Assembly participants will be able to deepen their knowledge, skill set, or just enjoy some conversation with the variety of workshops being offered. Workshops are 75 minutes, and allow our community to expand its knowledge base, engage in dialog with others, and have fun. Learn about ways to enhance your congregation’s welcome. Sharpen your tools to work for justice in the wider world. Dive into deeper conversation with our presenters. This is the time to learn!

Workshop topics include:

Beyond Welcome: Publicly Affirming LGBTQ Rostered Leaders

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) recently developed a new way to recognize both congregations that have historically partnered with us to enable LGBTQ pastors, and those congregations that call them, to engage in ministry NOW.  While the ELCA removed the ban on partnered LGBTQ ministers at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, LGBTQ rostered leaders and seminarians still face higher standards, more hoops, and continuing discrimination from the larger Lutheran church.  With all the news about congregations leaving the ELCA, or loudly stating that they will never consider a LGBTQ pastor, lets challenge the paradigm by creating a list of congregations that will!


Faith Organizing in the Public Realm

If you read the paper, you will read about legislation that impacts LGBT people. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and marriage initiatives are cropping up within the United States. The criminalization of homosexuality in countries around the world has captured headlines. Faith organizing is an important part of what we are called to do, but it can be scary for good, church-going people. Come to hear how we can faithfully engage with public figures and talk about policies that impact our lives as LGBT people and allies.


Bisexual & Transgender 101

Since 2003, LC/NA has required RIC congregations to explicitly name lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender as a part of the welcoming statement. Even so, bisexual and transgender remain two of the most misunderstood communities in the LGBT movement. This workshop will provide some basic education and understanding on both bisexual and transgender. There are no dumb questions at this workshop. Come to gain a greater understanding of the reality of bisexual and transgender people’s lives. Led by the bisexual and transgender representatives to the board of LC/NA.


Bisexual 202

This workshop is for those who want to “go deeper” in their understanding of bisexual. By the time you leave this workshop, you should be able to explain what bisexual is, what common misperceptions exist about bisexuality, and what congregations can do to be truly welcoming of bisexual people. Be equipped to explain why bisexual people need to be included in the welcoming movement. This is led by Connie Monson, Bisexual Representative to the board of LC/NA.


Transgender 202

If you think you got the transgender basics, but want to know more, then this workshop is for you. What are some tools to actively challenge gender normativity, transphobia, and other forms of oppression that affect trans people and our communities? How do we move from passive welcome to advocacy of trans people.  This workshop is led by Nicole Garcia, Transgender Representative to the board of LC/NA.


International Forum

Interested in learning about LGBT life around the globe? Come and participate in this conversation with our international guests. Ask about what life is like for our guests, and what organizations exist to help people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This forum is moderated by Philip Moeller, Director of International Programs for Lutherans Concerned/North America.


Hmong LGBTQ:  The Intersection of Culture, Faith, and Sexuality

LGBTQ is certainly not a new topic in the Hmong community.  They know about it but because it is not a cultural norm, they will not acknowledge it.  Hmong people are born with predetermined roles and responsibilities both culturally and spiritually.  How can Hmong LGBTQ and those who identify as the opposite sex fit into the cultural responsibilities they are born to have?  This presentation will explore the life cycle of a Hmong person both culturally and spiritually and how LGBTQ are acknowledged within it. Kevin Xiong is the first Executive Director of Shades of Yellow, the first non-profit organization that advocates for and supports Hmong LGBTQ cultural and social rights.  He received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management.  He plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Community Psychology with emphasis on Cultural Diversity.  He served on the board of Hmong American Partnership and Color Coordination.  Kevin also has over five years of training and development experience which includes cross cultural training and cultural diversity inclusion.  He has done numerous national workshops and presentations on the intersection of culture and sexuality, dissecting cultural expectations, and Hmong LGBTQ in the movement.  In October 2009, Kevin received the opportunity to travel to Laos and Thailand to conduct a research on Hmong vs. LGBTQ issues.   He is an out and proud gay Hmong and is fortunate to have very a supportive family to continue his work with the Hmong LGBTQ community.


A Conversation with Miguel de la Torre

Spend this workshop time chatting with keynote speaker Dr. Miguel De La Torre. The bulk of this workshop will be responding to questions and engaging in conversation with workshop attendees. Ask a full range of questions: How can the full participation movement be accountable to communities of color? What are the connections between immigration and LGBT inclusion? Come prepared to chat!


