Maryland Profiles in Courageous Faith: The Reverend Sam Offer
October 24, 2012 by HRC staff
This post comes from MacArthur Flournoy, Deputy Director of HRC's Religion & Faith Program:
The Reverend Sam Offer is not one to stand on the sidelines of life and silently watch the world go by – his ministry is one of advocacy, community mobilization, and intentional engagement of others who don’t necessarily hold the same views. As a strong proponent of marriage equality in Maryland for several years leading up this this year’s historic momentum, Rev. Offer has been a reliable stalwart presence speaking before thousands in support of the Civil Marriage Protection Act.
Rev. Offer has worked on marriage equality in prior years, never ceding the possibility of winning equality for gay and lesbian couples in loving committed relationships. For his leadership, persistent engagement of others that may hold seemingly different views and willingness to annunciate the call for justice for gay and lesbian families, it is our honor to recognize the Rev. Sam Offer as an honoree in our Profile of Courageous Faith.
Rev. Offer serves as the Associate Pastor of the Unity Fellowship Church in Baltimore, Maryland. He has worked tirelessly to mobilize community meetings, press conferences, closed-door conversations and preached proactively in support of marriage equality.
At the core of Rev. Offer’s value system is dedication to family. When asked to considerer his primary motivation for supporting marriage equality in Maryland, Rev. Offer commented:
My grandson asked me one day, “Papa, what are you doing?” I replied, “Leaving the world better for you.” He said, “Oh!” While I know he might not have understood why I replied in such a way, I am consciously and intentionally doing just that. Not just for him and my family, but for ALL people!
Commitment to family, dedication to communities of faith and appropriating his faith in support of justice and equality for all families are central to Rev. Offer’s inspiration for advocating for marriage equality. As a same-gender loving man, in a committed relationship with the Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, Rev. Offer understands that the implications are far greater than benefiting just some members of our society, but in fact, marriage equality favorably impacts society as a whole.
Marriage equality is one way to leave the world better. When we can love the person we choose to love without fear, injustice, and discrimination, we are not just making things better for us but for our WORLD! A world where “liberty and justice” is truly for all.
The prophet Isaiah offers a profound and invitational question in chapter 6, verse 8 when the Creator poses the question “Who shall I send – who will go for us.” Rev. Offer’s life , ministry and prophetic presence gives witness to his affirmative response, to go to any place, and speak with anyone that considers justice for all families worthy of reflection.
For his sacrifice of time, diligence, and unwavering support of marriage equality, we honor the Rev. Sam Offer as a Profile in Courageous Faith.
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