Nearly 500 pro-LGBT Christians and allies converge in Orlando, Fla., for Believe Out Loud

Nearly 500 pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Christians from across the country have come together this weekend for the groundbreaking Believe Out Loud Power Summit in Orlando, Fla. While planned in advanced, this is happening at a time when there is widespread attention and concern about the scourge of teen suicides related to anti-LGBT bullying and violence against LGBT people.

During today’s opening worship, Michael Adee, executive director of More Light Presbyterians, remembered those LGBT teens we have lost due to suicides in the past few weeks. He stressed that all people of faith need to do better, noting, “The church is a bridge to grace and love and justice, but also a barrier.”


The morning was filled with prayer and song, as well as talk about the issues LGBT people encounter around faith. The Rev. Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay Lesbian Task Force, addressed the crowd:


The Rev. Rebecca Voelkel of the Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources sermonized about how we are all God’s children and each and every one us counts. Read the full sermon here.


A sample of the Shower of Stoles, a collection of over a thousand liturgical stoles and other sacred items representing the lives of LGBT people of faith, serves as background at the opening worship:

Rachel Harvey, United Methodist Deaconess, Sung Won Park from Intersections, and Mick Anderson of Reconciling Ministries Network, led the crowd in the Prayers of the People:

The summit, from Oct. 9-11, is convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Task Force Academy for Leadership and Action in partnership with Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Gay and Lesbian Affirming Disciples Alliance, Integrity USA, Lutherans Concerned/North America, More Light Presbyterians, Reconciling Ministries Network, UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns and Welcoming Community Network.