Doctor and Trauma Counselor Explores Identity Struggles of 13 Lesbian Clergy and Lasting Effects of Rejection from the Church in New Book

“Out in the Pulpit: The Lived Experiences of Lesbian Clergy in Four Protestant Mainline Denominations” by Pamela Pater-Ennis, PhD, highlights the journey of lesbian women as they find their place in Christianity

Bloomington, Indiana, UNITED STATES

Bergenfield, NJ, Sept. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coming out to friends and family as a lesbian can be difficult, but rejection from the Church you once called home can hurt just as much.


“Out in the Pulpit: The Lived Experiences of Lesbian Clergy in Four Protestant Mainline Denominations” by Pamela Pater-Ennis, PhD, is an expository nonfiction book that explores the stories of 13 lesbian clergies and their struggles to embrace their mutual identities as both Christian and lesbian. Readers discover the seven-step developmental process these women unknowingly endured to accept their dual identities, and their psychological resiliencies and spiritual strengths as they pursued their dreams and became powerful leaders of social justice. Pater-Ennis highlights how behavioral science literature presents new understandings of sexual orientation and argues that many theological and denominational pieces lag behind secular reading’s understanding of LGBTQ issues.


The book began as research for her social work dissertation but grew out of Pater-Ennis’ angst as a straight ally. Witnessing the trauma endured by those excluded from the fullness of the Church, Pater-Ennis developed “Out in the Pulpit” to serve as a refreshing take on the argument that lesbian clergy are underrepresented and underpaid in the leadership roles they are seldom offered within the church.


 “I hope Christian churches continue to gracefully engage in dialogue about the controversial LGBTQ issue that continues to threaten denominational unity. I sincerely hope and pray that this book will be an instrument to further the inclusion of the LGBTQ population in the full life of the church, even as clergy. For LGBTQ individuals not to be fully a part of their church communities, means that they are subject to becoming victims of religious trauma,” Pater-Ennis said.


 “Out in the Pulpit” provides insight on the church’s lack of understanding that sexual identity does not influence dedication to God and the church. Readers will find Pater-Ennis’ nonfiction book to be a fresh take on the controversial conversation of sexuality and religion as she introduces new social science studies into her research and approaches the topic using historical, psychological, and science-based facts.


“Out in the Pulpit: The Lived Experiences of Lesbian Clergy in Four Protestant Mainline Denominations”

By Pamela Pater-Ennis

ISBN: 9781489726025 (hardcover)

Available at the LifeRich Publishing Online Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble


About the author

Pamela Pater-Ennis, MDiv, LCSW, PhD is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America and is a licensed clinical social worker in New York and New Jersey. She is the founder and executive director of Hudson River Care and Counseling in New Jersey. With 35 years of clinical experience with sexual trauma, LGBTQAI+ issues, faith crisis, religious abuse, and family issues, she was energized to outline the struggle to accept all identities within the church through her sense of calling to do justice work to make a difference in the world. She is an adjunct faculty member of New Brunswick Seminary and holds degrees from Hope College, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Rutgers University, and University at Albany. As a believer in the power of community, she hopes her book will aid in the graceful engagement in dialogue about this controversial issue that continues to threaten denominational unity.


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