Coming Out as a Holy Calling: A Lesbian Christian Minister’s Journey

The Rev. Jane Adams Spahr of the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, N.Y., presents “Coming Out as a Holy Calling: A Lesbian Christian Minister’s Journey” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in Room G65 of Pettengill Hall, Bates College. The public is invited free of charge.

Held in October in conjunction with the month of National Coming Out Day, this lecture is part of the series Spiritual Journeys: Stories of the Soul 2003-04, sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain. Call 207-786-8272 for more information.

A longtime advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community, and especially for the well-being of youth, Spahr was founding director of the Spectrum Center LGBT in Marin County and minister of pastoral care for the Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco.

In 1991, Spahr found herself at the center of a national storm when she was chosen by the Downtown United Presbyterian Church to become one of its co-pastors. The congregation knew of Spahr’s sexual orientation but was more interested in her compassion, her pastoral experience and her powerful Sunday sermons. When the national Presbyterian Church prohibited the congregation from installing Spahr as one of its pastors due to its exclusion of openly homosexual ministers from office, the Rochester church hired her as an evangelist to spread the good news about sexual diversity with the aim of changing the denomination’s policy.

Spahr became the director of the congregation’s outreach organization on the issue, “That All May Serve Freely,” and has become one of the most articulate and passionate spokespersons in the country on behalf of the spiritual, religious and civil justice for the LGBT community.

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