All in God's Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families
Giving you opportunities to gather with other members of your congregation to pray, to learn, to share, and to work together to transform your lives, your congregation, and your world into a loving place in which God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families can thrive.
In order to both highlight the vibrancy, faithfulness and power of the Welcoming Movement and to counter the 'false witness' of those who seek to quash this movement of hospitality and justice, the Institute for Welcoming Resources surveyed pastors and leaders of 1,200 Welcoming congregations to ask them about their work and witness. Two areas emerged that warrant particular focus and celebration:
Successfully completing a Welcoming Process makes a congregation more likely to work and witness on other justice issues.
Congregations that directly engage the question of welcoming LGBT persons have low levels of conflict.
Advent Greetings from ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation
ReconcilingWorks Executive Director Emily Eastwood gives her Advent greetings. May your chosen family and the promise of Jesus' birth give you hope and peace this Advent season.
To the Contrary: the Welcoming Movement
Join us as we look at three churches around the United States who are part of the "Welcoming Movement." These churches, in Arizona, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., are committed to accepting and affirming gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Watch their triumphs and struggles in this special documentary episode!
Faith in Action
We mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela
By Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the millions of people who yearn for freedom across the world. With great personal sacrifice, he fought Apartheid and state-sanctioned racism. His principled approach, his willingness to reach out to former enemies, led to the introduction of multi-party democracy and real change in South Africa. Indeed, South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legacy is hope; hope that people can achieve peace and freedom in a world with more than its fair share of conflict.
World AIDS Day - December 1st
World AIDS Day is held on December 1st each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.
Faith Transitions at National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is pleased to announce the dynamic team of people who will lead the Faith Work at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for the coming months. Javen Swanson will serve as the Interim Faith Work Director and Barbara Satin will be promoted to Assistant Faith Work Director. The changes are in response to the October 1st departure of Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel after eight years of important work as the founding Director of the Faith Work Program.
To support this transition period, the Haas, Jr. Fund has provided The Task Force with a generous grant from its Flexible Leadership Awards program. As a result of this strategic support, Viveka Chen and Steve Lew have been engaged to serve as Listening Process and Search Consultants. Their work will provide an opportunity for the Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources constituents and other faith leaders to reflect on the status and needs of the Welcoming movement into the future.
Statement from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the March on Washington
“Today's commemoration of the march on Washington was in the spirit of Bayard Rustin — the openly gay man who was the lead organizer of the march 50 years ago — and an extraordinary and magnificent showing of support for Dr. King's dream of jobs, justice, freedom and equality: a dream that is yet to be fulfilled,” said Rev. Darlene Nipper, Task Force Deputy Executive Director, who marched with a group of Task Force supporters from across the nation.
“On jobs, LGBT people can be fired for who they are and who they love. Congress must pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). On freedom, Congress must restore the Voting Right Act gutted by the Supreme Court just a few weeks ago. You only had to watch the voter suppression tactics against people of color in the last election to see why this landmark law is still absolutely essential to deliver justice and a free and fair democracy. On jobs and freedom, Congress must pass comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform.”
MCC Remembers LGBT Rights Pioneer José Julio Sarria
Pioneer of LGBT Rights and Imperial Court Founder Jose Julio Sarria Remembered
(12 December 1922 - 19 August 2013)
Heaven gained a pioneer of the movement for LGBT equality early this morning, with the passing of Jose Julio Sarria, also known as "Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, Jose I, The Widow Norton." Sarria holds an iconic place in the annals of the American gay rights movement, having been a leading activist voice for over 50 years.
Born in December of 1922, Sarria served in the United States Army during World War II. After his discharge he went to college planning to become a teacher. A "morals" charge conviction forced him to abandon that dream, but led him to the stage of the Black Cat Bar, where his constant encouragement to lead open lives and have no shame would empower the dreams and hopes and visions of several generations of the LGBT community.
"In Our Fullness: Faith and Activism Across Difference"
presents conversations with activists about faith-based work for radical social change around issues including sexuality, gender, race, class, and age. The video includes powerful testimonies from activists representing Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Native spiritualities, presenting challenges and successes in faith-based progressive-left coalition building.
Produced by the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in partnership with the Macalester College Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship.
A Welcoming Toolkit 2.0 – Updated and greatly expanded!
Drawing upon thirty years of experience within a variety of Christian denominations, this Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help facilitate a Welcoming Process in your local congregation. Biblically and theologically based, it uses tools of relational organizing, congregational assessment, conflict management and change theory.
Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater
by David R. Weiss
The overwhelming message of the Bible, in story after story, is that of God’s radical love and welcome. Every time we think we know who’s in and who’s out, God does something to challenge those assumptions, to unbind our hearts and minds from old ways of understanding, and to draw the circle ever wider.
