presbyterian Church (DUPC) in Rochester, NY. We agreed that the work of TAMFS was unfinished and an earlier decision to dissolve the organization was reversed. The TAMFS Board called me to serve as Evangelist and the Session of DUPC agreed to provide TAMFS with the home it has always known, in the church where it was born in March 1993.
TAMFS now moves ahead with a simple vision: to make sure that any time anyone in the PC(USA) who is LGBT/QQ* reaches out for help — that they will not be alone. Not only will we answer the call, literally, but through our network, we will quickly get folks to be with them. Building on a chaplaincy model integrated within a grass roots movement, we have created a plan that relies on the many thousands of those in the church who have lived through struggle to help others. Yes, we’re talking about being present (the ministry of presence) and passing on our experience,Â strength, and hope to our sisters and brothers, congregations, presbyteries, and the church in whatever way we can.
In December of last year, Janie and I spent a week in and around the Bay Area in San Francisco, visiting with churches, the LGBT/QQ community, allies, and supporters. We listened to folks, shared our ideas, and found powerful support for this effort. In the last few weeks, I have been with pastors, seminarians, congregations, and presbytery leadership in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston – listening to what folks need and sharing TAMFS’ mission with them. I have also had the chance to meet with PC(USA) leadership in Louisville on this trip and received very positive feedback on TAMFS’ plan to do what legislation and constitutional change alone cannot do.
As we go forward, we will keep everyone updated through this website and emails. If you would like to be on our email list, just send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in being part of the training we are planning to prepare “chaplains,” let me know, as well. And, your questions, ideas, or ways in which you would like to be involved in this pastoral care effort are truly welcome.
Remember, we have a toll free help and referral line: 1-877-TAMFS64 that you can post in bulletins or on your websites or share with others you think might need someone to talk to. We are excited about this call in which we all can serve, and we look forward to hearing from you.
So please, keep us in your prayers and think about becoming available in your area for the occasions when we need someone to help. Yes! We also welcome whatever financial support you can offer. Our projected budget for 2013 is $95,000, which includes my draw of $2,500/mos; an additional $3,500/mos in travel and related expenses; and $20,000 for mailings, materials, and costs related to building and maintaining a network to support the effort. We are keeping it simple, and appreciate whatever you can do to help.
Many thanks to everyone for everything you have done and are doing to make this church the radically loving and welcoming church we know it can be! Â We’ve come a long way…and we’ve only just begun, again!
Ray Bagnuolo, Evangelist
That All May Freely Serve
*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Queer and Questioning