Friday, 15 June 2012 14:08
Minnesota Lutheran synod assemblies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have been clear about their opposition to legislation or public policies that would preclude same-gender couples and their families from pursuing ordinary means to achieve the same support and protections afforded to all other citizens of Minnesota.
Such a prohibition is exactly what the referendum on the ballot for the general election in November 2012 would do -- amend the state constitution to make it impossible for same-gender couples to use the normal means of redress to achieve the same protections enjoyed by all other citizens of the state.
The six ELCA synods in Minnesota stated their positions in favor of equality under law through votes taken at their assemblies recently or, in one case, through an assembly stance maintained for the last six years. These synod assemblies represent the more than 750,000 ELCA Lutherans living in Minnesota; most voted by overwhelming majorities. These votes do not bind the individual members of the synods to vote in any particular way in November. The church encourages its members to participate in civil political processes as part of living out their baptismal vocations, exercising their spiritual and civic duty to serve the neighbor.
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, ReconcilingWorks (formerly Lutherans Concerned/North America), said "A growing number of ELCA Lutherans in Minnesota understand the stakes in the upcoming ballot initiative. They understand that the anti-gay marriage amendment is an attempt by some to restrict the human right of others to seek redress of an inequality under the law by normal legal means. They understand that the proposed amendment is actually the antithesis of religious freedom: ignoring and thereby violating freedom of religion for those who favor marriage equality. They understand that the choices are clear in November. To pass the amendment would diminish the constitution of this state by reducing some citizens to second-class status. To defeat the amendment will preserve the constitution free of such harm, leaving it as the document that preserves the opportunity for equality under the law. In the months to come, the hard work of relationship building through deep listening and the sharing, heart-to-heart, of our stories of faith and family will build on the firm foundation of synod assembly actions. Full participation in church and society depends on each of us and all of us, Lutherans united for all families, not just for some. Our faith compels us. We respond with graceful determination and relentless love in action.”
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 10:39
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod assembly called for civil marriage for all at its annual assembly held in Tinley Park, Illinois on June 1-2, 2012. The vote by show of cards of the nearly 350 present was overwhelmingly in favor; well over 90%. The synod is comprised of 202 congregations, nearly 98,000 members, located in Chicago and the surrounding area.
A hearing for discussion of the resolution prior to floor debate was attended by close to one-third of the voting membership. Those who spoke in favor of the resolution at the hearing and on the floor of the assembly represented the racial, economic, and age diversity of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod and the diversity ReconcilingWorks is striving to realize in its commitment to work at the intersection of oppressions. The pain and offense of all these histories of discrimination and oppressions, the call to fairness and freedom, the opportunity for gospel witness and mission, and the prophetic moment for the church to take a stand were all prominent themes in support of the resolution.
The resolution passed first called on congregations and members of the synod "to welcome, care for, and support same-gender couples and their families and to advocate for their legal protection."
Next the synod assembly urged the Illinois Legislature and the Governor of Illinois to "extend the protections and dignity of marriage to all persons and to protect the freedom of religion for all faith communities and religious organizations."
Finally the synod assembly urged the synod bishop, the Rev. Wayne Miller, to make the synod's position known to the state legislature, the governor, the congregations of the synod and the public at large.
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned, said "Taken in its own context, that of Illinois, and the clarion call this is to the secular leadership of that state to provide equal protection and privilege under law to all citizens, this action sends a very strong message. In doing that, Metropolitan Chicago joins synods in Maryland; Minnesota; Washington, DC; and Washington State sending a message that equality under the law is essential, is consistent with the ELCA Social Statement "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust," and that the freedom of congregations and pastors to follow their consciences as to whom they will marry or not is protected."
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 08:56
Lutherans Concerned/North America Becomes ReconcilingWorks
It's a new day and we have a new name!!
For decades we've worked among Lutherans for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the life of the church.
In 2009, a major milestone was achieved when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to allow ministers in lifelong, same-gender relationships to serve in the church. In 2011, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada established policies that permit the legal marriage or blessing of same-gender couples and that sexual orientation is not an impediment to ordination. But, the work for full inclusion continues... In the United States, there's work for marriage equality... And overall there's the difficult task of turning policy change into practice.
Though the name Lutherans Concerned served the organization well in the years following our founding in 1974, today, a name change is needed to describe our current ministry.
“ReconcilingWorks is a statement of faith and effectiveness,” said Emily Eastwood, executive director of the organization.
“Reconciliation is central to the ministry of the church which follows Christ into the world.. The name ReconcilingWorks is a clear response to the biblical injunction to all Christians to be reconciled to God and to each other. The name instantly testifies that reconciling, indeed, is successful as the means to build a fully inclusive church and society. And, like motorworks and waterworks, it is what we do.
“Included in the new logo is the phrase ‘Lutherans for Full Participation.’ Our mission is still to work for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Lutherans in the life of their church, for full recognition of their equality as children of God. The work continues unabated.
"Today, full participation in the church is inextricably intertwined with issues and concerns present in the larger society. Reconciling Lutherans are working hard to love their neighbors—all their neighbors. ReconcilingWorks follows Christ who ministered at the crossroads of life and the intersection of oppressions. When obstacles are placed in people’s way based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, economic status, disability, immigration status or other realities deliberately used to marginalize whole groups of people, ReconcilingWorks stands to challenge discrimination, to educate, to embody a community of welcome, to work together with others to help the church and society at large unite in valuing the gifts diversity brings.”
The new email addresses for ReconcilingWorks end with @reconcilingworks.org. Our website is now www.reconcilingworks.org. Phone numbers are unaffected.
More information about our name change and the meaning and development of the new logo is available at www.reconcilingworks.org and in the issue of Concord on its way to you.
Saturday, 02 June 2012 08:09
The Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, at its annual assembly in Ocean City, Maryland, May 31-June 1, passed resolutions on the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act and in support of the Uniting American Families Act currently before the U.S. Congress.
The Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act was enacted by the Maryland Legislature and signed by Governor O'Malley in March 2012. The law provides legal civil marriage for all couples, including same-gender ones, while protecting the right of pastors and congregations to choose whom they will bless or allow to use their facilities. A provision of the law is that it does not go into effect until January 2013, to allow time for what is now a certain referendum on the November ballot for the citizens of Maryland to affirm the law or repeal it.
