Pathways to power was the main topic of discussion at the “Empowering Action for the Common Good: Affirming Faith Forum” at the LGBT Center of Raleigh on Friday, March 23, at 6:30 pm. The goal to work for the common good extends to and beyond the vote on May 8th. The forum generated more ideas on how to join with others in improving relationships in the community while working to defeat the proposed amendment to the state constitution.    (more…)

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RCCares’ work this past week provided a scope of snap shots of the many different parts Being church incorporates. There are many more faces to ministry as you surely could attest.  We enliven the praxis of living into the kindom of love’s reign in many bits and pieces. Our life is a lively kaleidoscope of how we love in sorrow and joy every day.  Thank Goodness that we do not stand alone.

On Saturday we were engaged via phone conference with other Rainbow Access Initiative board members in the Capital District in New York as we designed the next steps for establishing the program format for RAI’s Art of Health Expo 2012. Focus on breakout sessions included discussion on the content of the presentations and the support needed for proposed sessions. The aim of the Expo event is to bring the artistic skills of LGBTQ people to the foreground for the purpose of enhancing healthy living amid creative exchange. (more…)

Andy and I are in conversation with ministry leaders throughout the country who are working in diverse and challenging endeavors  Being the emerging face of ‘church’ as the body of Christ. As co leaders of the Ministry Development work area for Church Within A Church, we explore the celebratory actions and the struggles of Being the church we want to see. Whether any of us feels that we are the outside other or the inside ministry leader seems to depend on the energy of the Spirit at that moment.  Evangelism truly is a queer triangle.

As the ordained minister for Rainbow Community Cares (RCCares), my work is deeply rooted in ministry development and church revitalization. Rainbow Community Cares has emerged from the praxis of neighborhood ministry begun in Schenectady, New York, and now is informed by participation in LGBTQ community organizations in Raleigh, North Carolina. An integral part of RCCares’ vision is to help heal the rift in our communities and co-create a safe place for community to grow.  The scriptural imperative to love your neighbor leads the way to the gatherings in which RCCares participates. The 2011 Equality Conference was one such gathering. (more…)

memoirs of truth   love yearning

caterpillar ready to butterfly

cocoon pressured    sealed outside by

force    ignorant command    refusal

 

colors burst     define response

inside out     irreversible

short of breath     flight ended

beauty unbound      awe buried

 

We remember what our world has lost in the violence committed against transgender people, our family and friends. The injustice of the brutality that can make even a bus ride too rough to endure must end. What we do to support equal access to employment, housing and medical care for the transgender community does matter. Get connected and/or stay connected with the work for love and justice.  Need additional resources? Try Southern Comfort or WPATH.

I pray all is well with you and that you are busy with the things that matter to you. I love that I can be busy with establishing programs through RCCares and find that the ground work is simply exhilarating and often times sheer joy! I look forward to our next phone conference Board Meeting November 1, 2011. Meanwhile, the visions that we have talked about continue to take shape toward reality as earlier this month Andy sent in the paper work required in order to establish our church as a nonprofit charity. We are continuing our search for liability insurance for the board and professional liability insurance for me. I hope to volunteer as a chaplain after I have that in place. And just for the fun of it, check the web site www.rccares.org to see how we look on line. Please remember to email any info you want shared on the site as well as suggestions, concerns & additions.

Since last we spoke, I have continued to work on completing the online Grant Writing Course I am taking from UNC. To my great pleasure, I have found a niche for my desire to be a writer in grant writing!?! I have been volunteering with Equality North Carolina ( www.equalitync.org )  and find that, now that the proposition to change the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman will come to a popular vote in May, there is more need than ever for advocacy for the LBGTQ community for equality and justice. I am glad that we are here. Two weeks ago I attended a Harm Reduction Conference in Durham, NC ( www.nchrc.net ) . I have volunteered with this state group since July and had worked with the National Coalition in different venues including presenting at the 8th Annual International Conference last winter.  The third organization that I have been concentrating on building collaboration with is the LGBT Center of Raleigh ( www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com ) to continue with faith based organizing while volunteering on the OutRaleigh Festival planned for next May.

Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association National Conference (www. glma.org )  to participate in the discussion about current concerns and advocacy needs for establishing accessible health care and human services. On the last day of the conference we joined two other organizations, Southern Comfort (www.sccatl.org/index.php ) and WPATH (www.wpath.org/)  and what a convergence of energy that was.  Next month I will participate in the Church Within A Church ( www.cwac.us ) National Conference in Tucson, Arizona.

Community Ministry takes physical form as our actions respond to the needs for equality and justice!

The Church Within A Church invites you to attend the Second “Ecumenical Ordination in a Methodist Tradition Minus the Closet!” national weekend event October 21-23, 2011 in Tucson. Please pass this invite to your friends.

You may be especially interested in the workshop on October 22 at the Church Within A Church National Conference “Living Justice in the Wilderness” to be held in Tucson at St Mark’s Presbyterian Church. CWAC is committed to act in support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning youth and young adults so that they have a stronger reason to believe “it gets better!” In that light, Saturday’s workshop from 9:00 to 11:30 am will be presented by Micheal Weakly, Director of Programs for 1n10 (www.1n10.org). A Phoenix based organization, 1n10 is dedicated to serving the valley youth and working toward safer environments for LGBTQ youth. 1n10 serves LGBTQA youth and young adults, as described in their mission statement, to “enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices.” Micheal has worked in LGBTQ nonprofit for 10 years, six of which have been as Director of Programs for 1n10. Micheal’s goal for the workshop is that attendees go away with a better understanding of LGBTQ youth issues and how organizations like 1n10 are empowering the current youth movement.

CWAC is dedicated to equipping our members and allies for living in love and justice, and see Micheal’s workshop as an opportunity to learn how to enhance the work of youth and young adults in their involvement as agents of change toward improving community wellbeing and realizing the blessing of diversity.

Workshop Title: Rebel YELL

Workshop Description:

An interactive and engaging workshop about the work with 1n10 and how we empower LGBTQ youth to live fulfilling lives. The workshop will engage the audience regarding the issues facing LGBTQ today, how they are empowering themselves, how they are reacting to these issues and ways that the youth are utilizing social media as an outlet of expression, outreach and engagement. Statistics will be shared along with data reinforcing the need for LGBTQ youth specific programs. Much time will be spent exploring the relationship between spirituality and sexual orientation and how this process is unique for LGBTQ youth.

To learn more about the workshop and/or other events at the conference, go to www.cwac.us

Andy and I have been deeply involved with and heavily invested in the passage of the Marriage Act in New York. Our ministry in community has reached out from within the neighborhood into city wide efforts to create loving and justice-seeking actions. And today we celebrate with all those who are making their covenants legal, renewing their promises and/or enlarging the scope of the marriage rite. Our gift to you who are looking for just the right words to express love and care for each other is the Marriage Service/Covenant Renewal Service we performed with friends.   (more…)