About

A favorite quote from our beloved co-founder Virginia West Davidson (1916-2009):

“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling this journey with us. Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind!”

Henri Amiel (1821-1881)

History

That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) was founded in 1992 to advocate for an inclusive and welcoming Church and for the ordination of qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) candidates for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). We were formed in response to a 1992 ecclesiastical court decision by the highest judicial body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) which set aside the pastoral call of the Rev. Dr. Jane Adams (Janie) Spahr to the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, simply because she was open about her lesbian identity. In a constructive response to this painful denial, the Downtown Church created a mission project, That All May Freely Serve, and called on Rev. Spahr, their “traveling lesbian evangelist,” to visit congregations with pastors and church members throughout the country, telling the stories of LGBT Presbyterians.

Our Mission

We actively work to resist and transform structures and systems of injustice by being present and engaged – pastorally and as advocates – during these times of transition in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Our Commitment

We join in solidarity in making the connections with those disenfranchised by racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ablebodyism, gender identity oppression, eco-exploitation, militarism, and all other structures of exploitation and oppression through the lens of our social location. We focus on the liberation from religious prejudice and exclusionary church policies.

Our Core Values

INTEGRITY

  • Transparent so that all may know clearly who we are and what we do
  • Consistent, faithful, and truthful as we embody our vision and mission
  • Clear about our purpose and the path we take
  • Persistent as we face difficulties and conflict
  • Trusting one another’s goodwill and our ultimate goal

SPIRIT-BASED

  • Center our actions in prayer and worship
  • Live and act with unconditional love
  • Open to the spirit and listening for God’s voice
  • Hear and respond to the cries of creation and of each other
  • Seek spiritual wisdom

LOVE, JUSTICE, FREEDOM FOR ALL

  • Notice what people/groups are and are not included
  • Confront systems of oppression
  • Grow into our own strong voices
  • Live into a greater wholeness with the universe and all who live therein
  • Ask questions of access and cultural influences/differences

RELATIONAL

  • Listen to one another’s stories
  • Make decisions after listening to others
  • Remember that cultural influences and differences affect relationships
  • Covenant together to maintain and honor our connections
  • Join together in a kind of relationality in which “all participants are engaged, empathic, and growing (Judith V. Jordan, “The Meaning of Mutuality“)