by Phil Miller–
It was bound to happen, right? Who could’ve doubted that our Director of Congregational Life, a wonderfully qualified ordained Disciples of Christ minister, would be called away from us to serve elsewhere as a minister? It was only a matter of when.
Our first reflex may be, “Oh, no!” or “Why now?” or “Yikes!” Once we swallow hard and calm down our breathing, we’re ready to congratulate Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy on receiving (and accepting) a call as the Executive Director and Minister of the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance, as you have by now read elsewhere. (You can find a letter from Melissa here.)
Personally, I’m very grateful to have gained so much knowledge of First Christian’s administration and program from my “sidekick” Melissa during the past few months. Of course, I’m anxious about how we’ll ever get along without her, so I’ll be asking for your help.
Above all, I’m thrilled for Melissa and proud to be associated with her. I recommend learning more about the program she’ll be overseeing. Go to http://disciplesallianceq.org on the Internet, and you can pick up lots of information. Paula and I are members, and you can show your support by taking out a membership on the website. (The organization will announce the news in the next week or so.)
You may know by now that my oldest brother came out as a gay minister at about the same time as a Disciples-affiliated group came into being (1979). That group was long known as GLAD—Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples. My other brother and I were early members of GLAD. During what turned out to be the final summer of our mother’s life, she attended a General Assembly and sang in the GLAD choir.
Now with a 40-year history, a new name, and a much larger constituency, the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance is a free-standing, nonprofit auxiliary of our denomination. Its leaders and members will be grateful to have called Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy to serve as their Minister and Executive Director.
During the coming weeks, please express your appreciation for the seven years of service Melissa has given to First Christian.