Op-Ed: 10 Pro-LGBT Religious Women You Should Know
by Joseph Ward – March 19, 2013
Full article printed here.
As the new pope is celebrated today, it’s worth noting that not everyone who wears the cloth is antigay. This being Women’s History Month, here are 10 LGBT and allied women who are looking out for all of us.
8. Reverend Dr. Christine Wiley
Reverend Dr. Christine Wiley is co-pastor of Covenant Baptist UCC, the first traditionally black church in the District of Columbia to perform same-sex unions. In 2009 she cofounded D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, putting her on the front lines of the LGBT rights movement.
“The black church and the black community have been characterized by some as being united in opposition against same-sex marriage,” she said at a gathering in 2009. “This could not be further from the truth. Black people are not monolithic. We are diverse just like all other human beings. And because Covenant Baptist Church is a beloved community with a long history of celebrating the richness of our diversity, we have gathered here today to affirm in the immortal words of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Join us before and after the United for Marriage Rally in front of the Supreme Court on March 26 as people of faith show broad-based support for the freedom to marry and LGBT equality.
A Prayer for Love & Justice
Lutheran Church of Reformation
212 E. Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Parting the Waters: A Seder for Love, Liberation and Justice
Human Right Campaign Equality Center
1640 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
For more information, visit: www.LightofJustice.org/united-in-faith.html
February 27 – March 13, 2013
The groundbreaking Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ will open an exhibition of a powerful collection of photography portraits called WE HAVE FAITH: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clergy and People of Faith Speak Out. WE HAVE FAITH is produced by the award winning “love makes a family” exhibit that millions of viewers have enjoyed for more than a decade.
Rev. Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley
Rev. Candy Holmes and Rev. Elder Darlene Garner
Rev. Cedric Harmon
Dr. Alton Pollard
Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ will host a panel and reception for WE HAVE FAITH, a museum-quality traveling exhibit that breaks stereotypes of religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
February 27, 6:30PM – Reception
7:30PM – Panel Presentation
February 27 – March 13 – Exhibit is open to the public 10AM – 5PM (M-F)
Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ
WE HAVE FAITH is a beautiful photographic portrait collection of prominent LGBT faith leaders and supporters exhibited in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington State and from New York to San Francisco during the recent presidential and state campaigns. The exhibit was part of a nationwide effort to place positive voices of pro-LGBT faith leaders in the media.
Organizers are continuing to book the exhibit at houses of worship, seminaries colleges, and religious gatherings. Peggy Gillespie, co-founder of Family Diversity Projects said, “So much of the destructive and vocal homophobia and transphobia is faith-based, so we wanted to present the pro-LGBT side of the faith world.”
On Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 10:00AM, Covenant Baptist UCC will hold a special ecumenical service to commemorate the 84th Birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Click here to download the program.
Pastor Christine Y. Wiley was recently featured in an ad of prominent clergy from around the country showing their support for Maryland’s Question 6.
In November Marylanders will be voting on Question 6 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which provides civil marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian couples. We’re urging all fairminded Marylanders to vote for Question 6. We can agree that people should be treated fairly and equally under the law.
For more information on Question 6, visit for www.MarylandersforMarriageEquality.org
Each October during Union Days, alumni/ae honor their own with the Unitas Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards. The recipients represent all union graduates who have distinguished themselves in the church, academy, and society across the country and around the world.
Dennis W. Wiley received his Masters of Philosophy in 1985 and his Doctorate of Philosophy in 1988. He is a distinguished theologian, a prominent civic activist, and a gifted musician. Among his numerous civic and denominational commitments, Dr. Wiley remains in the forefront of the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality for all persons.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway at 21st Street
New York, NY 10027
RECEPTION: 4:00PM – 5:00PM
UNITAS CEREMONY in JAMES CHAPEL: 5:00PM – 7:00PM
ALUMNI/AE BANQUET: 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Click here to download the newsletter.
Pastor Dennis will leave on June 1st for a 120-day sabbatical. “A Sankofa Journey: Looking Backward in Order to Move Forward,” is the underlying sabbatical theme chosen by Pastor Dennis. This renewal program will provide the inspirational space and uninterrupted time for Pastor Dennis to renew, refresh, relax, recharge and rekindle the spiritual, intellectual, and creative fires that smolder within him.
Come join the send-off and celebration!
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 – 7:00PM
Special Guest Speaker:
The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.
Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall
The Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ (CBUCC), Washington, D.C. has received a grant of $50,000 to enable one of its co-pastors, Dr. Dennis W. Wiley, to participate in the 2011 National Clergy Renewal Program funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. It is one of 158 congregations across the country that will support their ministers in the program, which allows pastors to step back from their busy lives and renew their spirits for the benefit of their ongoing ministries.
Now in its 12th year, the program invites Christian congregations and ministers to consider and plan a period of intentional reflection and renewal. It provides a time for ministers to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the fresh perspective and renewed energy that a carefully considered “sabbath time” of travel, study, rest and prayer can provide.
Each congregation is eligible to apply for a grant of up to $50,000. Up to $15,000 of that amount can be used to fulfill pastoral duties during the minister’s absence and for expenses related to the congregation’s own renewal. The 158 grants this year totaled $6.8 million.
“A Sankofa Journey: Looking Backward in Order to Move Forward,” is the underlying sabbatical theme chosen by Pastor Dennis Wiley. It is based on the image of the beautiful Sankofa bird of Ghana, depicted with its feet facing forward while its head looks back over its shoulder. This symbolizes the belief that in order to understand our present and ensure our future, we – pastor and congregation – must go back to our past. This renewal program will provide the inspirational space and uninterrupted time for Pastor Dennis to renew, refresh, relax, recharge, and rekindle the spiritual, intellectual, and creative fires that smolder within him. This unique opportunity will reap correspond-ing renewal benefits for the church family as we prepare to walk together into a new phase of our life as a progressive “beloved community.”
As a church-based pastor-scholar, Pastor Dennis will use this time away from the daily demands of prophetic pastoral leadership to engage in three primary activities that “make his heart sing” – reading, writing, and musical creativity. These activities will be enhanced by a travel itinerary that offers an alternating rhythm of leisurely reflection and personal revitalization, on the one hand, and intensive study and cultural enrichment, on the other. Covenant is blessed to have a co-pastor model of ministry in which a husband-wife team both pastor with equal authority and responsibility.
Pastor Christine Y. Wiley – who has been encouraging her co-equal pastor and husband, Pastor Dennis, to take a sabbatical for some time now – will provide pastoral leadership during the sabbatical period to continue church operations.
This year’s group includes congregations in 40 states. In the mix are congregations of many sizes – some as small as 40 members, others as large as 3,000 present at Sunday worship services. The oldest is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore. It was founded in 1692 as the parish church for Patapsco Parish, one of the original 30 parishes in colonial Maryland. Three churches – the Riverside Congregation of Alamo Heights United Methodist in Spring Branch, Texas, Downtown Presbyterian in Greenville, S.C., and United Disciples of Christ in Charleston, W.Va. – tie for the youngest. They were founded in 2004. The 2011 class brings to 1,598 the number of congregations that have received clergy renewal grants since 2000.
“We ask these congregations and ministers to consider the question, ‘What will make your heart sing?’, as they devise their plans,” said Craig Dykstra, senior vice president for religion at the Endowment. “They never fail to come up with wonderful and imaginative yet doable ways to fulfill their dreams. Their time away has freed them up to pursue personal and professional interests and needs in ways that have given them new energy for ministry – and the congregations have discovered that they too experience a refreshment of their own and a newfound sense of their own strengths.”
The Endowment’s larger goal is to bolster the good work that America’s pastors and congregations accomplish day in and day out and to reinforce and build upon important work being done on both sides of the pulpit. “In our religion grantmaking, we hope to strengthen the efforts of today’s excellent pastors because it is no secret that pastors who have reconnected themselves to the passions that led them to the ministry in the first place are more likely to lead healthy and vibrant congregations today,” Dykstra said.
To see how you did, here are the answers:
National Women’s History Month
Pictured left to right
- Mae Jemison
- Jennifer Lopez
- Dr. Christine Y. Wiley
- Michelle Obama
- Leontyne Price
- Hillary Clinton
- Dr. Alexa Canady
- Debi Thomas
- Barbara Jordan
- Oprah Winfrey
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Josephine Baker
- Dorothy Height
- Whitney Houston
- Susan B. Anthony
- Connie Chung
- Lucille Ball
- Janet Jackson
- Sonia Sotomayor
- Maxine Waters
- Susan L. Taylor
- Maya Angelou
- Geraldine Ferraro
- Harriet Tubman
- Cicely Tyson
- Rosa Parks
- Hattie McDaniel
- Dominique Dawes
- Sandra Day O’Connor
- Alice Walker
- Wanda Sykes
- Eleanor Holmes Norton
- Martina Navratilova
- Nancy Pelosi
- Mahalia Jackson
- Sheryl Swoopes