Workshops at Reconciling Works 2012

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.