Press Releases

Christian leaders respond to anti-LGBTQ+ violence

Apr 29 2022, 5:18 PM

As Christian leaders in Vermont, we are deeply saddened and troubled by the murder of Fern Feather and the shattering of the door of the Pride Center in Burlington, Vermont.

Diversity, inclusion and justice are core values of our faith. On April 22-23 we held a statewide gathering of our Vermont churches in the United Church of Christ. This year we were celebrating twenty years of declaring ourselves an Open and Affirming Conference. This means a commitment of offering acceptance, welcome and celebration to gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and questioning persons.

The reality of a trans woman’s murder provided a somber reminder that our work is not complete. The queer community, especially our trans siblings, live with the daily trauma of the threat of violence. We mourn with our queer siblings in the loss of Fern Feather and the damage to the Pride Center.

Many of our congregations begin their worship services with these words, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” The Open and Affirming movement has changed the church. But we must also acknowledge the culpability of the Christian Church in the othering of queer people and their ongoing oppression.

Jesus declared that he comes to “let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18) and so we reaffirm our commitment to be active and engaged allies with the queer community in the ongoing work of countering trans and homophobia for the sake of our beloved Vermont and for the sake of the gospel of Christ.

As Easter people, we believe, and we are certain, that ultimately Love wins!

Rev. Dr. Lynn L. Bujnak
Conference Minister
Vermont Conference, UCC

Rev. Paul Sangree
Associate Conference Minister
Vermont Conference, UCC

Rev. Jacquelyn Lingelbach
Ministries Coordinator, Vermont Conference, UCC

Rev. Caryne A. Eskridge, Weybridge Congregational Church

Rev. John N. Bixby

Rev. Amanda Swoyer

Rev. Paul Eyer, Williston Federated Church

Rev. Kathy Clark

Rev. Lava Mueller

Rev. and Mrs. Dave and Louise Ransom

Pastor Theresa Lever

Rev. Terry Hanley, RN.

Rev. Erin Reardon

Pastor Andi Lloyd

Rev. Doug Carter

Rev. Dr. Gary Lewis

Rev. Leigh McCaffrey, Barre Congregational

Rev. Martha Beckwith Peck

Rev. D. Mark Blank, Second Congregational Church, Bennington, VT

Rev. Peter Plagge, Waterbury Congregational Church

Rev. Rona Kinsley

Rev. Jessica Moore, First Congregational Church of St. Albans

Rev. Pam Lucas

Rev. Susan Cooke Kittredge

Rev. Andy Nagy-Benson

Rev. Elisa Lucozzi, Guilford Community Church

Pastor SallyAnn Silfies

Rev. Gregory Briggs, Vermont Conference, UCC, Disaster Ministries Coordinator

Rev. KellyAnn Donahue, East Corinth Congregational Church

Rev. Amy Pitton, Bethany United Church of Christ

Rev. Tracy Weatherhogg

Rev. Linda L. Kulas

Rev. Cordelia Burpee

Rev. Dr. Shawn Bracebridge

Rev. Susan Church

Rev. Marjorie MacNeill, Shelburne VT

Rev. Carole Carlson

Rev. David Vanderlinde-Abernathy

Rev. Abigail Diehl-Noble

Rev. Dr. Barbara Purinton

Rev. Charles Purinton

Pastor Beverly Anderson

Rev. Laurie Krooss

Rev. Mark D. Wilson, Waitsfield United Church of Christ

Rev. Katelyn B. Macrae, Richmond Congregational Church, UCC

Rev. Catherine Aiken Cadieux

Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen

Rev. Ann Hockridge

Rev. Ed Sunday-Winters

Rev Christine S. Boardman, Springfield

Rev. Kimberly S. McKerley, Bethany Church, United Church of Christ

Rev Rameen Zahed, The Old Meeting House

Rev. Daniel Wright

Rev. Margaret Wright

Pastor Michael J. Mario


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