(Adopted by the Session of Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York City, September 8, 1991.)
Rutgers Presbyterian Church is a member of the More Light Church Network, an organization of inclusive Presbyterian churches that welcome individuals into full membership, including ordained offices, without regard to sexual orientation.
Because we believe that ALL human beings are created in God’s image and are members of the Body of Christ, and because we wish to legitimize who we are, and to be explicit in what is already our common and historical practice, we wish Rutgers Presbyterian Church to be known as a “More Light Church” as a way of underscoring our welcome and inclusion of lesbian and gay people into the fold of God.
We do not claim to have “more light” than other churches, but as we seek to do God’s will and be God’s people, we also actively seek more light on the inclusive nature of God’s grace in Jesus Christ; more light on the relationship of spirituality and sexuality; more light from the experience of lesbian and gay Christians; and more light in ministry with ALL people in ALL forms of loving expressions.
We recognize that the policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA) excludes only lesbian and gay people from positions of leadership. We find this to be contradictory with the essence of Christian principles and with our Book of Order, which guarantees full participation with its rights and privileges to all members. We recoil at a policy that encourages deception on the part of lesbians and gays as to their sexual orientation and by the demand of abstinence from the sexual expression of their love. As a reformed church, always being reformed by the Spirit of God, we call upon the General Assembly to reverse its position and urge our Presbytery to use all means available to work toward increasing openness, understanding, and growth in this direction. We believe that the moral requirements for membership should consist of a life-style of commitment to the principles of love and justice embodied in the teachings and example of Jesus. Therefore, trusting in God’s grace and working on behalf of justice, the Session of Rutgers Presbyterian Church welcomes and embraces ALL persons who seek to live faithfully into full membership and participation in the Presbyterian Church (USA), including the opportunity and the responsibility to serve in ordained leadership positions.
We rejoice in the presence of ALL whom God has gathered by the movement of the Spirit, regardless of age, alternative status, education, ethnic heritage, gender, national origin, race, or sexual orientation without their having to hide, deny, or apologize for their circumstance. We pray that this act of conscience will be used as “a means to faithfulness as God breaks forth yet more light from God’s Word.”