Name: Katie Styrt

Location: Rochester, NY

Affiliated Congregation: Gates Presbyterian Church/Laurelton United Presbyterian Church

So much has changed about being out in the past few years - I applied to seminary not knowing if I would be able to be ordained as an out, bisexual woman. Now I am serving my first ordained call, which took some guidance from Parity! It still feels like a miracle sometimes that I can be out and be valued as a church leader, especially working with youth. Finding a place my call was recognized took work, and I know many of my friends are still searching. I want to come to this conference (for the first time! Finally!) so we can share stories and support each other on our different parts of the ordination process.

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,