Name: Ashley Birt

Location: Bronx, NY

Affiliated Congregation: East Liberty Presbyterian Church

LGBTQ ordination in the PC(USA) is still such a new thing. With each queer person ordained, things get a little better, but it's still possible to be ordained and be the only queer pastor you know. This retreat not only provides support through the discernment and ordination processes; it allows current and future LGBTQ ministerial professionals to simply KNOW each other. Regardless of where we end up on our faith journeys, we have others like us we can talk to. We know we're not alone.

Dear Friends,

This April, I’ve been offered the amazing opportunity to attend Parity’s 2016 Emerging LGBTQ Pastors Retreat. It is an incredible chance to join other LGBTQ people pursuing ministry, and recently ordained pastors in fellowship, worship and training.

Parity’s retreat gives people like me the unique opportunity to reconcile their identity and faith, and share and learn from one another in a supportive and healing environment. Within the last two years, six LGBTQ pastors from Parity’s community have been ordained -- their past participation and attendance at previous retreats helped them gain the confidence and spiritual support they needed to live into their calling.

I know I will benefit greatly from having that same life-changing experience, and this is where you come in. The gift you make today will go directly to covering the costs of travel, housing, food and training expenses for me to attend the retreat. I am truly grateful for any amount you can donate. Anything I raise over my goal of $500 will go to help others like me reconcile identity and faith. 

With deep appreciation,