Out Spoken in the PC(USA)


Welcoming Your Stories for General Assembly
Stories like Shannon’s and Jim’s are all our stories. We will be sharing these and more at General Assembly to help others know who we are and what it has been like in the PC(USA) over the years. You are invited to submit parts of your story you wish others to know. We will be accepting your contributions through Wednesday, June 1. Please send you texts to ray@nulltamfs.org.

The Rev. Dr. Letty Mandeveille Russell

The Rev. Dr. Letty Mandeville Russell

“Upon her death in 2007, I, as her civil union partner, received a letter from the Board of Pensions requesting that I return the most recent pension check that had been sent to her. I was told I would not be eligible to receive her pension as the Presbyterian Church … did not recognize gay marriage for preaching elders. ”

By Shannon Clarkson. Read Shannon’s Story

Jim Vespa, Rochester, NY

Jim Vespa, Rochester, NY

“I moved to Rochester from Indianapolis in November 1991 to be with my partner, Michael Thomas. We knew that he was HIV-positive but we decided to spend our lives together and looked forward to as many years with each other as we might have.”

By Jim Vesper. Read Jim’s Story

That All May Freely Serve Supports Ovt 050 (Item 11-05):
On the Admission of, and Apology for, Harms Done to the LGBTQ/Q Members of the PC(USA), Family and Friends From the Presbytery of New York City.
Read the Overture Here

All the overtures coming before the Social Justice Committee – Committee 11.

Got Moms?
from Believe Out Loud – 5 years ago
According the the FBI’s statistics: “In 2014, 20.8% of hate crimes reported to police in 2013 were founded on perceived sexual orientation.” So, if the numbers remained the same, in the five years since this video was produced, more than 12,000 hate crimes have been committed against folks who identify or are perceived to be LGBTQ/+. Add to that family and friends who have been affected when loved ones have been targeted, and it is easy to see why the work of lifting up the changes in the PC(USA) and acknowledging the harms that have been done are so important to us – and to those who watch us. More

See all the overtures coming before the Social Justice Committee – Committee 11.

Janie speaking with many she married following her conviction on three misconduct charges on Feb. 7, 2012 by the GAPJC of thePC(USA) in Napa, CA. This rebuke was refused and Janie’s service praised by the Presbytery of the Redwoods by a vote of 74-18 in 2012, marking a turning point of immense importance. More

Janie Spahr asks for your story in support of Item 11-05:
This year an overture is coming before our General Assembly in Portland, Oregon. This overture invites the church to acknowledge the harm done to so many of us, our families, and friends.

To help us in our efforts, could I ask you to take a few moments to share your struggle with the PC(USA)? It would be so helpful to hear your story and I know how much it would mean for people at GA to read it. We will share your narratives at That All May Freely Serve’s booth, with the GA Social Justice committee, with More Light Presbyterians, with Covenant Network of Presbyterians, with Presbyterian Voices for Justice and with so many of our friends and allies as well as with commissioners. Read the Letter


A Call to Reconciliation by Ray Bagnuolo,

That All May Freely Serve
Updated May 7, 2016; Original Publication Date March 2, 2016

A Call to Reconciliation: Overture 050

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. (Matthew 6:12)

But what of religious institutions that have played a role causing harm to others? How does a religious body ask God for forgiveness for what it may have done in trespassing against others? How does a church ask forgiveness of those who have been hurt by its practices and actions? More

More Light Presbyterians’ Response to Overture 050 (Item 11-05)
That All May Freelus Serve is  gratefmlpul to the  MLP Board for its participation and direction in this process. Many voices working together toward Truth and Reconciliation is the “alternate” we’ve always shared against the backdrop of the world to which we work to bring change. That All May Freely Serve is committed to working together, always! More

Covenant Network Board says “No” to Overture 050CovNet.Banner (Item 11-05)
April 12, 2016


“…because of our commitment to unity, the Board of the Covenant Network is hopeful that Presbyterians will not support Overture 050 (now designated Item 11-05), which seeks to have the General Assembly issue an “apology” for past actions of individuals and presbyteries and names as erroneous actions that were—and in some cases still are—permissible under the Constitution of the church.” Full Text

Apology by the Presbytery of The Twin Cities Area of 1997
On 1997-JUN-10, the following Statement of Apology was issued by the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was in response to the church’s passage of Amendment B. More

“True Confession: A Presbyterian Dissenter Thinks About the Church”
By Barbara G. Wheeler

“As I noted earlier, our condemnation of homosexual practices reinforces hatred of homosexuals throughout this society. Former moderator John Fife once said that every time a gay teenager commits suicide, there is a sense in which that goes on the Presbyterian Church’s chart.” More

First United TroySession of First United Presbyterian Church, Troy, NY offers New Rationale for Overture 050 to Albany Presbytery
“Additional Rationale for Overture 050” offered by First United Presbyterian Church, Troy, NY to Albany Presbytery on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. More

Asked on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tamfs:

“Does the overture [Overture 050] imply that the general assembly will be moving away from a neutral stance/local option on whether or not homosexuality is understood in the consciences of individual ministers, sessions and presbyteries as “sin” and going all the way to endorse, officially, and on a national level homosexuality? Can the denomination as a whole “apologize” for calling homosexuality a sin and then turn around and keep minister members in its ranks (like myself) who still believe and teach that homosexual sex is sin? Will this apology create grounds for conservative minister members to be prosecuted?” Response by Ray Bagnuolo on 3/29/16images

Overture 050 Now on the Docket for General Assembly

“This effort to move the institution of the church in a direction toward reconciliation and healing stirs up many responses. Were there no reasons for the strong reactions that have been evidenced – we might think beginning this discussion on a national church level unimportant. Clearly that is not the case. OVT 050 will now come before the church, demonstrating whether or not we are ready to admit harms done to our LGBTQ/Q community and others. The months ahead and the actions we take will speak to that witness for all who listen, within and without the denomination.” More

That All May Freely Serve Annual Summary – 2015

  • You can use the reader below to read the summary online or download here in .pdf Format. The file is a little over 12 mb. The online reader also has live links embedded, making it easy to follow anything of interest.
  • Included is our annual budget projections for 2016 of $50,000. We ask for your prayers and your good words on our behalf, and if possible – we welcome your financial support! With a budget as small as ours, every gift really helps! Thanks.

End the Hate Speech and the Hatred

My collar is on for this… this is more than just a political issue or reality TV show. Speaking out against such ideas and language has been our tradition from the very start. Let’s disagree and debate – but let’s not do what the leading Republican candidate for the President of the United States is doing. We are all better than this and better than all this candidate has to say.

On Candidates and Hate Speech from Ray Bagnuolo on Vimeo.

Leadership Going Forward…

The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) now stands as one of the most powerful documents of faith for the full inclusion of the LGBTQ/Queer community on the face of the planet. So, with the profound advances that have been made in the last several years and the need for the message we have to share – what makes us so timid about shouting this from the rooftops? The short video and audio talks about these things and more, adding my voice to the witness that hopefully will grow – inviting you to add your voice and comments, as well.  Peace, Rev. Ray Bagnuolo, Chaplain, That All May Freely Serve; www.tamfs.org

Out Spoken in the PC(USA) Audio

Congratulations to The Rev. Molly McGinnis!

Molly was ordained on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. What a wonderful celebration the folks at Central provided for this day of faith, community, and the wildly present God who calls us all! See all the pictures at www.mollysordination.com 






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  1. Pingback: Will PCUSA apology to LGBTQ/Q create grounds for conservative ministers to be prosecuted? - The Layman Online

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