The resolution passed by the Delaware-Maryland Synod assembly "encourages its congregations to study the Civil Marriage Protection Act, as enacted by the Maryland legislature," before the referendum in the November election.
Further, the resolution requires the synod to offer "at least three public forums prior to the beginning of Early Voting (October 27, 2012), providing members of our faith communities the opportunity to study together the issues involved in light of the ELCA Social Statement, 'Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust.'"
And, by this resolution, the Delaware-Maryland Synod assembly requested the synod bishop "issue a pastoral letter offering his guidance prior to the anticipated referendum."
The assembly also overwhelmingly passed a resolution in support of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), calling on President Obama to support and press for the passage of the act before Congress, and further calling on Delaware and Maryland elected officials in Congress to "co-sponsor and to press for passage of the same and to enact inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that ends the long-standing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender immigrant families by including the Uniting American Families Act." This act would remove the barrier in current immigration law whereby a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident is permitted to sponsor his or her spouse, child, or parent for permanent resident status, but is not permitted to sponsor his or her same-gender partner for permanent resident status.
Rev. Wolfgang Herz-Lane, bishop of the synod, relinquished the chair of the assembly briefly to speak in favor of this resolution.
The assembly required the synod bishop to communicate the synod's support of UAFA to President Obama and members of Congress representing Delaware and Maryland. The assembly commended 16 ELCA bishops, including their own, "for their courageous witness and their stand for justice in adding their names to the Faith Coalition for UAFA."
And, the assembly encouraged its pastors and other congregational leaders to support UAFA by communicating with their elected representatives to encourage them "to co-sponsor and to support both these bills and a just, comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration law."
John Carter, Convener, Lutherans Concerned Maryland Chapter, said of these resolutions, "These are historic achievements. The Delaware-Maryland Synod has taken a giant, positive step forward. In acknowledging and appreciating the diversity within its faith community, these actions will help factually educate ELCA Lutherans prior to the start of 2012 referendum voting on the Civil Marriage Protection Act, and send a strong message of support for immigration reform and the need for equal protection and privilege under law.
“I am very pleased with the adoption of these resolutions,” Carter continued. “Many forward-looking people worked hard for the Synod to take action to adequately prepare its membership to responsibly and graciously hold conversations about and factually educate its members on important civil issues. I am extremely proud of our Church.”
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 09:08
Workshops at Reconciling Works 2012 are scheduled for Sunday, July 8, 4:30 – 5:30 pm and Monday, July 9, 9:00 – 10:00 am. All are one-hour long. The catalogue of workshops being offered is listed below. The schedule of their presentation, including day/time and room assignments, will be available at Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church when checking in at registration. Only the International Workshop, “Addressing Reconciliation and the Intersection of Oppression on a Global Basis,” will be presented in both time slots. All the others will be presented once.
El Salvador: A Lutheran Perspective with Hope of LGBT Inclusion
- René García, Region 4 Coordinator
- Rev. Anita Hill, Regional Director for Region 3
Come explore the Salvadoran Lutheran presence through the lens of two congregations. Grow in your understanding of El Salvador's turbulent recent history in addition to what daily life is like in this Central American nation. Learn of the plight of LGBT Salvadorans and how the intersections of sexuality, poverty, third-world country citizenship, and faith can successfully co-exist in the future.
What's Up With Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM)?
- Rev. Michael Wilker, co-chair of the ELM board
- Several members of ELM’s Proclaim
ELM discusses the changes to its programs made to enable their ministry to respond to a changing ELCA following the 2009 changes in ELCA policy: discussed will be Proclaim, a new professional community of nearly 100 Lutheran LGBGTQ rostered leaders and seminarians; Candidacy Accompaniment; and the expansion of Ministry Grants.
Lifting Your Faithful Voice: Using Media to Advance Full Inclusion
- Ross Murray, GLAAD
Are you tired of having anti-LGBT voices misrepresent your faith? Do you ever think, “But I’m not THAT kind of Christian?” It may be time to amplify your voice and your faith and use the media to do that. Let’s explore together why your voice is so important and how you can write, speak, or organize in a way that lets people know that Lutherans love ALL people.
The Challenges and Joys of Being Bi: Psychological, Physical, and Spiritual Implications
- Margaret C. Charmoli, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
People who identify as bisexual tend to be the least visible and perhaps most misunderstood of the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender communities. This workshop discusses some challenges unique to the bi community as well as some of the joys inherent in being bi. The challenges of being bi will include marginalization by both the straight and gay/lesbian communities. Ramifications for mental health, physical health, and spiritual health will be addressed.
Anti-Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendments: Assessing Psychological Harm and Developing Resilience
- Margaret C. Charmoli, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Recently more than half of the states in the US have put anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments on the ballot. Psychological research has indicated that these initiatives harm people in the LGBT community but also provide opportunities to develop resilience. Factors that contribute to psychological harm as well as resilience will be discussed. Some research that led the American Psychological Association to oppose legal initiatives that discriminate against gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender people and led the APA to support marriage equality will be discussed.
Addressing Reconciliation and the Intersection of Oppression on a Global Basis
- Philip W. Moeller, PhD, Director of International Programs, LC/NA
- Rt. Rev. Bishop Disani Christopher Senyonjo, Uganda
- Gard Sandaker-Nielsen, Norway.
International workshop addresses work at the intersection of oppression globally, with specific but not exclusive focus on LGBT issues, and advancing the reconciliation process in our witness. Featured panelists from different regions discuss how this needs to be done in a concrete setting. Is there a common framework that can be replicated globally or are regional variations too great? Are we making progress? What about the near- and long-term future?
Including Children in the Work of Welcome.
- David Weiss, author, theologian, poet, essayist, hymnist, lifelong Lutheran and longtime LGBTQ ally
Children are not just the future of the church—they are the church right now. Whether working to prevent bullying or to create a congregational culture of welcome, they have needs to honor and gifts to offer. Rooted in the groundbreaking work of aMaze, this workshop offers insight into the need for and the dynamics of anti-bias work with children. Using stories as a way to unleash imagination and foster empathy, aMaze has pioneered a model (and curriculum) that empowers children to become change agents for welcome around race, class, gay/lesbian families and more. Learn how to harness these insights for reconciling work in your own congregation.
