Rev. McGuire’s Calling

Posted on June 17, 2011

As negotiations heat up in New York over legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage, a closer look at one of the major players in Albany…

Rev. Jason McGuire’s commitment, he told me, is simple: whenever there are legislators present in the State House, so too will be his witness. As it happens, this requires quite a bit of driving. The commute to Albany from his office in Western New York takes four hours, and on weekends he traverses every corner of the state to speak with faith groups about how they can help prevent the culture’s downward spiral into darkness. Between Monday and Friday, in the capitol, McGuire’s job is to hold prayer breakfasts, Bible studies, and other outreach events for lawmakers. “I use lobbying as a platform to take the gospel to the legislature,” he said.

Before assuming the executive directorship of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a 501c(4) advocacy organization, McGuire served as pastor in a nondenominational church outside Rochester for eleven years. But his calling would ultimately be to minister away from the pulpit. “One Wednesday night,” he said, “I was teaching a prayer meeting, and I simply asked the congregation: Where was the church in 1973 when Roe. v. Wade was decided? To make along story short, I got a lot of answers. But one man said the church was asleep. And another man said, ‘You mean was asleep? We still are!’ That was very convicting to me.”

McGuire could not watch idly as the spiritual travesty embodied by Roe began to manifest in another, perhaps even more pernicious form: the revision of marriage laws to accommodate same-sex couples. At first, though, he resisted, and for several months ran from God’s exhortation that he take on the burden of public policy work. But one cannot wander from God’s plan for very long. “The bottom line is, the Lord said ‘No — this is the place I want you to serve.’ So that’s where I am today. And I serve in Albany.”

Read more at Religion Dispatches.

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