News from AllianceQ: December 2016

Open & Affirming Ministries Has Been Busy Lately

Rev. Mark Johnston, Ph.D., Executive Director of GLAD’s Open & Affirming Ministry Program, has been quite busy this past couple of months. “I can’t quite count how many places I’ve been in just the past two months planting the seeds of Open & Affirming Ministry.” Mark tells us. But then again, a quick look at his calendar reveals:

In the past two months, Mark has attended the Mid-America Regional Assembly in Springfield, MO; the Southwest Regional Assembly in Dallas, TX; and the Great River Regional Assembly in West Point, MS. Dr. Johnston also attended a meeting in Indianapolis of the General Church’s Social Witness Task Force. This task force, created to respond to the passage of General Assembly Resolution 1524 “Call for a Church Wide Task Force on the Sense of the Assembly Resolution Process” is tasked with creating a new way for the church to speak out on social justice issues. Dr. Johnston also preached at Southside Christian Church in South Bend, IN, the first O&A Congregation in Indiana, and presented one day Building an Inclusive Church Trainings at Disciples Seminary Foundation in Claremont, CA, and at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.

“Yes, I’ve been busy!”, Dr. Johnston tells us. “It’s always good to be planting the seeds of Open & Affirming Ministry around the country.” Dr. Johnston also tells us not to worry, that his self care is intact. “I managed to take off the week of Thanksgiving with my fiance, who as a high school chemistry teacher had the week off, and we are taking the week of Christmas off together too.”

Dr. Johnston also has more plans for the near future. His most immediate plan is to rework the Calling All Pastors project, a vision to contact every pastor in the Christian Church and offer them the resources of the GLAD Alliance. “If you’re interested in helping with this project, keep an eye on Crossbeams, or drop me an email even now,” says Dr. Johnston. You can always contact him at