A La Familia
- Nicole Garcia, Co-Chair, Lutherans Concerned
- Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Thrive DC
A one-hour overview of a 12-hour workshop program that addresses the acceptance of LGBTQ Latinas/os. Most Latinas/os know what it means to be excluded, having experienced discrimination, exclusion from good jobs, good neighborhoods and good schools. Yet, still, some of us exclude other Latinas/os because of a different sexual orientation or gender identity. This workshop discusses the fear surrounding the Latina/o LGBTQ community and how we can love and accept everyone for who they are.
Youth and Young Adult Panel
- Emily Hamilton, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, LC/NA program assistant
What work is being done by young people in the Lutheran church toward full inclusion of LGBTQ people? What needs are they experiencing, and are we meeting them as a movement? This workshop of and for youth and young adult leaders at Reconciling Works 2012 is to find what drew them to the movement, which ministries they’ve been working on, what projects they are focusing on for the future, and discusses with them how we can support young LGBT Christians and allies.
Understanding the “T” in LGBT
- JamieAnn Meyers, Transgender Representative on the Board of LC/NA.
This workshop gives participants a foundation for understanding trans* people and the complex issues they face every day of their lives. A combination of activities, group brainstorming sessions, and lecture/discussion will address such things as terminology, myths and stereotypes, the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation, participants’ own gender identities, gender-conforming privilege, “coming out,” and how to be an ally to trans* individuals and the trans* community.
Making Your Congregation More Trans* Inclusive
- JamieAnn Meyers, Transgender Representative on the Board of LC/NA.
Welcoming and including trans* people in your congregation involves much more than a sign outside the place of worship and an inclusive mission statement in the bulletin. In this workshop we will use a variety of activities and brainstorming techniques to explore ways in which welcome and inclusion of trans* folks can be achieved in the life of the church. T* folks are often a misunderstood and forgotten part of LGBT, even though the Bible is rich in its portrayal of people of different gender identities and expressions. Consequently, education around gender identity and gender expression is sorely needed.
Conversations Around Worship And Liturgy
- Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor, House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver, Colorado
Questions? Seeking ways to re-invigorate worship, combine relevance and tradition, bring people together of differing ages and perspectives? Good!! Let’s talk…
We’re RIC; Now What?
- Tim Feiertag, Grassroots Organizing and Training Coordinator, LC/NA
Did you know that the RIC program used to be named in the past tense - RECONCILED In Christ? Years ago, LC/NA recognized that becoming welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is not a one-time achievement. Rather, it is an ongoing process. Come and share your own congregation’s best practices about living into the welcome that God has extended to all people. Learn some new ideas on how your congregation might broaden and deepen the commitments you have made to be a community of radical hospitality.
Building an Inclusive Church: Beginning the Welcoming Journey
- Tim Feiertag, Grassroots Organizing and Training Coordinator, LC/NA
What brought you to attend this assembly? Perhaps it was a longing to experience a faith community in which people of all sexual orientations and gender identities would be fully welcomed. If your home congregation has not yet taken such a public stance of welcome toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and you would like to help make that welcome a reality, this might be the workshop for you! Participants will receive an overview of the Building an Inclusive Church training and toolkit, our primary resource for designing a successful welcoming church process.
- Darryl Kiehl, Co-Director of the Committee Working at the Intersection of Oppressions, LC/NA
- Rev. Anita Hill, Regional Director, LC/NA
We enjoy privilege, all of us. Some of us have more arenas of privilege than others, but no one in North America is without privilege. Nationality, sexuality, religion, class (to name a few) are arenas in which we experience more or less privilege. This brief workshop includes a simple but enlightening exercise in identifying the privilege we each enjoy based on our social identity. We will discuss the ways in which our unique combination of privilege/lack of privilege influences our daily lives, and equips us to work at the intersection of oppressions. You’ll walk away with new insights, and a colorful reminder of the privilege you enjoy.
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 08:36
Ok, folks, to paraphrase the little girl from the movie Poltergeist, “It’s heeerrrrre!!”
June 1st is Friday, and the last chance to register for Reconciling Works 2012 prior to online registration closing.
This is an opportunity not to be missed. If you are committed to full inclusion for all people in the life of the Lutheran church, if you are committed to social justice for everyone, if you believe that the message of Christ, the Gospel, and Christ’s church is for all children of God, if you want to share your experience and success in advocating for equality, if you want to learn how to work smarter for the betterment of all, Reconciling Works 2012 is for you.
On the heels of this message, I will send out the catalogue of workshops being presented. This panel of workshops is the most invigorating, energizing and diverse set of presentations by extraordinarily qualified moderators and experts ever assembled for one of our assemblies.
And ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson is going to be with us for worship and then giving the keynote address on Saturday, July 7. On Tuesday, July 10, those who wish can visit their elected Congressional Senators and Representative, in groups led by docents familiar with such visits, fully-prepared by training during the assembly to comment on matters before the Congress that affect our lives as Lutherans living in a secular society still unacceptably rife with inequality and discrimination.
There is still time to be part of this assembly. Go to www.lcna.org/assembly and register.
See you in Washington, D.C., in July…
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 08:36
From JamieAnn Meyers:
Dear Friends in Christ,
Is your congregation a place where all people can find a spiritual home in which they can grow, find meaning, and be, or even become, their most authentic self? All of our congregations strive towards being welcoming and inclusive to all, but it’s an ongoing journey to reach that goal. We are always searching for opportunities to learn and to grow into truly welcoming and inclusive spiritual homes for all people, with no exceptions.
A wonderful opportunity for growth is taking place May 31-June 3 at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference (http://www.trans-health.org/), the largest event of its kind and entirely free! Numerous workshops, presentations, keynote speeches, and events provide education in all areas of transgender health and wellness of mind, body, spirit, and community. And opportunities for spiritual growth abound!
Our new affinity group, TransLutherans, will be represented at the Interfaith Working Group table by Nicole Garcia, LC/NA Co-Chair. If you live within striking distance of the Philadelphia area, please consider attending one or more days of the conference. You'll be amazed by how your sense of welcome and inclusion for trans people will be deepened by the experience.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Transgender Representative on the Board of Directors, LC/NA
Saturday, 19 May 2012 19:35
The Southwestern Washington (State) Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), meeting in assembly at the Hilton Hotel, Vancouver, Washington, on May 19, 2012, passed a resolution calling for support for those who marry same-gender couples and calling on the synod to support same-gender couples and their families. The resolution passed overwhelmingly.
