Picked my workshops!
Pastoral and Community Support for LGBTQ Youth and Families, by Rev. Mykal Slack. Join us for an interactive discussion about how to engage out LGBTQ youth and their families in holy conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity/expression that seek to embrace inclusion, build community, pave the way for spiritual transformation and support social action.
Queer Theology: Relating to God and Scripture through Our Own Eyes! by Robert Ochoa (pastor of Lake View Congregational Church, Worcester, and member of the MA Conference ONA Ministry Team). Celebrating Ourselves in the Bible through the stories of Jonathan and David, Ruth and Naomi, a Centurion and his Servant, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, Jesus and his Beloved, Philip and the Ethiopian…The goal of this workshop: to use the principles of Liberation, Communities of Color, and Feminist theologies and through the writings of modern day Queer Theologians to boldly develop, challenge, write, share, and celebrate our theologies as People of Faith and Grace. We will be re reading the above scriptural texts of the Hebrew and New Testaments from the perspectives of the GLBTQ communities. Open to all willing to explore the “Queer” part of their spirituality as Open and Affirmed Children of God.
There exists in America an invisible fellowship of those whose lives have been impacted by cruel and unjustifiable violence. Among the earliest gifts that Old South Church received was a banner created by a UCC church near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. And yesterday, a box containing one thousand folded paper cranes was hand-delivered to the church. They are a gift sent by the Newtown Congregational Church, UCC. Each crane is a prayer for peace lifted up for us by a community that knows the value of peace.
Yet this gift carries with it a responsibility as well, because the cranes did not originate in Newtown. They were sent to Newtown from Chardon, Ohio, where there was a school shooting in 2012. And Chardon, Ohio received them from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where the cranes were created in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. These cranes migrate, you see. So for now, and for what we pray will be a long long long time, the cranes belong to Old South Church in Boston, the church of the Finish Line.
There exists in America an invisible fellowship of those whose lives have been touched by violence, and we have been blessed by the prayers of that fellowship. In these cranes, we have in our possession a tender and mighty blessing, ready to be sent as a blessing for another church, should there ever be need again."
Rev. John M. Edgerton, Old South Church in Boston, Mary 10th, 2013
MA Conference UCC is hosting an ONA (Open and Affirming) Convocation which I will be attending. Check out the workshops being offered. How can I choose?!
Gender Studies isn’t, as many people believe, the study of women or even feminism for that matter (even though both of those things are in some ways central to the discipline). Gender Studies is a critical discipline, and often times that critical lens is turned inward on itself. It interrogates structures of identity and ways of knowing. At its core, it is a discipline of undoing. This might seem very academic, but Gender Studies equipped me with the frameworks to tackle issues I faced daily. It gave me the tools to deconstruct the heteronormative drive I impulsively followed, embodied by my serial monogamist inclinations. It gave me the language to articulate my desire for other women, something I had suppressed since childhood. It gave me the political rhetoric to be both critical and engaged, to demand more of politics and myself. It gave me the tools to reflect on my own self-presentation, from my clothes to my hair, and recognize the importance of embracing my masculine side, or the subversive potential in my attachment to lipstick. As an anti-racist ally it gave me the framework to understand the assemblages of race, gender, sexuality, and so many other praxis of identity that interact with each other, forever troubling the category of woman.
But more than the coursework, Gender Studies provided a community of people that were interested in dissecting, thinking about and unpacking the world around us. These were people who challenged norms through their lives, their desires and their refusal to accept the world as it was."