Pride Month Program with Presbyterian Historical Society

By Tim Hoogland, Westminster member 

At the 1974 General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., a young pastor raised in Minnesota stood on the Assembly floor holding a hand-written sign that read, “Is anyone else out there gay?” 

On June 22 at 6pm, Westminster will host a presentation by the Presbyterian Historical Society that explores the Minnesota connections to the 40-year struggle for the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ Presbyterians in the leadership and ministry of the PC(USA). As a historian and a Westminster member serving on the PHS Board, I will share archival collections that focus on the role of that pastor – Rev. David Sindt — in organizing some of the earliest advocacy for changes in the Book of Order. 

Sindt grew up in the North Presbyterian Church in North St. Paul. He received his Master of Divinity in 1966 from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and was ordained by the Presbytery of St. Paul in 1965. In 1971, Sindt began to identify as an openly gay man and started worshipping at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, where he was called to serve as an assistant pastor and establish an outreach program to the local gay community in Chicago. This was believed to be the first call ever issued to an openly gay man by a Presbyterian congregation.   

The program will pick up the story of how the rejection of this call initiated Sindt’s organizing efforts within the church. Executive Director Nancy Taylor will share the new vision for the role of PHS in the church and moderate a panel discussion with people who participated in different aspects of this struggle. Tickets are free and available online. 

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