The resolution passed by the assembly called on the synod bishop, staff and pastors, consistent with their bound-conscience, to support pastors and congregations who married same-gender couples and further called upon congregations and members of the synod to welcome, care for, and support same‐gender couples and their families and to advocate for their legal protection.
During the debate, in response to a query from the floor of the assembly, Secretary of the ELCA David Swartling, at the assembly as the representative of the national church, said that the marriage of same-gender couples in states where that was legal was neither endorsed nor precluded by ELCA policy. Marriage in those circumstances was at the discretion of pastors and congregations.
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the stance taken by the synod assembly, “This vote affirms marriage equality in Washington State and the families of loving same-gender couples. The clarification by Secretary of the ELCA Swartling is a benchmark of the position that ELCA policy takes nationally on the subject of pastors and congregations marrying same-gender couples where that is legal. This was an excellent process, the work of the Holy Spirit was apparent in the conversation, and the outcome of this assembly most welcome.”
Saturday, 19 May 2012 18:09
The Northwest Washington (State) Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in assembly at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center, Comcast Arena, in Everett, Washington, on May 19, 2012, voted 81% to support the Washington State Marriage Equality Act enacted in February 2012 by Governor Christine Gregoire and the Washington State Legislature.
The resolution affirms Marriage Equality in Washington State as a public policy that provides social support and social trust for same-sex couples and their families; and encourages the synod’s congregations and members to study Scripture and the ELCA Social Statements “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” and “Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective,” and to prayerfully consider how to publicly respond if a Marriage Equality referendum appears on the November 2012 ballot.
The February act made civil marriage available to all persons in Washington State and repealed a previous law that defined civil marriage as between a man and a woman, while protecting freedom of religion for faith communities and religious organizations.
The Rev. Chris Berry, Co-Chair of Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the passage of this resolution, “After twenty minutes of debate, the Northwest Washington Synod Assembly voted 81% to affirm marriage equality in Washington State -- a heartening vote, affirming at the same time the prophetic witness of Bishop Boerger in testimony before the state legislature and marriage equality for all in Washington State.”
Bishop Chris Boerger said in his remarks closing the synod assembly that he pledged to continue speaking in favor of civil marriage equality until it became the law of the land in Washington State.
Saturday, 19 May 2012 14:53
The St. Paul Area Synod Assembly Opposes Changing the Minnesota Constitution
During their assembly at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Burnsville, Minnesota, the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), on May 19 overwhelmingly passed a resolution that opposes the proposed "marriage amendment" to the Minnesota constitution that would prevent same-gender couples from seeking through legislation and other legal means the same rights and benefits granted to others.
In taking this action, the St. Paul Area Synod assembly is the fifth synod of the six ELCA synods in Minnesota to have met in assembly and passed resolutions expressing opposition to amending the constitution of the State of Minnesota to state that marriage was solely between a man and a woman. Previously, the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, Southeastern Minnesota Synod, Northeastern Minnesota Synod and Minneapolis Area Synod assemblies have passed such a resolution. The remaining synod in Minnesota, the Southwestern Minnesota Synod, will meet in assembly on June 8-9.
As with the other resolutions passed on this subject, the resolution passed at the St. Paul Area assembly does not bind the individual members of the synod to vote in any particular way in the November election. However, like the others, it is an important sense of this synod's reaction to the attempt to change the constitution to restrict rather than protect freedom of conscience.
The Rev. Anita Hill, Regional Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the passing of this resolution, "My partner, Janelle, and I have been living Lutheran together for 19 years. This resolution makes a difference to us as a couple and to me personally. Marriage is about love and commitment, for us and for thousands of other same-gender couples, like couples who have adopted their children and, though they are both are legally parents, in many places they are not allowed to be legally related to each other. We are all grateful for the support of this synod. Lutherans live in the freedom to care for our LGBT neighbors and their families, for all families. We are already reconciled in Christ. Let us keep on living Lutheran together."
Thursday, 17 May 2012 10:02
Every day is important somewhere, to someone, for some very specific reason. But, this June 1 coming up is really important to some of you receiving this message, and for the same reason.
June 1 is the last day of registration for Reconciling Works 2012 according to the registration page on www.lcna.org/assembly. And it is...
June 1st is the cut-off date for us to get the housing information to the assembly hotels at the prices we negotiated.
June 1st is the date we finalize the numbers for meals, for transportation (Day on the Hill), for the banquet, and for all of the other myriad of things that have numbers or costs associated.
Even if you are planning coming only for a single day, say Saturday, July 7, you need to register by June 1st to be assured of a seat.
So, June 1st really is a deadline, not to miss.
If you're waiting to see if the prices are going to go down (they aren't) or figure that you'll register after June 1 and it'll be ok, you'll be disappointed.
We don't want you to be disappointed.
We don't want to disappoint.
You need to take June 1st very seriously.
Register now or before June 1st...
You'll be better off for it...
You'll be registered for what is going to be the best assembly we've had...
You'll be present to hear the keynote address of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA...
You'll have housing. (Really, think about it: dragging your suitcase around with you each day, unsure of where you are staying the next night, is just not on. Really...)
I'll alert you again to the impending June 1 deadline...
Saturday, 12 May 2012 14:39
Met in assembly at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), on May 12 passed a resolution explicitly opposing the proposed “marriage amendment” to the Minnesota constitution that would preclude same-gender couples from seeking through legislation and other legal means the same rights and benefits granted to others. The vote was by show of cards and appeared to be larger than 70% against the amendment.
The Northwestern Minnesota Synod assembly's action makes it the fourth synod of the six ELCA synods in Minnesota to have met in assembly and passed resolutions expressing opposition to amending the constitution of the State of Minnesota to state that marriage was solely between a man and a woman. Previously, the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, Northeastern Minnesota Synod and Minneapolis Area Synod assemblies have passed such a resolution. The remaining two synods in Minnesota will meet in the coming weeks.
The resolution does not bind the individual members of the synod to vote in any particular way in the November election. It is nonetheless an important sense of this synod’s reaction to the attempt to change the constitution to restrict rather than protect freedom of conscience.
The Rev. Anita Hill, Regional Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the vote on this resolution and the opposition to amending the constitution, "By a margin of more than 70%, the Northwestern Minnesota Synod assembly today voted to support equality and inclusivity in our state's constitution. Voting against the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment on marriage, Lutherans in Northwestern Minnesota stand on the side of same-gender couples and their families. During the debate, voting members often referred to the command of Jesus that we love one another, noting the Lutheran imperative to love and care for our neighbors."
