Story of An Inclusive Pastor

Story of An Inclusive Pastor

Adam Phillips, an Evangelical pastor, moved to Oregon to start Christ Church: Portland in 2014. Nine months later, the evangelical denomination Phillips worked for kicked him out and pulled two years of funding from the church. What happened? Phillips was promoting full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the church.

Phillips and Christ Church: Portland are now members of new and inclusive congregation affiliated with the Protestant denomination of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  “Following in the way of Jesus, we hope to be a church that includes all (no matter who we are, what we think or where we come from) while trying to be focused on the things people of faith have been actively pursuing for thousands of years,” the church states on its website.

Phillips’ journey to his new congregation is recorded in a short documentary you can watch here.

Phillips said the journey should not discourage other like-minded pastors and congregants from upholding the values of inclusivity and acceptance. “The experience will humble you ― you’ll likely lose friends and support,” Phillips told HuffPost. “But it’s the worst best thing: your church and community will see a kind of transformation that is like a miracle. Inclusion is not our only ‘issue’ ― but it roots us in being a whole, healthy church for God’s glory and neighbor’s good.”

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True Brotherly Love

Chi Phi, a fraternity founded at Princeton University in 1824, recently changed its membership policy to be more inclusive. The fraternity has voted to allow transgender men with legal documentation to pledge, stating that “one change is never a stopping point” and that it hopes “this opens the door to further discussion about inclusivity.”

Is Chi Phi the first Greek organization to be more inclusive? To Hayden’s List relief, no. The trend over the last year is towards inclusivity and in surprising areas of the country. In March of 2015, Gamma Rho Lambda at the University of Texas became the first LGBTQ inclusive sorority. During the summer last year, the national fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon stated it would consider transgender men as pledges. And last fall, Missouri State University’s Xi Omicron Iota sorority chose to accept anyone who “identifies as a girl.” spoke to trans students last year for their article, “Greek Organizations Are Slowly Becoming More Trans Inclusive” who stated they were attracted to being a part of a Greek organization because of the closeness of its members compared to other student organizations. Fraternity and sorority members know that they can find each other in every geographical area which can be reassuring to a trans individual.

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