News from AllianceQ: April 2021
Love and care not hatred and shame: a video interview about the magic of relationship in the O&A journey
“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 “Cuca” Pérez
While Allen was not the “first” in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to be ordained openly LGBTQ or the “first” to be hired in a parish setting as openly LGBTQ, 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 has been dedicated to local, regional and general expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Ordained May 19, 1991 — 30 years ago — his journey is one of exquisite beauty and profound pain.
The Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment “30 for 30” fundraising campaign honors the 30th anniversary of Allen’s ordination and enables the expansion, growth and deepening of open & affirming ministries.
The magic of relationship
María “Cuca” Pérez was instrumental in the 1991 moratorium for the ordination of openly gay and lesbian individuals adopted by the Northeastern Region. From a video interview with Rev. Harris, María shares that she was transformed. Open & Affirming ministries “open the door for people like me to be able to be in contact with people like Allen [Harris] and Mark [Johnston] that change your world.”
María describes her experience meeting with Allen after the moratorium passed. Allen describes the divide within his ordaining region and its brokenness. He speaks of the excruciatingly painful work around racial justice and confronting white supremacy.
María and Allen both speak to the magic of relationship, “hearing the heart of another human being.”
“Storytelling, conversation and being present with each other,” Allen says. “Oh that we could have more conversations and be opened up.”
The Allen V. Harris Open & Affirming Ministries Endowment Fund will open up possibilities for relationship, will foster more conversations, will move us toward wholeness.
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.
Make a pledge
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 2021. Pledged gifts can be made throughout 2021-2022. 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.
Love and care not hatred and shame
“What I experienced was four open arms…” -María “Cuca” Pérez
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 honor Rev. Harris and bless gifts.
Allen is preaching on Pentecost Sunday! You can bring Allen to your faith community as he offers Virtual Pulpit Supply. Sign up now to receive his Pentecost scripture, sermon and sending forth.
Stay tuned for registration details for the May celebration.