News from AllianceQ: January 2021

Celebrating the ministry of Allen V. Harris

Exquisite beauty and profound pain

Allen V. Harris was not the “first” in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to be ordained openly LGBTQ, nor was he the “first” to be hired in a parish setting as openly LGBTQ; but he does appear to be the first to do both, and has been out as a fully-embodied queer man in all of his ministerial settings since graduating seminary. Allen’s journey to be ordained was one of both exquisite beauty and profound pain. May 19, 2021, marks the 30th anniversary of Allen’s ordination at Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan.

Celebrating the life-giving ministry of Rev. Allen V. Harris, the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance alongside the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) seeks to raise $30,000 to honor the 30th anniversary of his ordination. 

May 19, 1991, was Pentecost Sunday. Guided by the Spirit, sustained by the Spirit, following the Spirit, Allen has and continues to breathe life into the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Leadership

Allen has been dedicated to local, regional and general expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has attended and served in leadership at every biennial General Assembly of the Christian Church since 1979 (St. Louis).

Allen became an early leader in the Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples Alliance; now the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance – AllianceQ. He served on the Council for several terms and was founding co-editor of the Crossbeams newsletter with the Rev. Michael Schloff (later serving in that role with the Rev. Jon Lacey). Along with the Rev. Laurie Rudel of Seattle, Washington, Allen was one of the founding “Developers” of the Open & Affirming Ministries program of the Alliance.

With gifts and graces in many areas, Allen is especially experienced in leading congregations and individuals through Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation, Open & Affirming, and Accessible Congregational processes.

Justice and love

The Rev. Dr. Judith Hoch Wray writes:

“I watched Allen do more than anyone else to ground our movement in justice and love. Clear-eyed, compassionate, gentle in boldness, Allen leads by example and claims the full power of ritual to call forth radically inclusive faith community.”

We are called to join in God’s work of transforming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) into a just and inclusive church that welcomes persons of all gender expressions and sexual identities into the full life and leadership of the church. So:

Will you give generously to the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund so that Allen’s spirit, his passion and his prophetic witness will perpetually breathe life into the church and our world, a world that must openly affirm there is a place for all at God’s table? Gifts and pledges will be dedicated and blessed on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2021. Your gifts will honor Allen and they will enable the expansion, growth and deepening of open & affirming ministries, ministries that set a place at the table for persons of all gender expressions and sexual identities, ministries that set a place at the table for the entirety of our embodied selves.

The Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund

The Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund is invested through the Bostick Select Fund with the Christian Church Foundation, restricted and designated to benefit the ongoing work and operations of the Open & Affirming Ministries program.

Visit http://disciplesallianceq.org/allenvharris/ for additional details on this campaign and to read more of Allen’s story. As the weeks unfold, our website and social media will feature photos and videos in celebration of Allen’s ministry.

The full story

Can we send you materials about the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund? Would you like to share a story about Allen or submit words of affirmation? Might you be willing to make phone calls or help with the campaign? Click here to communicate your interest in any of the above: The Allen V. Harris “30 for 30” interest form.

Your gifts

Thank you for prayerfully considering the opportunity to honor Allen and enable the expansion, growth and deepening of open & affirming ministries.

Mail gifts to Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, Allen V. Harris Fund, P.O. Box 44400, Indianapolis, IN 46244 or give online. That secure link directs gifts to the Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund.

Email Executive Director + Minister Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy to communicate your intent for a gift. Your pledge will be honored at the celebration in May of 2021. Pledged gifts can be made throughout 2021-2022, in full or installments. We are glad to work with you and financial advisors to steward your giving. Rev. Guthrie Loy can be reached by phone at 317.721.5230.

The Allen V. Harris “30 for 30” interest form is another way to request more information and/or contribute words of affirmation and gifts to the fund.

“Allen Harris is a gentle revolutionary. There are times when confrontation is needed, but Allen showed us that faithful persistence, coupled with intelligence and a gift for leadership, can also break down barriers. He has worked within the church to change the church, and many of us are very grateful.” –Rev. Michael Kinnamon, Ph.D.