Chapel Talk: “God is Love: A Christian Response in Favor of Marriage Equality”

January 28, 2015

7:00 p.m.
St. Augustine’s Chapel
472 Rose Street, Lexington KY

Chapel Talks are a new series of discussions co-sponsored by the Episcopal and Lutheran Campus Ministries at the University of Kentucky. Moderated by Pastor Dana Lockhart (Ignite Lutheran Campus Ministry) and Fr. Joe Mitchell (Episcopal Campus Ministry), Chapel Talks will feature panel discussions and speakers who share how their faith informs their engagement with each topic.

The first event will be a panel discussion about Christian support for marriage equality. Five area clergy will take part in the event, sharing how the Bible, Christian theology, and their experience in ministry has shaped their commitment to the full inclusion of LGBT persons within the life of the church. All are welcome to come and be a part of this event.


Pastor Laura Altman began serving Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Lexington in 2011. She grew up in Northwest Indiana where much of her family still resides. After high school, she received an undergraduate degree from Purdue in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. She worked many years in the telecommunications industry in Engineering, Marketing and Training. After several life changes, she felt the call to ordained ministry. She graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) and was ordained in the summer of 2000. Since her ordination she has served congregations in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the ELCA. Pastor Laura is married to Don Altman who works as a Customer Service Specialist at Lowes. Pastor Laura sees her ministry as building bridges between one another and God. She loves to open up scriptures and show how God is in our everyday lives.

The Rev. Laurie Brock is the rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Laurie is the author of Where God Hides Holiness and has contributed to several books, most recently There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, (forthcoming in 2015). She is a Lent Madness Celebrity Blogger and the creator of Fifty Days of Fabulous, both online ministries of Forward Movement.  Born in Alabama, she has developed a love of all things Kentucky, including basketball and horses.

The Rev. Orvis Kean works for the University of Kentucky in the Office for Institutional Diversity.  He works at the Martin Luther King Center and is active on the LGBTQ* Taskforce and with the LGBTQ Student Organizations.  Orvis is an ordained Minister (Southern Baptist).  His views are not the same as the organized Baptists on many topics including marriage equality. Orvis and his partner, Jamie have been together for 16 years.  They had a commitment ceremony 15 years ago at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Lexington.  They are anxiously awaiting the chance to marry here in Kentucky.

Rev. Marsha J. Moors-Charles. Raised in Eastern Kentucky, Marsha has lived in Lexington, Kentucky for 30 years.  After a 20-year career in accounting and human resources, Marsha is now an ordained minister and pastor of Bluegrass United Church of Christ in Lexington where she resides with her wife, Brenda, and two dogs while continuing to own and maintain a management company in Lexington, juggling life as a bi-vocational minister.  Marsha and Brenda’s marriage is recognized federally due to their ceremony in Provincetown, Massachusetts; however, it is not recognized in Kentucky as a result of the Governor’s appeal to a federal judiciary ruling stating that failure to recognize same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.  That appeal joins four other states and is now before the Supreme Court.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky (B.A. Education, 1985;  MBA, 2000) and Lexington Theological Seminary (M. Div. 2011), Marsha also served for six years as co-chair of JustFundKy, an LGBT-advocacy foundation headquartered in Lexington which has distributed over $200,000 to educational and community advocacy projects across Kentucky.   Marsha remains on the JustFundKy Board of Directors.
A cradle Southern Baptist in the mountains of Pikeville, Kentucky, Marsha’s faith journey led her to more progressive theological communities and she was ordained by the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ (Woodland Christian Chuch) on June 6, 2011, the first openly gay ordination candidate in Kentucky. Shortly after her ordination, Marsha was called to start a new open and affirming United Church of Christ congregation, which met for the first time on January 9, 2011 and now is mentioned as one of the most diverse congregations in the denomination. Committed to a variety of social justice causes, Pastor Marsha considers the call of LGBT inclusion and advocacy to be a prophetic and important witness of the church.

Pastor Steven Renner was just called to be the 21st pastor of Third Lutheran Church in Louisville and will be ordained on April 25. Previous to this call, Steven has served as the Synodically Authorized Minister at Third Church for the past six years. Steven’s previous career, which spanned the last 25 years, was in arts administration including being the Managing Director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, the New Harmony Theater and the Lincoln Amphitheatre in Indiana. Originally from Ohio, Steven is the youngest of nine children and grew up in the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church. Steven and his husband Sean have been together 20 years and reside in Louisville.
Event Contact:  Rev. Dana Lockhart, Ignite Lutheran Campus Ministry, (859) 489-1222