News from AllianceQ: February 2021
Week of Compassion Staff Rev. Erin Wathen is featured preacher for Feb 28 Virtual Pulpit Supply
We are glad to highlight and support the ministry of Week of Compassion (WOC): the relief, refugee, and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). WOC Communications and Development Manager Rev. Erin Wathen is the featured preacher for February’s Virtual Pulpit Supply project. Bridging the work of WOC and AllianceQ, you can bring Erin’s voice into your worship or study by requesting VPS for February 28. Request form here.
Contributions for February VPS materials will be shared with Week of Compassion: “Any time we respond to a need in the world, we bear witness to the unity of our table, faithfully sharing the gifts that we have as an expression of Christ’s love.”
What is VPS?
AllianceQ offers Virtual Pulpit Supply with pre-recorded sermons on the lectionary text every fourth Sunday of the month. Build these sermons into your worship planning, educational offerings and programs!
Available for download one week in advance, you will be provided with a scripture reading, sermon, and sending forth. Messages are relevant for worship, Bible study, small groups and workshopping. Archived on our website, you can download and incorporate VPS recordings for use on alternate Sundays or in a variety of contexts.
In ministry alongside the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance – AllianceQ is eager to connect with more congregations and individuals through worship and learning. VPS allows us to connect no matter the distance, and you get the opportunity to receive a good word.
How does it work?
VPS is offered once a month for the lectionary text assigned to the fourth Sunday of each month. To sign up, fill out this VPS request form. By 5 p.m. ET on the Monday before the assigned date, you will receive an email with a link to download a video containing the scripture reading, sermon, and sending forth. While drawing from the lectionary texts, you are welcome and encouraged to download VPS materials at another time in the month if it works better for your ministry.
How much does it cost?
There is no cost to download the VPS materials. However, to sustain this ministry, we ask that you consider making a donation to AllianceQ. You can support the Virtual Pulpit Supply project and donate here.
You may also mail a check to: Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, P.O. Box 44400, Indianapolis, IN 46244 with the memo “VPS.”
February contributions will be shared with Week of Compassion.
Who are the preachers?
Each month will feature an LGBTQ+ Disciples minister or seminarian. Preachers are active members of AllianceQ and/or Disciples Justice Ministries. Identifying as queer or an ally, each preacher brings a unique perspective for engaging and responding to the scripture. Bios will highlight the preacher’s background and context.
Preaching February 28: Rev. Erin Wathen
Sign up to receive the download, available February 22.
Sermon text: Mark 8:31-38
Sermon title: Available Soon
Sermon themes: Available Soon
About Rev. Erin Wathen (she/her): Erin joined the staff of Week of Compassion after 15 years of congregational ministry, having served churches in the Kentucky, Arizona and Kansas City Regions; and serving in multiple Regional and General Church leadership roles.
A graduate of Transylvania University and Lexington Theological Seminary, she recently earned a post-graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Rockhurst University. In addition to working for Week of Compassion, Erin is also a writer and has published two books–one of which was a Publisher’s Weekly Book of the Year in 2018.
In her 2016 Patheos article “Get Off the Fence: Why ‘We Welcome Everyone’ Isn’t Enough,” Rev. Erin Wathen writes:
“We have to say it, because ‘come on in, it’ll be fine,’ does not cut it for marginalized communities that have been hurt by the church, repeatedly and systemically.”
Erin lives in Louisville, KY with her family where they enjoy music, the outdoors, and just generally being in the Bluegrass state again.
Preaching March 28: Elijah Burton
Sign up to receive the download, available March 22.
Sermon text: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-39, (40-47)
Sermon title: Available Soon
Sermon themes: Available Soon
About Elijah Burton (he/him): Elijah is a seminary student at Phillips Theological Seminary, and he works as a Bookkeeper and Office Manager for an Episcopal Church. Eli and his family are members at First Christian Church of Lansing where he is a Deacon, sings in the choir and is a member of the General Board. Eli and his wife Jessica are raising two kids, Lu who is non-binary and Alexis, and they are foster parents.
As a self-identified queer transman, Eli says he knows the struggle of finding an accepting and affirming church home. “I bounced between churches for years, all of which stated they were ‘open and affirming,’ but fell short of affirming me as I am. When I found the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and subsequently AllianceQ, I knew I had a found a place that was open, accepting and working to affirm me as a child of God.”
Eli was elected for the AllianceQ Council in October 2020 and serves as Treasurer.
Last month, January 24: Rev. Luther Young
Sign up to receive the download, available immediately.
Sermon text: Mark 1:14-20
Sermon title: Keep it Moving
Sermon themes: repentance, justice, calling, faith and works, gifts, inclusion
About Rev. Luther Young (he/him): Rev. Luther Young, Jr., is an artist, public theologian, and social justice advocate who focuses on racial equity and LGBTQ+ inclusion. Luther is a graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School and a current Ph.D. candidate in sociology at The Ohio State University. His current research investigates the causes and effects of homophobia in predominantly black churches.
Schedule of preachers to be updated monthly. If you want or need pulpit supply on any other Sunday, please be in touch. Contact AllianceQ Executive Director + Minister Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy.
Words of Gratitude
We are thankful for the inspiration and resourcing from More Light Presbyterians. More Light launched Virtual Pulpit Supply in late 2020. AllianceQ continues to be in collaboration with queer church leaders, especially at the intersection of race, gender and sexuality.
We extend deep gratitude for the time and gifts of our preachers with appreciation for your openness to our voices and ministry together.