Presbyterian Promise News

  15 November 2012

In memory of Lois Maxwell, 1946-2012

Lois was one of the first members of First Presbyterian, Hartford who I interviewed as new Pastor of that congregation.  I asked her why she had chosen to be a part of this particular congregation and she had no hesitance in saying it was because of the congregation's commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.  She was, as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, a drum major for justice, seeking justice for the poor and needy, the outcasts and the excluded.  Having experienced rejection and exclusion because of her gender and her race she had little tolerance for any kind of exclusion.  She was proud to be part of a church that proclaimed (and lived out) “We invite, accept and welcome into our membership and leadership people who differ by age, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, family status, economic situation and theological viewpoint.”  She was proud that this congregation was one of the first Presbyterian Churches allow the blessing of a same sex union in their sanctuary.

She described herself as straight but not narrow and willingly accepted the responsibility of being a part of Presbyterian Promise board when I retired as pastor and as member of the board.  She served faithfully as long as her health allowed, and even beyond that time. 

She served on most of the church committees at one time or another, but was particularly committed to the Convent To Care, serving children in the care of the state, Hands of Hartford (formerly Center City Churches), and the Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity And Justice.

    Contributed by Terry Davis, Lois's former pastor

15 November --  Presbyterian Promise News #33 is mailed, and is now online

12 November -- Dick Hasbany and Ralph Jones journeyed to New York City to join in the festivities of Presbyterian Welcome's Faithful Servant Awards. Lisa Larges and Macky Alston were the honorees. A good time for all and a chance to visit with many friends.

30 August -- the August 2012 issue of Presbyterian Promise News was published and mailed today with articles on the recnt General Assembly, TAMFS and Redwoods Presbytery's response to the GAPJC's decision in the second case concerning Rev. Spahr and same-gender marriage.

16 June -- Presbyterian Promise joined many others on a beautiful day for Rhode Island PRIDE.

10 May -- the 31st issue of Presbyterian Promise News was mailed.

22 January -- Hartford CT. The Presbyterian Promise annual meeting was held at First Presbyterian Church this afternoon. The Annual Report is available here. Begun with worship led by Rev. Gail Faithfull, the meeting included the election of new board members.

Class of 2014: Dan Blackford (Providence), Christine Caton (PSNE), Jane Hindenlang (New Haven: First), June O'Neil (Hartford: First).
Those continuing in service are:
Class of 2013: Gail Faithfull (PSNE), Dick Hasbany (New Haven: First), Teddy Hogle (New Haven: First), Ralph Jones (New Haven: First)
Class of 2012: Dan Bender, Keith Rhoden (Hartford: First), Anne Fuhrmeister (Waterford: Crossroads)
from Sponsoring Members: Jane Love (Stamford: First), Lois Maxwell (Hartford: First), Geralyn Plomitallo (Stamford: First)
Elder Pat Wales was thanked for her long service on the board. The board will elect officers for the coming year at its next meeting.

The major portion of the meeting was a panel presentation. Rev. Dana Lindsley, Presbyter to the Spiritual Community spoke about his experience at the Orlando Fellowship of Presbyterians gathering, and how recent developments are changing the church. Rev. Jean Southard spoke about her experience with the Presbyterian judicial system as it considered her role in a same gender marriage, and about the harm some Christian voices are causing the Gospel and GLBT individuals in countries like Uganda. Elder Alice Evans spoke about the need for Christians to acquire the tools to escape from our conflicted relationship with each other and with others.

The Panel
Rev. Jean Southard, Rev. Dana Lindsley, Elder Alice Evans, Elder Ralph Jones (moderator)
                                                                                             Photo: Pat Wales

This portion of the meeting was recorded. You can listen to the three presentations here:

  • Rev. Dana Lindsley

  • Rev. Jean Southard

  • Elder Alice Evans

The discussion that followed focused on why it seems that those who are standing up for justice in the church are being accused of causing disention in the church when it might properly be seen the other way around. Unfortuantely the one mike did not pick up most of that, so we can't share it here. 
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