‘God’s Whole Family’ welcomed at Presbyterian conference


Pastor Jim Kitchens
Photo by Allen McAlister

Second Presbyterian Nashville will host “The National Conference of Welcoming and Affirming Presbyterians" on September 4-6.  The conference is being produced by the local chapter of More Light Presbyterians, a group which actively seeks the full inclusion of GLBT individuals in the life of the church.

This year’s theme is “God’s Whole Family” and will address the strong message found in Scriptures of Jesus embracing all who believe in Him.

“This conference is a giant family reunion and a wonderful opportunity to experience incredible speakers, workshops, worship and fellowship,” said Vicki Dearing of Oklahoma City, a co-moderator of the National More Light Presbyterians.

A variety of workshops will be available to conferees including GLBT-family concerns, legal issues and how gays and lesbians finding their place in the church.  Other workshops will focus on developing congregations that are GLBT friendly and working to make them inclusive in all ministries of the church.  

Jim Kitchens, pastor of the Second Presbyterian, has proven himself to be a solid ally for the GLBT community. 

“We are excited to be welcoming Presbyterians from across the country who share Second’s desire to see full inclusion of GLBT Christians in the life and ministry of the church,” Kitchens said.

Second Presbyterian Church is located at 3511 Belmont Blvd. in Nashville.
Photo by Allen McAlister

Trice Gibbons, who serves on the More Light Presbyterian Board and is an active member of Second Presbyterian Nashville said, “GLBT individuals have been struggling to find their place in the church.  This conference will help them not only develop a sense of wholeness, but it will allow them to pay attention to their spiritual needs in a safe environment.”

One of the keynote speakers will be Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly and pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, a multi-cultural Presbyterian church in San Francisco, Cali. 

Rev. Reyes-Chow, who has been married to his wife Robin Pugh since 1990, has been a featured speaker at a variety of faith-based conferences.  He is firmly convicted that life is chaotic.  But the key to finding security amidst the chaos is not to put life in a rigidly controlled box, but to embrace and claim God’s presence in the ambiguity—a difficult way to live, but a way that honors the authenticity of our lives and strengthens our relationship with God.

 The conference is open to anyone who would like attend.  For more information or to register, visit mlp.org.