News from AllianceQ: March 2021

Behind the scenes: years and years of love and support

Love and support from Disciples across the country and an update on the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund 30 for 30 Campaign

The AllianceQ “office phone” rings rather infrequently. I encourage you— please call! With Zoom fatigue and a full inbox, I’d love to talk with you!

An Alliance member was reaching out to initiate a gift to the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund 30 for 30 Campaign. Seriously. He called us to volunteer the gift. (Yes! THANK YOU.)

Grateful for the generous contribution to the fund, I felt such joy after listening to and sharing stories.

Stories of coming out and the coming about of inclusion. Stories of conflict. Stories of hope. Stories that move us toward wholeness.

Justice, healing, and representation for the oppressed

“Sometimes there are people in our lives who speak to the whole of who we are. They are so joyfully authentic that, as if contagious, we begin to feel affirmed in the wholeness of our own personhood. It is a rare and beautiful gift; one which Allen Harris has brought to the lives of so many including myself. I met Allen within the context of our mutual call to serve the Disciples of Christ, who proclaim a mission of being, ‘a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.’ Allen is the very embodiment of this vision and it is positively inspirational. In my experience, there are few people groups who have felt so fractured from the whole than the LGBTQ+ community. Allen has actively sought to bring justice, healing, and representation to the forefront and for many others who have been oppressed and repressed in our shared humanity, let alone the church. I can think of no better name to represent the worthiness of this work. Please consider giving in his honor as he has given so much to honor us all.” -Deborah Saxe

Justice and joy

“Allen Harris balances some of the most pastoral instinct I’ve ever encountered with an almost fearless commitment to liberation for the queer community and for people of color and for people made poor by systems of injustice, and for ALL of us to get free. Plus, that dude is HILARIOUS, and we don’t get enough joy in the church these days, so I say let’s celebrate his compassion, his justice and his joy.” -Sandhya Jha

Let’s celebrate

One way to celebrate: make a financial contribution to the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund. Mail gifts to Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, Allen V. Harris Fund, P.O. Box 44400, Indianapolis, IN 46244 or give online here.

Another way to celebrate: join us for a virtual celebration on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, as we dedicate and bless gifts and honor Rev. Harris. The virtual celebration will not be during morning worship hours; you can, however, bring Allen to your faith community! Rev. Harris will offer Virtual Pulpit Supply for May 23. Sign up now to receive his Pentecost scripture, sermon and sending forth. Stay tuned for details about the May celebration.

Not happy about it

“Allen, an openly gay pastor, was hired at Park Avenue Christian Church and the African American, Haitian and Latino churches were not happy about it, including me. As a result, a moratorium for the ordination of openly gay and lesbian individuals was adopted at the following Regional Assembly. After this ‘ugly’ event I met with Allen for the first time to talk about what it meant to be gay. He embraced me with love and care instead of hatred or shame. He modeled for me what it meant to be a true follower of Christ.” -María C. Pérez

Persistence

“Allen V. Harris is one of the most pastoral and persistent ministers I know. His sense of call to a loving gospel and the faithfulness with which he lives his call is a testament to his passion for people and all of God’s creation.

Allen leads with compassion, honesty, good humor, and self-reflection. His sense of empathy and his ability to form relationships with people of many generations and cultures bears witness to his understanding of the inclusivity of God’s love for the church, all humanity and the world.” -LaTaunya M. Bynum

Bear witness

The love and support for Rev. Allen Harris and the love and support for the ministry of AllianceQ is overwhelming. Allen Harris and AllianceQ invite you to bear witness to God’s expansive love for the church, all humanity and the world. The AVH O&A Endowment Fund will enable the expansion and deepening of open & affirming ministries. Allen’s spirit, his passion and his prophetic witness—and your witness—will perpetually breathe life into the church and our world.

“I am honored to join the campaign to celebrate 30 years of Allen’s ministry! His faithful life has embodied both the gentleness and incredible strength of God’s radical love for us. Thank you, Rev. Harris.” -Rev. Cynthia McBride

“Rev. Harris embodies God’s call to be the Church in the world. He was the first person to affirm my call to ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and through his powerful witness and gifts of spiritual care, he remains a role model for the kind of pastor I strive to be.” -Victoria Wick

Join us. Give now to move us toward our May fundraising goal of $30,000.

About that phone call. The caller was also contributing words of affirmation. He said it was tough to meet the 50-word limit. “Behind the 50 words are years and years of love and support.”

Thank you, disciples, for your stories; your words of affirmation: affirming the life-giving ministry of Allen Harris and the life-changing ministry of AllianceQ.

Thank you, disciples, for your gifts to the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund. Every gift helps shape stories of welcome and belonging.

As of March 8, the 30 for 30 campaign has reached 50% of its goal. We’re halfway there! We’re (only) halfway there. The work for inclusion, for the full life and participation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the church and world—this work must be sustained and expanded. Your gifts to the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Fund move us toward wholeness. Please give to shape years and years of love and support.

The Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund has received gifts and pledges from the following supporters:

Karen and Wayne Barr

Ben Bohren

Renee and Steve Bridwell

Nancy Brink and Maria Perez

David and Rebecca Brown

Cheryl Brush and Al Terry

LaTaunya Bynum

Audrey Connor

Eleanor Cozad Cherryholmes

Alan Dicken

Leigh and David Finnegan-Hosey

Melissa and Leah Guthrie Loy

Allen Harris and Craig Hoffman

Bill and Mary Jacobs

Sandhya Jha

Randy and Sandy Johnson

Belinda King

Don King

Michael Kinnamon

Cynthia McBride

Michele McGuirl

John and Jensene Payne

Raymond Person

Chett Pritchett

J. Cy Rowell

Debbie Saxe

Dale Schneidmiller

Richard Sturm

Diana Tyler

Richard and Peggy Ziglar

 

If your name is not listed and you give us permission to print your name, please contact us. Donors list updated on a rolling basis. Have you contributed to this fund through Facebook fundraisers? Thank you! Send us your name with permission to be added to our public donors’ list.

Full details about the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Fund here: http://disciplesallianceq.org/allenvharris/