Sunday, 06 May 2012 08:38
The United Methodist Quadrennial General Convention began on April 24 and ended May 4.
The Love Your Neighbor Common Witness Coalition, Methodists all, were hard at work to overturn policies first officially articulated in 1972, now embodied in the Methodist Book of Discipline as six harsh words: "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching," despite the evidence of eyes and ears that ten million fellow Protestant Christians now live, work and worship from within denominations that have no barriers to either membership in the church or serving as ministers leading exemplary lives, witnessing to the truth of God's promises and the redemption of Christ to our salvation, LGBT and heterosexual.
The Love Your Neighbor Common Witness Coalition is comprised of Affirmation Methodists for LGBTQ Concerns, Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Methodist Federation for Social Action, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, Native American International Caucus, Reconciling Ministries Network and the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities.
The time for what was supposed to be "holy conversation" in small groups (6-8 people around a table, 60 people to a room) on the subject of human sexuality on April 25 was reduced from its scheduled 55 minutes (of a total of more than 110 hours in the convention, excluding worship!) because preceding agenda items ran overtime. The time allotted did not comport with the enormity of the issues and the diametric disparity of feelings, positions and thoughts. In some of the rooms for these conversations, brutal, hurtful, and disrespectful things were reported to have been said at tables. This was serious enough for the bishop presiding over the next day's meeting to grant personal privilege to address the convention to an openly gay delegate to the convention, Mark Miller.
Mark said the following: "As an elected, credentialed member of this General Conference, I am offering my voice to say that the attempt at Holy Conversation about Human Sexuality yesterday was incomplete. The process failed because of a lack of leadership and oversight. It failed because there wasn't any careful preparation that really respects people and takes this work seriously.
"So we are standing as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender delegates. Yesterday the United Methodist Church did us harm. When we are harmed, the church is harmed. We serve at every level of the church though no one will admit it. We were bullied, emotionally, spiritually and physically. And no one did anything. We were harmed by the lack of leadership by the bishops. We abide by Wesley's rule of Do No Harm and that rule was broken.
"We are standing because we're not going to wait for broken promises to fix themselves. We've learned that in this church waiting doesn't work. So now we're being proactive. It's time for this church to live our resurrection faith. And I know that there are others delegates who are GLBT and delegates who have family members and colleagues who are GLBT. We invite you to stand with us at this moment. All means all. Stand. Stand, because we can do a lot better."
The bishop presiding ruled the witness-by-standing out of order but acknowledged that things could have gone better with the "holy conversations." The bishop who delivered the sermon in the worship that evening said he wanted "the church to include all, whomever they love." Following the worship, advocates for full inclusion lined the spaces outside the doors of the worship space in silence, so that the delegates walked through a silent protest.
The UMC News Service story on this is worth a read: http://tinyurl.com/HolyConversations-on-sexuality
On Wednesday, May 2, members of the coalition moved from the Visitors area to the floor of the convention and held a MIC CHECK demonstration, now so effective as a means of amplifying a message without electronic means. Their message: "The General Conference has broken Wesley's general rule by doing harm to young adults, people of color, gay and lesbian people, women, and others. Confusion has taken the place of holy conferencing. Legalism has obscured love. Fear has silenced faith.
"But even though the action of General Conference and the inaction of our other leadership has done great harm, we will always be a part of God's Church. We are done waiting.
"By waiting, more harm is done. We are centered in the gospel. We are grounded in the gospel, we are joyful in the gospel, we are people committed to following Jesus Christ to embody God's love and justice through The United Methodist Church.
"We will work passionately for racial justice. We will embody full inclusiveness for people of all sexual orientations. We will celebrate people of all gender identities. We are global, connectional, and repentant of colonialism. We will be a people of peace. We will proclaim the stewardship of creation joyfully. We will strive for economic justice.
"This is what it means to be United Methodist.
"We are here, we will remain in this church as long as we can preach the gospel and faithfully make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of us all."
On May 3, during the debate, Bishop Minerva Carcano, finding the debate "painful," moved from her position on the dais with the other bishops to outside the bar separating the visitors from the delegates to join the demonstrators. She said, "The language was cruel, the language was unchristian, the spirit was unholy. It is time, it is truly time for The United Methodist Church to be an inclusive church, it is time for us to leave behind our power struggles, our limitations, the limitation of not being able to see the fullness of God's children and God's community, the fullness of the body of Jesus Christ. It is
time to be about ministry."
After debate, the Convention voted 61% to retain the current stance on homosexuality in the Book of Discipline, the "incompatibility with Christian teaching" stance. By a similar margin the Convention voted to reject a resolution that offered a compromise wording saying Methodists could live together as a church despite their disagreements on the subject of homosexuality, a concept similar to the resolution passed at our 2009 Churchwide Assembly.
Following these votes, activists from the coalition gathered in the hall, sang, and began distributing communion. The bishop presiding cancelled the rest of that morning's plenary session, dismissed the delegates to lunch and closed the convention hall to visitors - referring to the demonstrators as a "security concern" and a source of confusion. The bishop presiding said, when asked from the floor, that the decision to close the hall to all but delegates had come from the Conference Secretary. After the delegates had left, the lights in the room were shut off. The activists stayed in the darkened room, singing. Subsequently, it was announced that all further legislation was postponed and would be referred to the Agenda and Calendar group. Leaders of the demonstrations were told that the legislation was postponed to prevent further harm to LGBT people and their friends.
The General Convention ended with no further legislation on human sexuality being considered.
Was this all doom and defeat? No. As we know, every time you witness you reach new people, change some of them. You gain, until finally the righteousness of this cause, the rectitude of equality, the realization of the harm to Christ's message and the body of Christ becomes apparent to sufficient numbers of people to change the policies of oppression.
There are positive aspects to what happened in Tampa. The witness of so many, hundreds, was truly the work of the Spirit. And in the end, they are unbowed and undaunted by the events of this Convention.
Anticipated efforts to bar transgender people from membership in the UMC did not even make it out of committee and were never presented on the floor of the convention.
The sight of UMC Bishop Melvin Talbert and Rev. Bruce Robbins, together with 13 other UMC bishops and hundreds of pro-equality Methodists from the coalition and allies, publically calling for biblical obedience which may necessitate ecclesiastical disobedience, is a wonderful sign of the strength of the Spirit's influence to right a wrong and put the UMC on the path to full inclusion. This call to action will surely reverberate across the four years to the next General Convention.
