The largest Presbyterian denomination in the US appointed a non-binary clergy candidate


Mx Jess Cook was ordained at a ceremony on June 29 at the Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia. The presbytery is the governing body of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) in Virginia, with more than 100 member churches, none of which has ever ordained non-binary people before. Cook is going to lead the LGBT advocacy group within the PCUSA. Alex Patchin McNeill, More Light Presbyterians executive director, called Cook an amazing pastor and claimed to be deeply excited about their new role. “I am thrilled Jess will be able to serve as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in their position as Program and Communications Manager at More Light Presbyterians,” he said, “Ordaining Jess to this role also expands their capacity to be a colleague and ministry partner to congregations and leaders who seek to live out commitments to LGBTQIA+ inclusion.” Cook said that their ordination was one of the turning points on the way to get closer to God. “I’m acutely aware of the people who worked tirelessly to make it possible for an openly non-binary person to be ordained in the PC(USA), and of the young people who feel a call to ministry and will now see themselves in a person leading worship,” they said in a statement, “I am steeped in gratitude for these communities, for the community of More Light, and for the opportunity to live into this call.”


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