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Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr -- November 24, 2013

Scriptures for today:
I Call to worship from Secret Life of Bees,
Isaiah 6:6-7, Luke 15:8-10

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The Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, Janie, as she prefers to be called, describes herself as a lesbian, feminist, Presbyterian minister committed to justice issues for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community, pursuing connections for wholeness with other oppressed communities claiming their freedom.

Janie was ordained a Presbyterian Minister in December 1974 to the Hazelwood Presbyterian ministry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving with mentor and friend, Wanda Graham Harris. She served 1975-1979 as Assistant Pastor of First Presbyterian in San Rafael, California. In 1979- 1980, Janie became Executive Director of Oakland Council of Presbyterian Churches in Oakland where she was encouraged to resign because of being lesbian.

Janie began her "out" liberation work with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as the Minister of Pastoral Care in the Castro area of Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco from 1980-1982 when her own Presbyterian denomination did not know what to do with this "lesbyterian".

In November of 1982 Janie, along with many friends, founded the Ministry of Light which became the Spectrum Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns. She served as their Executive Director for over 10 years. From youth groups, parent groups, PFLAG, support groups, family camps, AIDS Ministry, speakers bureau, this ministry has become the L/G/B/T center in Marin County, California, where it continues to flourish. Janie completed her work there on February 28, 1993.

In November of 1991 Janie was called to serve as one of four Co-Pastors at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. She was denied that call by the denomination's highest court in November 1992. In March of 1993 The Downtown United Presbyterian Church invited Janie to become their evangelist to spread the good news by "personing the issue" and challenging exclusive church policies.

Janie has traveled throughout the country, educating and informing Presbyterians and others working on behalf of greater inclusiveness for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.CLGS is honored to include her papers in the CLGS Archives, together with materials from That All May Freely Serve, a pioneering LGBT-oriented justice ministry within the Presbyterian Church (USA). Both collections have arrived at the GTU Archives and are awaiting processing.

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