The Love Your Neighbor Coalition said in a statement that it "continues to see signs of progress, even in the midst of the disappointment of this General Conference. The conversation about the faith of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and allies has gone deeper and broader than ever before." They said they will begin preparations for the 2016 General Convention.
We continue our prayers and well-wishes for the success of the continued struggle of our brothers and sisters in the United Methodist Church.
Director Communications LC/NA
Sunday, 06 May 2012 08:30
The Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), met in assembly in Rochester, Minnesota, May 4, passed a resolution explicitly opposing the proposed "marriage amendment" to the Minnesota constitution that would preclude same-gender couples from seeking through legislation and other legal means the same rights and benefits granted to others. The margin was 229 in favor of the resolution, 179 opposed.
The Southeastern Minnesota Synod is the third synod of the six ELCA synods in Minnesota to have met in assembly and passed resolutions expressing opposition to amending the constitution of the State of Minnesota to state that marriage was solely between a man and a woman. Previously, the Northeastern Minnesota Synod and Minneapolis Area Synod assemblies passed such a resolution. The remaining three synods in Minnesota will meet in the coming weeks and months.
The resolution does not bind the individual members of the synod to voting in any particular way. It is nonetheless an important sense of the synod's reaction to the attempt to change the constitution to restrict rather than protect freedom of conscience.
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the vote on this resolution and the opposition to amending the constitution, "Once again debate was lengthy and thorough as the voting members turned back all attempts to water down the resolution. We are gratified by the growing Lutheran witness in support of continued conversation about marriage for same-gender couples and against any decision which would limit that possibility. We give thanks for the courage of those voting members at the assembly who came forward to witness for the protection of all families, including those of same-gender couples."
Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:52
The Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), met in assembly in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, April 27-29, passed a resolution opposing any “legislation or public policies that would prevent same-gender couples and their families from pursuing ordinary legislative or legal means to gain the support and protections afforded to all others.” It also called upon synod congregations to “continue to welcome, care for, and support same-gender couples and their families.”
The Northeastern Minnesota Synod is the second of the six ELCA synods in Minnesota to have met in assembly and passed resolutions expressing opposition to amending the constitution of the State of Minnesota to preclude marriage between persons of the same gender. Previously, the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly passed such a resolution. The remaining four synods in Minnesota will meet in the coming weeks and months.
The resolution passed by the Northeastern Minnesota Synod does not bind the individual members of the synod to voting in any particular way. It is nonetheless an important sense of the synod’s reaction to the attempt to change the constitution to restrict rather than protect freedom of religious communities to choose whom they marry.
Earlier this month, the bishop of the synod, the Rev. Tom Aitken, indicated his personal view on the subject of this constitutional amendment, saying in a Pastoral Letter sent to members of the synod on April 17, 2012, that he intended to vote against making such a change. Bishop Aitken wrote:
“I have already publically stated that the ELCA does not tell its members how to vote in the public arena. It is worth noting that we Lutherans live well in paradox, able to hold prayerful convictions in respectful tension all the time. We recognize that faithful Christians, tending to Scripture and confessions, live together with differing understandings of capital punishment, war, and genetics, just to name a few ethical issues. We've made a commitment to live together with diversity. Since life will continue to present us with complexity and grey areas, I prefer to live into the future together with respect for this diversity, while focusing on Christ and the gospel as our theological core. The proposed Minnesota marriage amendment would preclude some congregations in our synod from providing a ministry of marriage they regard as appropriate and may well deny equal treatment to couples under the law. Therefore, I will vote against it. That doesn't mean you have to. We stand firm on the principle of honoring the bound conscience of each other.”
See the full text of the letter at http://tinyurl.com/7d3tr5z or at http://lcna.org/mm/support-for-marriage-from-lutheran-leaders
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said “I give thanks for the leadership of Bishop Tom Aitken and for the continued prophetic witness of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod. The process of the debate was respectful and quite thorough, lasting one and half hours. Though various attempts were made to moderate the language of the resolution or delay a decision until after the November elections, finally, a large majority of the voting members chose action over delay by taking a stand now against the proposed amendment.”
Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:47
Dear Friends in Christ,
CeCe McDonald is on trial for second-degree murder.
On June 5, 2011, CeCe McDonald, 23, a transwoman of color and 4 of her trans and queer black friends, set out about midnight to walk to a Cub Foods store in south Minneapolis. Their path took them past the Schooner Tavern, where three white people were standing outside. The two females and a male began verbally harassing and intimidating the five young people, calling them "niggers," "faggots," and "chicks with dicks." Words escalated into physical contact, others joined in, and a fight broke out, at the end of which 47-year-old Dean Schmitz, one of the three bullies, and CeCe lay in pools of their own blood. Schmitz was dead from a stab wound and CeCe is going to trial on Monday, April 30, for second-degree murder.
The trial is supposed to sort out what really happened in the murky circumstances of the melee.
What is undeniable is that this altercation, death, and resulting trial did not have to happen. The bullying and violence directed at CeCe and her friends is similar in a way to the circumstances that caused the murder of Trayvon Martin. If the instigators of the contact with CeCe and her friends had not made assumptions, had not treated them with suspicion, disrespect, and mockery, had not harassed them with verbal slurs that were racial, homophobic and transphobic, had not initiated physical contact from which a fight broke out, this needless death would not have occurred. Had these slurs, fed by alcohol, ignorance, prejudice and fear of difference, not been said, Dean Schmitz would have gone home that night, and CeCe and her friends would have shopped at Cub Foods.
Yet, it is exactly these kinds of intimidation, harassment, physical attacks and extreme violence, sometimes leading to death, that all too often are inflicted upon transpeople, especially transpeople of color.
The 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey of 6456 transgender persons (381 of whom were Black), conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, reveals pervasive discrimination for all respondents. The combination of anti-transgender bias and socio-economic status, together with persistent, structural and individual racism is especially devastating for Black transgender people and other people of color.
According to the survey
• Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Black transgender people who had interacted with the police reported police harassment, 14% reported physical assault, and 6% reported sexual assault
• Thirty-five percent (35%) of Black transgender people had been arrested or held in a cell due to bias at some point in their lives.
• Half (51%) reported discomfort seeking police assistance.
• Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Black respondents who had been to jail or prison reported being physically assaulted and 32% reported being sexually assaulted while in custody.
LC/NA continues to advocate for all oppressed people, including those among us who are transgender, gender queer and gender non-conforming. We urge you to support all transpeople and people whose differences make them all too often the target of intimidation and violence.
CeCe is deserving of our support as the issues of guilt or innocence are sorted out during her trial. Pray that the court proceedings are thorough, free from bias, and conclusive - that justice is seen to be served.
Blessings and Peace,
Transgender Representative on the Board of Lutherans Concerned/North America
Saturday, 28 April 2012 08:58
Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod Assembly Publically Supports Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, the Uniting American Families Act, Support for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, and the Maryland DREAM Act
Met in assembly on April 27-28, by majorities greater than two-thirds, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod passed individually resolutions in support of the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, in support of the Uniting American Families Act, advocating care and support for persons living with HIV and AIDS, and supporting in-state tuition for Maryland immigrant youth (SB 167 - the DREAM Act).
On the Maryland Civil Marriage Protection Act, the assembly called for welcome, care for, and support of same-gender couples and their families, as well as advocacy for their legal protection. Further, the assembly commended the governor and legislature of Maryland for extending the protections of marriage to all couples, while protecting freedom of religion and the freedom of congregations and pastors to act in accord with their consciences. Most importantly, the assembly stated its support of the law as enacted and its opposition to repealing the act (such an action will be offered by referendum on the Maryland ballot in November).
On the Uniting American Families Act, the assembly directed the synod bishop to communicate with the President of the United States and the members of Congress serving the territory of the synod, asking them to co-sponsor, support, and press for passage of this act as part of inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform that ends the long-standing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrant families. Under current law, U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents are permitted to sponsor his/her spouse, child or parent for immigration but not their same-gender partners.
On persons living with HIV and AIDS, the assembly encouraged the congregations of the synod to create educational and worship activities highlighting the World AIDS Conference and the Interfaith Preconference being held in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. Further the resolution urged the bishop of the synod to attend those events, as well as the Interfaith Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. Among other things, the assembly encouraged the synod's congregations to conduct worship services of healing, to distribute educational materials about prevention, and to encourage everyone to be tested for the presence of HIV.
The assembly also supported the 2011 Maryland law, SB 167, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, that assured undocumented children bought into the country before the age of 16, who are graduating from Maryland high schools and can demonstrate that they or their parents have paid Maryland taxes, that they will be charged in-state tuition rates when attending a Maryland community college. The assembly also stated its opposition to repealing that act (such an action is being put to the voters in Maryland by referendum on the ballot in November 2012).
Director Communications LC/NA
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 16:51
As the United Methodist Church (UMC) Quadrennial General Conference begins today in Tampa, Florida, we all need to turn our thoughts, our prayers, and our hearts toward the around 1000 delegates of this global denomination as they take up again the existing prohibitions levied against lesbian and gay Christians and proposals to exclude transgender people.
The Love Your Neighbor Common Witness Coalition, Methodists all, will be hard at work to overturn policies first officially articulated in 1972 that are now embodied in the Methodist Book of Discipline as six harsh words: "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching," despite the evidence of eyes and ears that ten million fellow Protestant Christians now live, work and worship from within denominations that have no barriers to either membership in the church or serving as ministers leading exemplary lives, witnessing to the truth of God's promises and the redemption of Christ to our salvation, LGBT and heterosexual.
Between today and the May 4th end of the General Conference, members of the coalition will seek the removal of these policy barriers while, at the same time, preventing efforts to add transgender people to the list of those the United Methodist church excludes.
Hopeful signs there are:
-- UMC church leaders, retired and in service, are speaking out in favor of change
-- A bright light has been shone on the discriminatory policies by the highly-publicized ecclesiastical trial of Rev. Amy DeLong for being a lesbian and having married a lesbian couple
-- More than 1200 Methodist ministers are publically on record pledged to perform marriages for all couples
-- Fifty-two percent of mainline Protestants support marriage for gay and lesbian couples
-- International and national outrage has risen at efforts by some evangelicals to export their particular brand of virulent homophobia to other parts of the world, like Uganda, which has resulted in death threats, draconian legislation proposals, murder and persecution
You and your United Methodist friends can learn more about the Love Your Neighbor Common Witness Coalition at http://gc12.org/home/.
If you know of United Methodists who are in favor of full inclusion, direct them to http://gc12.org/sign/ where they can read and then sign up to the "For Love of God and Neighbor" Statement, increasing the reach and witness of the efforts to undo current and prevent further discrimination.
Saturday, 21 April 2012 10:06
Just a reminder that there are excellent pre-events as part of Reconciling Works 2012, geared to immerse you in a subject, far deeper than workshops can do. If you have registered already or are planning to register soon, take a serious look at them to enhance your learning at assembly...
Registration is still open with discounts till May 1. Click on Reconciling Works in the top banner on www.lcna.org. Get 'er done now before the costs rise.
Most of these pre-events run from noon on Friday the 6th through noon on Saturday the 7th...
All will require an additional night, Friday, in D.C.
***Perception = Reality: Day-on-the-Hill Leader Training
In the halls of Congress, perception equals reality. This is what makes Lutherans Concerned’s Day-On-the-Hill so very important in changing the face of faith on issues vital to the LGBTQ community. This pre-event is training to be a docent/escort for a group of RW2012 assembly-goers to their meetings on the Hill and to lead those meetings with members of Congress, Senators, or their staff -- all to occur on the Tuesday, July 10th.
***Anti-Bullying: Train the Trainer
Participants at the "Train the Trainer" event will receive intensive training that prepares them to present bullying and harassment prevention programs in their own communities. Participants will learn to present workshops based on the Pacific Violence Prevention Institute’s proprietary Three Motivations for Violent Behavior Model. These anti-bullying workshops are designed to help change participants from being bystanders into effective allies by learning to recognize bullying and harassment that they witness and teaching them the skills to intervene safely and effectively to counter those acts. This highly interactive workshop utilizes video, activities, facilitated discussion, and role-playing exercises to prepare participants for the challenge of becoming and effective allies.
***Couple Care and Marriage
This interactive workshop begins with the premise that our history has never had a definition of marriage. The dominance of men, the inferiority of women, heterosexism, homophobia and the prevalent mis-interpretation of Scripture have prevented it. Yet, couples everywhere in all of history have committed themselves to each other, cared for each other and lived in care for God's world.
