More Light Presbyterians!

Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the Church a true community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians (MLP) is to work for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in society. It also supports and blesses lifelong, loving commitments regardless of sexual orientation, advocating for same-gender marriage rights.

Bethesda Presbyterians is one of over 200 More Light congregations in the PC(USA). It is a member of the National Capital Presbytery’s chapter of MLP, Open Doors. Our pastor, the Rev.Charles Booker, served three years on the More Light Presbyterians national board (2001-2004) — long before it became popular to celebrate and advocate for equal rights and responsibilities for God’s rainbow people in the church and in society.


In keeping with our affirmation of our wildly Creative God and the wideness of God’s mercy, as well as our identity as a congregation in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), we have long welcomed and will continue to welcome the full inclusion in membership and leadership of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sisters and brothers.

As many of you have heard on the national news this month, our 2.3 million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination has now officially opened the door for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons to serve as Elders, Deacons, and Ministers of Word and Sacrament in welcoming congregations and presbyteries throughout the land. [Three of the best of several hundred national news reports on this historic event can be found here (NBC News-LA), here (LA Times), and here (NPR).]

With the blessing of our congregation, our BPC Session (church board) last June passed a Statement of Welcome trailblazing and anticipating such a national event. That Statement has been highlighted on our home page ever since. In our renowned BPC “Personal, Passionate, & Progressive” way, we at BPC continue to welcome with open arms — as full participants — all of God’s rainbow people seeking a church home. A home that, through our “back-of-the-bus” national policies now blessedly in the past, too long has been officially denied