Speaking Truth from the Margins: The Power (and Play) of Acrostic Poetry

The acrostic is a unique poem where the first letter of each line combines to spell out a word or phrase when you read straight down the left margin. Acrostics are naturally fun poems because of this “hidden” message, but they can also be prophetic, a guerilla poetry that empowers the voice in the margin to speak. Among the easiest poem forms because they don’t require a rhyme pattern, acrostics are among the most challenging forms to do well. In this workshop we’ll discuss what makes for a good acrostic (playful, poignant, or prophetic) and let you to try your hand at several. Participants will leave this workshop empowered to use acrostic poetry as a means of playful, poignant or prophetic self-expression in both personal and communal settings. David Weiss, author of To the Tune of a Welcoming God: Lyrical reflections on sexuality, spirituality and the wideness of God’s welcome, is a theologian, poet, essayist, and hymnist. Presently a self-employed speaker and writer on sexuality and spirituality, David has taught acrostic poetry at the Young Authors Conference the past seven years. Contact:


Advocating for LGBT Candidates Entering the ELCA Process

The workshop will be a primer for lay people to orient them on how the candidacy process works, and, in light of the recent changes, how lay people might help “lift up the valleys and make low the hills and smooth the way” for LGBT ordination candidates. It will include resources to assist ELCA candidacy committees, as well as stories of the experiences of lay members of candidacy committees. To add to the foundational web of support specifically designed for LGBT candidates by educating lay people about the candidacy process. This would be done by building upon work already compiled by GoodSoil identifying “friendly” bishops and synods, and supplementing that work with the experience of those who have served in candidacy panel capacities for ELM/ECP. The Rev. Randy Nelson is s retired member of the Luther Seminary faculty, where he served as the Director of Contextual Education.  He has served on several ELCA Candidacy Committees  since the beginning of the ELCA in 1987 until retirement in 2007.  He is currently the convener of the Midwest/Twin Cities Regional Panel of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.


Paul the Apostle–History’s Greatest Homophobe?

The writings of Paul contain several oft-quoted “clobber passages”.  Yet, he also wrote the stirring words of inclusivity that have been dubbed “the Christian Magna Charta”–no longer Jew or Greek … slave or free … male or female”.  Who was this first century man and what motivated him?  This workshop will be a reexamination of the man from Tarsus and his mixed cultural context as a Hebrew legalist trained in Torah and as a Greek scholar raised in the shadow of one of the great Stoic universtities of the 1st century Greco-Roman world. Robert Holman is a straight ally, lifelong Lutheran, 2009 CWA09 Goodsoil volunteer, sole blogger for the popular blog Spirit of a Liberal, author of the acclaimed historical fiction novel entitled A Wretched Man, a novel of Paul the apostle, Pauline scholar, and former trial attorney.


Inhabiting Texts of Welcome: Using Readers Theater to Re-Claim our Biblical Voice

This workshop will share one or more Readers Theater (RT) resources for welcome. RT invites participants, without the pressure or anxiety of a full theatrical production, to “inhabit” and explore a biblical text (e.g., Acts 10) in a first person perspective. Skillfully written and crafted to fit within an adult education session on a Sunday morning, these resources can help us reclaim our biblical voice on behalf of welcome as well as introduce more skeptical persons to this essential theme in the biblical narrative. Especially useful to help congregations and individuals become more articulate in defending the 2009 actions of ELCA Churchwide. Participants will leave this workshop more articulate themselves about the biblical voice of welcome—and ready to take this resource home with them to the congregation or other community. David Weiss, author of To the Tune of a Welcoming God: Lyrical reflections on sexuality, spirituality and the wideness of God’s welcome, is a theologian, poet, essayist, and hymnist. A lifelong Lutheran, and presently a self-employed speaker and writer on sexuality and spirituality, David and his wife Margaret attend St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul.  Contact:


MLK…At the Intersection of Justice and Oppression

“View the PBS Special, MLK: A Call To Conscience.  See how the media and close associates of Martin Luther King turned against him after his 1967 speech at Riverside Church.  Hear the responses of persons such as Harry Belafonte, Cornel West and Marian Wright Edelman.  See how timely that speech is for us today.  Discussion to follow.  Bring your questions and comments


Knowing and Showing Your Welcome (We’re RIC, Now What?)

We’re RIC…Now What? This is a question that every RIC congregation deals with.  When a Regional Coordinator presents a certificate, they tell the congregation that this is only the beginning of their journey.  How will that congregation extend that welcome into the community? View photos of churches to see where and how they have displayed that they are welcoming congregations. Brainstorm how your own congregation can let people know that it is welcome to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.


Queer Theology with Mary Lowe

You have heard Mary Lowe’s keynote presentation. Now, take your understanding of queer theology to the next level. You can ask questions, clarify points, and examine for yourself the relationship between queer theology and Lutheran theology. This workshop also gets you face-to-face time with our keynote speaker.


Take Words With You: Liturgy and Ritual for an Inclusive and Welcoming Church

Spend time with other worship planners exploring ways to make your worship faithfully fabulous. Paul Gibson, who has planned the Service for Healing and Reconciliation, will lead a conversation about worship and liturgy, present resources to enhance your worship experience, and discuss how worship conveys welcome. All worship divas are invited!


Using Media to Share Your Welcome

Media is the pulpit of the twenty-first century; yet inspired and prophetic leaders representing a balance of perspectives are often nowhere to be heard or seen in the news. Learn to cultivate your preaching, teaching and writing to meet the needs of TV, radio, print, and the Web.