In 2022, the Presbyterian Mission Agency recognized three intersectional priorities that will fully connect to the current Matthew 25 foci of dismantling structural racism, building congregational vitality and eradicating systemic poverty. These three intersectional priorities are: climate change, militarism, and gender justice/heteropatriarchy.
“Intersectionality” is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 to describe “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.” In the same way, these “intersections” provide critical overlays for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s priorities (building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty).
These intersections were identified in the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s strategic visioning process as persistent and serious threats to the well-being of communities thrust to the margins. However, simply identifying them is not enough. Working with our ecumenical partners, we are committed to preserving and enhancing the future of humanity and, indeed all Creation.
Though the United States is becoming an increasingly diverse country, we still live in a society dominated by white cisgender heterosexual males whose characteristic bias is unfavorable toward women, people of different genders, and the LGBTQIA+ community. The context of work for gender equity and freedom from heteropatriarchy is a human situation that extends beyond our nation. In all corners of the world, women experience injustice because they are women. LGBTQIA+ people experience injustice because of their gender and sexual identities. And gender nonbinary people experience injustice because they do not fit into the categories of male or female.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to working against gender-based discrimination and heteropatriarchy. The Book of Order states: “In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, God unites persons through baptism regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability, geography, or theological conviction. There is, therefore no place in the life of the Church for discrimination against any person” (Book of Order, F-1.0403).
- Each March, plan in your congregation to host a Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday.
- Use resources from More Light to create worship and prayer opportunities to stand with LGBTQIA+ siblings.
Use, share, and study new PC(USA) resources on LGBTQIA+ concerns:
- Use “Well Chosen Words” to understand and explore what expansive language can be for us (Spanish version – Korean version – English version)
- LGBTQIA+ Bibliography
- LGBTQIA+ Frequently Asked Questions
- LGBTQIA+ Deepening Our Understanding: A Resource In Transgender Identity
Heteropatriarchy has life altering and in many ways fatal consequences. Read current articles to gain additional insight on its impact, either individually or in a small group and discuss ways the article has changed or challenged your thinking and any ways you might be able to respond:
- America’s War on Black Trans Women | Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
- When School Dress Codes Discriminate | NEA
- Black Women Are Dying During Childbirth And No One Seems To Care
- Chilling Study Sums Up Link Between Religion And Suicide For Queer Youth | HuffPost Voices
- ‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border – The New York Times
- The Links Between Racialized and Gender-Based Violence | ACLU
- Relate to children and youth in your work for justice. Use the “Supporting Children in LGBTQIA+ Families Quicksheet”.
- Read about Kin-dom Camps for youth.
- Build relationships in your life that help to expand your notion of community so that it includes people from all walks of life, including LGBTQIA+ siblings.
- Find a local chapter of PFLAG and join with them in creating a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
- Consider hosting a booth at your local community PRIDE or other events, to show that your congregation stands with the community and offers a safe and welcoming space for all.
- Find an organization through which you can take action for gender justice. Some suggestions include:
- Offer building space to local organizations working for full inclusion.
- Donate to some of the above relational and action-oriented organizations and/or to the office of Racial and Gender Justice of the Presbyterian Church (USA).