Documentary About LGBTQ Clergy Comes To Yale | Connecticut Public Radio

Documentary About LGBTQ Clergy Comes To Yale

Apr 3, 2017

A new documentary is being screened at Yale Divinity School. "Out of Order" follows five LGBTQ people who face challenges in the Presbyterian ordination process.

Alex McNeill is a transgender man who is in the middle of his ordination process.

"The film follows a few of us who are working towards ordination and ministry in the Presbyterian church," he said. "But also it looks at a church asking itself the question of what this will look like, "who are we going to be as a denomination?"

McNeill said that as a preacher, he often asks people to be vulnerable, and the film forced him to open up about his fears that he would be denied ordination.

"because I believe that that is another key to changing people’s hearts and minds," he said. "And this documentary really asked me to do that for myself."

Churches around the country are suffering from dwindling populations, specifically with younger generations.

Reverend John Chapman of the Westfield Congregational Church in Connecticut is an openly gay minister. Chapman said that churches are struggling to stay relevant, and that LGBTQ inclusion keeps people coming to his church.

"It’s brought young families who want a church that stands for something more than discrimination and condemnation," Chapman said. "It’s brought, sure -- it’s brought some gay folks, that’s great. But it’s also brought people of different ethnic backgrounds; people with different faith experiences; people who’ve been hurt by the church. We are a church of pilgrims because we’ve invited and said, 'Everyone, everyone, everyone is welcome,' and that’s been a real gift for us."

The Presbyterian Church’s changes towards LGBTQ inclusion have led many conservative churches to leave the denomination entirely.