More Light Presbyterians is a dynamic and inclusive organization that seeks to foster a more welcoming and affirming environment within the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

Founded in 1974, More Light has been at the forefront of advocating for LGBTQIA+ inclusion and justice within the denomination. Grounded in the belief that all individuals are created in the image of God, More Light actively works to dismantle discriminatory barriers and create spaces of love, acceptance, and full participation for all. 

Through their educational initiatives, advocacy efforts, and community-building activities, More Light is dedicated to transforming the church into a more affirming and embracing community for LGBTQIA+ individuals and their allies. 

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Below is a first-hand account of becoming a More Light congregation written by Rev. Cathy Hoop of First Presbyterian Church of Holland.

“Take a look at the logo on the side of the First Presbyterian Church of Holland’s bus, and you will see a string of people…all kinds of people…including a family that doesn’t fit the “traditional” mold.  Drop in at Holland’s Pride Festival, and you will find the First Presbyterian Church tent, along with other open and affirming congregations. These are just two ways that FPC seeks to demonstrate the wideness of its welcome, a practice that has been part of its mission for ages. 

Becoming a More Light congregation was an obvious next step. Affiliating with an organization which continues to advocate for the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals and families reinforces our commitment to this justice work and enables us to support the mission of More Light, as we join with other congregations throughout the denomination.

For our first More Light Sunday (June 18 at 10 a.m.) we tossed around a few ideas, and then I reached out to Dr. Michael Adee, MLP’s first executive director. I met Michael when I was working in children’s ministries at Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Michael came to teach and preach about God’s vision of welcome for all people, and to help PC(USA) churches in Nashville talk about human sexuality and gender orientation. 

Through the years, I have had additional opportunities to worship with Michael, and to invite him to preach. His history with the PC(USA), a story of welcome, then exclusion as a gay man, and then renewal is a powerful message. It is a story of healing and hope for all people. His years of service to the denomination, as executive director of More Light, were a reflection of his belief in the reconciliation possible around God’s table.

At FPC we believe we must all labor and pray for that day when a worship service in which we confess the church’s sins of exclusion and judgment regarding sexual orientation and gender will no longer be needed, but until that time, we will join others in proclaiming the diversity of God’s vision for creation, and the expansiveness of God’s welcome. We will seek to continue to educate ourselves about the oppressions experienced by LGBTQIA+ individuals, and commit to advocacy as Christ has taught us.”

Join the First Presbyterian Church of Holland for their first More Light Sunday on June 18 at 10 a.m. at 659 State St, Holland, MI 49423.