Today, people are talking and voting on the godliness and legalities of loving, committed couple relationships, but so many in our country only allow for man-woman couples. Learn the function of a couple relationship in order to inform conversations, thereby giving people a zest for perhaps the most significant relationship in life.
God creates couples
to grow in God's love for them and to care for each other
that they might take good care of God's world.
Come, unlearn and relearn the story of Adam and Eve. It's really about the creation of the couple, not the first man and the first woman, nor the institution of marriage. It teaches couples not to blame God nor to blame each other, but to hope in God's Rescuer (Jesus) to overcome evil and to be about restoring life together. Led by Dick & Linda Staats, you will:
--- Assimilate models that help us cultivate the couple relationship
--- Assert the benefits of marriage and relish the Rite of Holy Marriage written for all loving, committed couples
--- Scrutinize resources to nurture in children the function of couples and the careful choosing of life-long couple relationships
--- Determine the training to provide care and marriage for couples and discuss how all of us can disseminate this excellent ministry
The Ministerium is only for LGBT ministers, both lay and ordained, and those in the process of rostering. Participants may be out, partially out, closeted, active, retired, resigned, or removed from any Lutheran denomination.
The retreat-style gathering will include worship, large and small group conversations, and affinity group sessions. Topics of conversation can include: building a network of support; finding a place: to worship, to serve, to be; preaching the liberating word; coming out to congregations; gender identity and expression in ministry; out, proud and serving — what’s next?
Sanctuary and confidentiality is integral to this ministerium.
***Youth & Young Adult Forum
Note our special Youth and Young Adult Package!
$400 Early Bird Rate, $450 Regular Registration – includes housing, food and facilitation fees. Scholarships are available!
This forum package was created with young Lutherans between the ages of 16-22 in mind. Participants will live in intentional community at Luther Place Hostel for the duration of the assembly. Young activists will spend the day-long pre-event working on leadership development, worshipping together, and planning future advocacy to continue moving the Lutheran church toward full inclusion. Space is limited, so act quickly!
LC/NA is looking for nominations for young people to be invited to attend and be a part of this forum. If you are, or know of, a young person in the age range who would benefit from this forum, please email
with details. LC/NA wants to be diverse and inclusive with this invitation in every way, including regionally within North America.
***Tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Embark upon a meditative exploration through the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. This historic memorial museum teaches the history and continuing problem of anti-Semitism. Learn how to confront and prevent genocide. Participants will have an opportunity to debrief their experiences with one another after the tour. This tour will occur on the morning of Saturday, July 7th. Note: (Out of town assembly participants should plan to arrive in D.C. on Friday night in order to participate on this tour.)
***Worship, Music and the Arts
Worship, music, and the arts are central elements of devotion to our God. Come explore the roots of these elements, their evolution, and how they can be approached today. Discover deeper meaning and new treasures. Hear discussion on the creative process. Gather some new ideas to take back to your own worshipping community. Consider how to build a RIC Sunday Service and how that can effect community every Sunday. Consider options on rites of blessing and marriage. Share what works; talk about what doesn't. Enjoy the riches that God has given us.
The additional cost for these events, $50, covers the programming only. Housing and meals are separate.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 14:08
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned, will be a panelist at the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) Annual Convention April 20-21, 2012, being held at Southwest Marriott Hotel, Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Emily will be part of the “Reconciling Conflicts between Religious Beliefs and Sexual Orientation” discussion of the film, “For the Bible Tells Me So” on Saturday, April 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
This discussion is part of the Marriage Equality Track of the convention. Registration for the event is required to attend this discussion. Daily rates are available. Information about registration and rates is available on the MPA website at http://tinyurl.com/MPAconvention. The entire Marriage Equality Track is listed at the bottom of this announcement.
ADDITIONALLY, as part of the convention, the MPA is hosting a FREE event for the LGBT community,
“Developing Resilience in the Face of Anti-Gay Initiatives,” April 20th, 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Southwest Marriott Hotel. Panelists: Clinton Anderson, Ph.D.; Ilan Meyer, Ph.D.; Beverly Greene, Ph.D.; Glenda Russell, Ph.D.
THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY TRACK OF THE MPA ANNUAL CONVENTION
(REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED; DAILY RATES ARE AVAILABLE)
Annual Convention Opening Keynote
“Psychology's Contribution to Marriage Equality”
April 20th 8:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Clinton Anderson, Ph.D., Director of the American Psychological Association’s
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns Office;
Ilan Meyer, Ph.D., UCLA School of Law; Glenda Russell, Ph.D., University of
Colorado at Boulder.
“New Perspectives on Female Sexual Desire & Orientation”
April 20th 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Lisa Diamond, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender
Studies, University of Utah.
“Minority Stress & Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay Men, and Bisexuals”
April 20th 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Ilian Meyer, Ph.D. Senior Scholar for Public Policy at the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law
and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law
“Bullied: A Student, a School, & a Case That Made History”
A film followed by discussion.
April 20th 2:45-3:30 p.m.
Jaimie Nabozny, Safe School Advocate
“Hate Crimes Perpetrated Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People”
April 20th 3:45-5:00 p.m.
Rebecca Waggoner, OutFront Minnesota; Dallas Drake, Center for Homicide Research,
Barbara Satin, Transgender Day of Remembrance, The Task Force.
“Reconciling Conflicts between Religious Beliefs and Sexual Orientation”
April 21st 9:30-12:15 a.m.
View the film For the Bible Tells Me So followed by a clergy panel and discussion.
“Sexuality and Religious Beliefs in Psychotherapy: Ethical and Clinical Challenges for Clinicians”
April 21st 2:15-3:30 p.m.
Beverly Greene, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, St. John’s University
“Heterosexual Allies and LGBT Rights: A Film and Discussion”
April 21st 3:45-5:00 p.m.
View this PBS Special and have the opportunity to discuss with Glenda
Russell, Ph.D. University of Colorado at Boulder, whose work is highlighted in
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Building an Inclusive Church is an intense training workshop intended to give participants the tools and knowledge base to build local or synodical teams equipped to work effectively to foster the expansion of the RIC Program within area congregations.
In partnership with the Institute for Welcoming Resources, ReconcilingWorks offers these trainings several times a year in various locations.
To see a current schedule and to register, please see the Institute for Welcoming Resource website.
For more information, please go here.