News from AllianceQ: November 2020

The time is now: letters from your newly elected Moderator + Vice Moderator

This is an election to celebrate! The Council of the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance — AllianceQ elected Rev. Luther Young as Moderator and Alysha Laperche as Vice Moderator. Rev. Laura Jean Allen was elected Secretary and Eli Burton elected Treasurer. The full Council met virtually for a retreat October 18-20.

Fall 2020 Orientation to the Council for Steve Blinder, Eli Burton, and RJ Robles. Facilitated by Luther Young, Robin Knauerhase and Melissa Guthrie Loy.
Council Retreat October 2020. Alysha Laperche and Eli Burton lead the singing of Marty Haugen’s “All are Welcome.”
Council Retreat October 2020.

From the Moderator

My siblings,

The time is now. The Lord has need of you.

Even though we are living in some peculiar times, I am heartened by the work AllianceQ is doing to promote wholeness in a fragmented world. On the days when I feel downright exhausted, I can scan my social media feeds and see my siblings turning up for justice, boldly challenging systems of oppression, and speaking truth to powers and principalities of darkness and evil. I am honored to serve alongside you as Moderator of the AllianceQ Council.

A few weeks ago, the Council gathered (virtually) for a few days of retreat. I was privileged to spend time with our amazing Council members and staff as we discussed the tremendous ministry the Alliance is doing and imagined together future directions for our organization. Please allow me to share a few of the commitments generated from our time together.

Establishing deeper relationships. We aim to improve our relationships with AllianceQ members by providing more opportunities for involvement with the organization. We are grateful for your continued financial support of the organization; and, in order to ensure we have a diversity of voices at the table, we are creating more opportunities for engagement beyond monetary donations. Additionally, we will place a greater emphasis on pastoral care for our members, especially LGBTQ+ clergy and Open & Affirming congregations.

Intersectional justice. We intend to foster relationships with queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) as we live into our commitment to intersectional justice. We recognize that our organization has done harm to our QTPOC siblings and are continuing the process of restoration and reparation. We will use our collective resources to lift up the voices of the most marginalized in our community, understanding that none of us are free until we all are free.

Revitalizing ministry teams. As we move forward in achieving our mission and goals, we need your help! We are re-invigorating our ministry teams which will provide AllianceQ members an opportunity to offer your time, talents, and ideas to advance this sacred work. We will provide more information about each of the ministry teams soon. I kindly ask that you be prayerful as you consider a ministry team on which you might best serve.

There is so much on the horizon! I firmly believe that AllianceQ will be the example of diversity, equity, and justice for the rest of the Church to follow. I look forward to connecting and working with you.

The time is now. The Lord has need of you.

Many blessings,

Rev. Luther Young, Jr. (he/him/his)

From the Vice Moderator

Dear DOC family,

While it’s very possible that we have not yet been able to meet, I hope that will change soon. My name is Alysha Laperche, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve AllianceQ as the Vice Moderator. I just began my appointed term as an AllianceQ council member on August 1, 2020, with my current term as a council member ending in September 2022. I am an MDiv student at Phillips Theological Seminary, and I live in Fort Worth, TX with my partner. I am under the care of the Northern California-Nevada region for ordination.

I did not grow up in the Disciples, but I began attending Lafayette Christian Church (CA) a few years ago. I was newly out, and I had never come across the language of an “open and affirming” church before. One Sunday morning as I walked through the hallway of the church, the rainbow Disciples AllianceQ logo caught my eye. I remember knowing, for the first time, that as much as I was growing to love this church – they loved me, too. They had already prepared a place for me at the table before they had even met me.

During my first year of seminary, I became very familiar with the AllianceQ website and the resources offered there. I was conducting my Disciples History & Polity final assignment concentrated on the history of LGBTQ+ folks engagement and leadership in our denomination. But, it was not until General Assembly 2019 that I connected faces and stories to the mission of this ministry for the first time. I attended the Trans & Gender Expansive educational workshop that AllianceQ offered. I watched from the bleachers as one by one, brave spirits stepped towards the microphone and lifted up their stories as witnesses for General Assembly resolution 1929.

In the Spring 2020 semester, I had the enriching experience of serving as a ministry intern for AllianceQ. That experience has greatly informed my interest in serving with AllianceQ in this capacity as a council member. I believe so deeply in what Table has to teach us all about the radical inclusion, expansiveness, and abundance which are pieces of the Kin-dom of God and are available to us when we gather, work, pray, and worship together. I see the ministry and work of AllianceQ transforming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) because its very presence is a reminder of who Christ is to us – that is, an embodied rejection of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, white supremacy, and heteronormativity.

I’m honored to serve in this capacity. Let’s get to work!

Alysha Laperche (they, them, theirs)