1. Your Own Best Friend: LGBTQ Self-Care – Dr. Matthew Clark
Taking care of yourself needs to be a top priority for LGBTQ individuals in a society that isn’t always supportive of you or your community. We will discuss self-care and strengthening suggestions from mental health, spiritual, and community connectedness perspectives. This workshop will be offered one time, and is specifically for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* or queer.
2. Supporting Your Rainbow Youth – Dr. Matthew Clark
What do LGBTQ young people need from their family, and what do family members need from them? This vital conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Matthew Clark, with assistance by parents of LGBTQ children. Participants will be invited to learn from others’ experience, and will receive suggestions for reconciling your personal beliefs, getting connected with local and national resources, and how to facilitate healthy, respectful dialogues. This workshop will be offered only one time, and is specifically for parents, grandparents and siblings of LGBTQ people.
3. Embracing Inclusion: Guiding Congregations on the Room for All Journey – Leadership for this workshop will be shared by a panel of RCA ministers of Word and Sacrament
Moving ahead with LGBTQ inclusion has particular challenges (and blessings!) for each congregation. It can be helpful to hear stories and strategies, the missteps and good steps of leaders whose congregations are at varying points of inclusiveness. This panel of RCA ministers will share some of their experience and resources, and discuss the questions you have from your congregation. This workshop will be offered only one time, and is specifically for pastors, elders and church leaders.
4. Disputable Matters? Carnivores, Vegetarians and LGBTQ Inclusion – Dr. James Brownson
In his 2014 book, A Letter to My Congregation, Ken Wilson argues for a “third way” in which one’s position on LGBTQ inclusion is seen as a “disputable matter.” Wilson models his approach on Romans 14 and 15, encouraging differing parties in the church’s current debate on same-sex relationships to accept each other as brother and sister in Christ, despite their disagreements. This is obviously a major question for denominations seeking to find their way through this topic. In this workshop, we will explore and assess these arguments, and their applicability within the life of the Reformed Church in America. This workshop will be offered one time only.
5. Let Me Help You Help Me: A Conversation on Being an Ally – Wendy Gritter and Rev. Annie Reilly
Being an ally for LGBTQ+ people can be a complicated thing. When does the ally speak up? What words are okay to use? When are questions offensive and when are they a welcome relief? What is the queer-person responsible for when it comes to educating allies? Join author Wendy Gritter (mainly straight) and Annie Reilly (queer-identified) as they talk about their experiences of being allies and how both allies and the LGBTQ+ community need to work together to advance understanding and equality. Come ready to share your ideas and participate in this dialogue.
6. Connecting the Dots: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation – Alex Patchin McNeill and Ara Lawrence
Ever felt tongue-tied in discussing the nuances of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer identities? Wish there was a better way to talk about gender identity and sexual orientation that doesn’t segment people into categories but unites us all in a journey of discovery and expression? We promise this workshop will inspire new ways of thinking and teaching others about gender and sexuality that you won’t want to miss.
7. How Intersectionality Can Save our Souls and Build our Movement- Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel
We know from research that issues related to LGBTQ people and the work of welcoming are deeply tied to other issues of inclusion and justice. We also know that LGBTQ people are of every race, class, ability and age. Intersectionality is the study of these related forms of discrimination. This workshop will explore intersectionality from a theological and spiritual perspective and offer concrete tools on how to organize intersectionally– in your local congregation, community or denomination.