RMN welcomes Rev. Lois Parr to the organizing team!
We’re excited to be starting 2015 with more good news, announcing Rev. Lois Parr as the new regional organizer for the North, serving both the Northeastern and North Central Jurisdictions.
Lois has found two life-giving locations in her journey: the church, and the LGBTQ community…however, the overlap of these two communities has been rare (and even harmful). This intersection is where Lois heard God’s call to ministry at age 40. In seeking to be faithful to the Gospel revealed in Jesus, Lois hopes to preach and teach about the God who created us good, and loves us no matter what; her favorite Bible verse is “nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8).
Lois is also committed to examining the ways that racism, sexism, ableism, classism, & heterosexism get tied together. She hopes that ministry can be a source of healing and justice, breaking down these boundaries in our congregations, our neighborhoods, and the world.
Lois’ background includes working as a writer in government, politics, and the arts; community activism in peace and justice; and lay ecumenical ministry on the campus of Miami University of Ohio. She has served congregations in the Northern Illinois Conference in the city (Holy Covenant, Epworth, and Broadway) and suburbs (Naperville, Northbrook) following her studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Lois will continue to serve part-time at Broadway through June, where she is active in ministry beyond the church through ONE Northside, CLASP (Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program, connected with LGBT-Freedom & Asylum Network), and the Methodist Federation for Social Action.
Beginning July 1, she will return to her home state and reside in Albion, Michigan. She will do additional part-time work in systemic anti-racism as she joins a team doing a long-term cultural competency project in Michigan schools, and become a facilitator for the “Doing Our Own Work” program with Allies for Change.
She also currently sings in two choruses: Artemis Singers (Chicago’s Lesbian Feminist Chorus); and Ensemble Alioni of Chicago (folk music from the Republic of Georgia). Lois identifies as Queer and is married to Clayton (who totally gets her); they are parents to Nate and Cullen. She loves to read, to write, to eat, and to sing.
Three regional organizers move to full-time service
We’ve seen incredible growth in the South over the last year. For this reason, our regional organizers, Laura Young in the South Central Jurisdiction, and Helen Ryde in the Southeastern Jurisdiction have increased to full-time service. Their gifts have already made such an impact in the movement and the fruit of their work will only be multiplied as we seek ways to partner with you in our Southern Initiative.
Rev. Izzy Alvaran in addition to being appointed by his bishop to RMN, has also become full-time, continuing to support the great intersectional witness of the Western Jurisdiction while also contributing additional time to working with Reconcilers in the Philippines. The Bishops in the Philippines recently made an urgent request for Methodists to openly discuss the church’s relationship to LGBTQ people. Rev. Alvaran will be able to join Reconciling Methodists in the Philippines in using this call for positive change.
Trans Youth Fight Broader Bias: Many have called “the transgender tipping point,” the news of Leelah Alcorn’s suicide… But for many trans* people while it is devastating, it is not exactly news.
7 reasons to “queer” 2015: Do you find yourself wondering, “why use the word queer?” Well get your party hats on, because this post is a celebration of all things queer, and you’re invited!
The Just Resolution: When the movie “Selma” is released, we remember MLK’s book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community. How do we move from our current UMC chaos to community?