The City of Austin received an early Christmas present with the news that United Christian Church, a UCC/DOC church located on Parmer Lane, called John Gage as its new minister. John’s return to Austin has an element of synchronicity to it. John graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, but realizing his chances of ordination in the Presbyterian Church were slim to none as a gay man, he decided to move to the United Church of Christ where he has flourished. Many are struck to see what looks like a tattooed biker in a rainbow stole, but that is the kind of cultural synthesis that will be necessary if the church in the US is not to go the way of the languishing churches in Europe. John will start serving the Parmer Lane UCC Church early next year and be a tremendous addition to the voices of progressive humanitarian religion in Austin.
An interview with John:
Parmer Lane’s newsletter:
As a former member of UCC, I am glad to hear of this announcement. Interestingly, I currently belong to a very progressive Presbyterian church in Minnetonka, MN that many years ago called a gay man (no doubt violating some rules) to be an associate pastor. He was a Lutheran but had little chance of getting a Lutheran church. Since then some things have changed and he is pastor at a Lutheran church that has strong glbt ties.
The times are changing. Thanks June.