Pastor’s Corner

Rev. Martha Daniels Awarded Grant!

As you may have heard, I have been awarded a grant by the Louisville Institute (Louisville Institute-Martha Daniels) to create theology and an educational project with incarcerated LGBTQ+/HIV+ individuals. You may be wondering what that means! Here’s a bit more about the grant—another article will talk about what it means for Holy Covenant.

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People who are caught up in the US criminal legal system are marginalized based on race, immigration status, economic class—and also because of their gender identity and sexual orientation. LGBTQ+/HIV+ individuals (of all races/ethnicities) are assaulted at higher rates than any other group, for example, face more significant charges and receive longer sentences for the same charges than non-LGBTQ+/HIV+ individuals.

Many LGBTQ+/HIV+ people on the inside are people of faith. But the faith programs they are offered are most frequently punishment-centered rather than trans-formative and love-based. The very identity of LGBTQ+/HIV individuals is seen as part of the reason—punishment–they are imprisoned, rather than incidental.

This grant is designed to help educate progressive faith communities on how to support LGBTQ+/HIV+ prisoners of faith through providing trans-formative theological and worship space. We will work with LGBTQ+/HIV+ people of all faiths on the inside to learn what they want and need from people on the outside (“nothing about us without us”), formulate a theology of inside LGBTQ+/HIV+ people, and with that theology, create ways to help faith
communities of good will understand how to partner with LGBTQ+ people on the inside to spiritually support and encourage them, both while they are inside and as they re-integrate to the outside community.

My hope and prayer is that, with that knowledge, and with these partnerships, we can share healing and supportive spiritual experiences with our LGBTQ+/HIV+ siblings on the inside.

“Through its Pastoral Study Project program (PSP), the Louisville Institute enables pastoral leaders to bracket daily work routines in order to pursue a pressing and significant question for the life of faith. Grants of up to $15,000 support independent or collaborative study projects – projects that privilege pastoral perspectives and rhythms and honor grassroots research conducted by skilled clergy. PSP grantees use a variety of platforms to share what they learn with a wider audience, extending their leadership in ways that benefit the broader church and culture in North America.

“Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky). The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.”

The Board of Directors of Holy Covenant congratulate Rev. Daniels on this accomplishment and have given their full support to her as has her congregation Holy Covenant MCC..

Holy Covenant Strategic Planning documents

  1. PowerPoint Slides and Notes–Strategic Planning Summary of Strategic Planning Retreat–Holy Covenant
  2. PowerPoint Slides and Notes–Strategic Planning

Please download these to your computer to read. This is an ongoing project and if you are a congregant of Holy Covenant and would like to discuss these documents and what they mean, please contact Rev. Martha Daniels at 708.387.1611 or email her at

Rev. Martha Daniels Statement regarding Scotus Ruling
Please download the PDF Rev Martha Daniels Re: Scotus Release