HEARTS UNBOUND invites you to explore ten of those inspiring stories of radical love and welcome. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and some of the insights to be gained.
Designed to be used as a small-group Bible study, HEARTS UNBOUND uses the format of Reader’s Theater. But fear not… no costumes, sets, or refined acting chops needed! All you need are six to eight people around a table, reading the script, having fun, all the while learning a great deal in the process.
All ten sessions are available for free download below.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, HRC y UNID@S presentan nueva guía bilingüe dirigida a familias e iglesias latinas para educar sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia
En un esfuerzo por promover el diálogo dentro de las familias e iglesias latinas sobre la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la Biblia, el National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, la Campaña de Derechos Humanos y UNID@S, presentaron hoy una nueva guía bilingüe, A La Familia, Una Conversación Sobre Nuestras Familias, la Biblia, la Orientación Sexual y la Identidad de Género en una conferencia de prensa durante la 82va convención nacional de la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC por sus siglas en inglés) en Cincinnati, Ohio.
"LULAC está en contra de todo tipo de discriminación. Me siento muy orgullosa de mi estado natal al aprobar los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo", dijo Ralina Cardona, directora estatal de Nueva York para LULAC. "Como americanos, tenemos que aceptar nuestras diferencias. Es lo que separa a este gran país. No todos somos de la misma cultura, color, orientación sexual o religión, pero todos somos americanos y en nuestra unidad está nuestra fuerza, pero en nuestras diferencias está nuestro poder".
HRC, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and UNID@S release new bilingual guide on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible for Latino/a families and churches
In an effort to foster a dialogue with Latino/a families and churches on sexual orientation, gender identity and the Bible, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UNID@S, unveiled today a new bilingual guide, A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at a press conference during the League of United Latin American Citizens' 82nd National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people often face unique challenges in Latino/a families and churches. To help in the process of acceptance and inclusion, A La Familia is born out of a profound desire to faithfully integrate an excluded group of people back into the life of their churches and families. This guide is written for two primary audiences: heterosexual people honestly struggling with LGBT issues and the Bible, and those whose sexual orientation and gender identity have marginalized them within their family or church or even both.
The Institute for Welcoming Resources is delighted to be a partner in the transdenominational Believe Out Loud campaign. Believe Out Loud provides a much-needed national network for churches committed to welcoming and affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as beloved children of God.
Believe OUT LOUD is based in a simple truth: Privately believing that LGBT persons should have an equal share in our church and society is not enough; we must publicly proclaim that belief. Believe OUT LOUD gives the congregations, parishes and missions of our denominations the means to do exactly that.
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays Vs. Christians Debate
As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed “God Boy” by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events–his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the “ex-gay” movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible–that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance. But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members–or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that “in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace,” Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.
What Do I Do Now? When a Child Comes Out as Lesbian or Gay
Few parents are prepared for the moment when a child comes out as lesbian or gay. What Do I Do Now? gives loving reassurance and theological guidance towards maintaining a loving relationship with your son or daughter. Rev. Dr. Johnston, a Pastoral Psychologist with 25 years of experience working with gay men and women and their families, encourages parents towards understanding, open communication, and self care in this practical guide.
God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage
From the Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, the first openly gay person elected (in 2003) to the historic episcopate and the world's leading religious spokesperson for gay rights and gay marriage - a groundbreaking book that lovingly and persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument, made by someone who holds the religious text of the Bible to be holy and sacred and the ensuing two millennia of church history to be relevant to the discussion, equally familiar with the secular and political debate going on in America today, and for whom same-sex marriage is a personal issue; Robinson was married to a woman for two decades and is a father of two children and has been married to a man for the last four years of a twenty-three year relationship.
My Mind Was Changed: A New Way to Talk with Conflicted Christians about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Church and Society - A Communications Toolkit
A new way to talk about the dignity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people that helps move conflicted Christians through their religious and emotional conflicts to stand for, not against, LBGT equality. Based on original research conducted by Auburn Media in partnership with Fenton and Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, the "My Mind Was Changed" toolkit offers the most powerful approaches to moving conflicted Christians from a place of standing against LGBT equality to standing for it, in church and state.
Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism
Attorney, historian, and novelist, R. W. Holmen brings a unique voice to the conversation of gay clergy in the pulpits. Queer Clergy: A History of Gay and Lesbian Ministry in American Protestantism provides a detailed history of the ways in which the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have dealt with the issue of ordaining Queer clergy. Queer Clergy will prove to be an historical reference book for years to come.