Meet a New CovNet Church: First Pres, St. Joseph, Missouri

All this week, we’re highlighting congregations that have joined the Covenant Network of Presbyterians in the past few months. It is exciting that at this crucial time in church and culture, Presbyterians around the country are stepping up and reaching out to show forth God’s love and justice toward LGBTQ people, people of color, and all who have found themselves from the church’s life and leadership. Welcome to all our congregations! Check out our complete list of congregations, and if you’d like to become one of them, let us know by sending an email to Executive Director Brian Ellison.

The First Presbyterian Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, has long been a place of hospitality and welcome. But earlier this year, Ruling Elder Michael Travis Jasper, a member of the Session’s Mission and Social Justice Team, reached out about joining with the Covenant Network as a way of formalizing and publicizing that commitment. Along with Pastor Krista Kiger, Michael started a process, as he recently described to us:

First Presbyterian Church of St. Joseph, MO never ceases in its mission to “Hold Forth the Word of Life.” That means for over 160 years we have sought to spread The Good News of The Way Jesus taught us to live and to love while on this planet—that it might be on Earth as it is in Heaven.

We believe it is our duty and great honor to express God’s unconditional love for all people by welcoming and seeking out the diversity of humankind which the Creator devised—to enrich our world and bless our community with the unique gifts and experiences only “difference” can provide.

For that purpose, our Ruling Elders have chosen to expand our ongoing policy of embracing the racial and ethnic spectrum and gender equality to urgently and proudly encompass the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community and individuals (presently by joining The Covenant Network of Presbyterians.)

After a time of study and contemplation intended to consider the varied viewpoints of our congregation, the character of God, and modern society; our current Session  recognizes that it is important to publicly proclaim that our church family is enhanced by the originality each new person shares with us, and ardently welcome LGBT souls to our sanctuary.

It is our promise to God to stand for all of God’s diverse children, and be unfailing in our task to love, teach, and serve all of them.

This month, the church joined with a couple of other congregations to be represent the faith community in St. Joseph’s community Pride celebrations. The church also hopes to host additional educational events and to join with other congregations doing this work. Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of St. Joseph!

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