Institute for Welcoming Resources The National LGBTQ Task Force

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Towards a Welcoming & Inclusive Church

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IWR Resources

A Time to Build Up

A Time to Build Up

AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!


All in God's Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families

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.

AVAILABLE NOW!


To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations

To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations

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.

AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!


transACTION

A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions

transACTION - A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions

AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!


Liturgical Resource

The Institute for Welcoming Resources
A Place in God's Heart...
A Place at Christ's Table

Worship Resources for the Welcoming Church Movement

Additional IWR resources


Contact IWR

Embodying Our Faith



Faith in Action

Celebrating International Human Rights Day and the Jakarta Declaration

It was an idea whose time had come. For two decades, Rev. Dr. Stephen Suleeman, lecturer at Jakarta Theological Seminary, held fast to a dream for a LGBT-affirming faith conference in Indonesia. His dream was realized with the International Consultation on the Church and Homophobia, November 23 – 26 at Jakarta Theological Seminary.

When Stephen invited me to come to Jakarta for this historic, first-ever LGBT faith conference in Indonesia, the only possible answer was “yes.” The journey for Stephen and the seminary was two decades and my journey to Jakarta was 9,809 miles.

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We Are Whole, We Are Beautiful: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014

by Barbara Satin, National LGBTQ Task force Assistant Faith Work Director

“How could anyone ever tell you , you were anything less than beautiful; how could anyone ever tell you, you were less than whole…”

With the words of Libby Roderick’s lovely and poignant anthem playing in the background, I spent last evening completing my PowerPoint presentation for tonight’s Transgender Day of Remembrance service in Minneapolis, an event held in locations across the country each year on November 20. On this day we gather as a community to acknowledge the humanness of our trans brothers and sisters, and to mourn those who’ve died from anti-transgender violence.

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LGBT Rights in the USA and Across the Globe

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta was first imagined by civil rights legends Evelyn Lowery and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young. It was launched by former Mayor Shirley Franklin. It has become one of the few places in the world educating visitors on the bridge between the American Civil Rights Movement and contemporary Human Rights Movements around the world.

The Center is offering a historic program, "LGBT Rights in the USA and Across the Globe" on October 3. Dr. Michael J. Adee, Director of the Global Faith and Justice Project, is one of the speakers.

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Because You Are, Therefore I Am

“Because you are, therefore I am,” was the greeting that Dr. Ezra Chitando from Zimbabwe expressed to our amazing group of African scholars, theologians, faith leaders, activists and students at the Thorn Tree Lodge, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Dr. Chitando’s words to us were more than a greeting as they are often spoken in the context of a common African identity and an affirmation being known, understood and respected in community.

Dr. Chitando shared the justifiable suspicion of this statement by African women scholars: “Because I am a man and you are a woman, you are not” and extended it to “because I am a heterosexual and you are a homosexual, you are not.” He concluded that this traditional African statement must be used to include, rather than exclude people.

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Are The Gods Afraid of Black Sexuality?

On October 23-24, 2014, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University will convene 'Are the Gods Afraid of Black Sexuality? Religion and the Burdens of Black Sexual Politics.' The meetings for our two-day event will be held in New York City, on the campus of Columbia University, October 23-34, 2014. An evening plenary on Thursday, October 23rd will be hosted at First Corinthians Baptist Church in Harlem.

We are living through a moment of tremendous change at the intersection of race, religion, and sexuality, which has significant implications both for those who study and practice religion alike. “Are the Gods Afraid of Black Sexuality?” will bring scholars, activists and religious leaders together to explore a range of historical and contemporary phenomena associated with religion, race and sexuality, as they coalesce and converge. The task before us is not to address a single problem, but rather to unearth and engage with the often-unstated normative claims -- surrounding race and religion, gender and sex -- that continue to inform the work of scholars of (and the lives of people within) the US and the African Diaspora.

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Global Faith and Justice Project

Rooted in faith and justice, this global project amplifies faith voices that protect human dignity and achieve equality for LGBT people and their families.

In 78 countries it is illegal to be gay, in 7 countries the death penalty can be imposed. Homosexuality or same-sex relationships are criminalized in these countries as a result of the legacy of colonial penal codes. New anti-homosexuality laws threaten with imprisonment. The so-called homosexual propaganda laws threaten human rights education, medical and legal services for LGBT persons. They also foster suspicion rather than respect for the human dignity of LGBT people and their families.

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The I AM Love Campaign

I am Love

The I AM Love Campaign's mission is to ignite dialogue on religious bullying and homophobia, in all ages and walks of Life, by teaching self-empowerment through educational outreach and artistic endeavors.

We travel with the Campaign and bring it directly into the communities that are calling out for it, or that might directly benefit from it, with a particular emphasis on regions that have issues with equality and a desire for developing an educated dialogue. Our aim is to change the story on bullying and ignite conversations within communities that will move them to a higher understanding and acceptance of diversity. This first year of the Campaign has an intended focus on bullying of LGBT youth and, in particular, bullying from within a religious/spiritual community.

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Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible

Based on his one-person play, theatrical performance activist Peterson Toscano unearths transgender Bible characters - those people who do not fit in the gender binary - and who, in transgressing and transcending gender, find themselves at the center of some of the Bible's most important stories. Over five sessions, you will watch videos of Peterson's Bible study sessions at RMN's national convocation. It is designed for small group sessions in which discussion will play a major role. Discussion Guide available for free download.

For the videos and the discussion guides, click here.

For more information on Peterson Toscano or to book a performance, visit http://petersontoscano.com/.


Multi-Faith Work

NEW DOCUMENTARY!

"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 LGBTQ Task Force, in partnership with the Macalester College Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship.

For more information: info@WelcomingResources.org

Additional Ecumenical & Multi-Faith Groups Convened by IWR


New & Timely Resources


Bisexuality: Making Visible the Invisible in Faith Communities

Bisexuality: Making Visible the Invisible in Faith Communities

A multifaith compendium of stories and resources to help congregations as they take the next step toward full inclusion of LGBT people. This comprehensive guidebook helps congregations minister to bisexual people and their families. Bisexuality is often invisible in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations, society as a whole, and in faith communities and denominations. Although many mainline denominations and congregations have made great strides in welcoming and affirming lesbian and gay people, and some have even begun to respond to the specific needs and concerns of transgender people, the “B” in the LGBT acronym is still largely ignored. Helping faith communities embrace bisexual persons and reflect theologically on bisexuality brings gifts to congregations and to the practice of faith.

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Your People Shall Be My People

Your People Shall Be My People: Ministering to and with Same-Gender Couples and their Families

Your People Shall Be My People opens with several models for conversation and some helpful practices to shape discussion. You will meet six Lutherans from a variety of backgrounds, each with a story to share about how support for marriage for same-gender couples matters. Following these stories you can find a collection of answers to common questions about marriage in the ELCA, as well as a list of resources for study, pastoral care, wedding liturgies, and widening the church’s welcome.

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Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible

Based on his one-person play, theatrical performance activist Peterson Toscano unearths transgender Bible characters - those people who do not fit in the gender binary - and who, in transgressing and transcending gender, find themselves at the center of some of the Bible's most important stories. Over five sessions, you will watch videos of Peterson's Bible study sessions at RMN's national convocation. It is designed for small group sessions in which discussion will play a major role. Discussion Guide available for free download.

Read more...

Puzzles :When Hate Came to Town

Puzzles: When Hate Came to Town

The film follows the story of a violent hate crime that occurred in New Bedford, MA, when an 18-year-old entered an LGBT bar and brutally attacked three patrons with a hatchet and a gun. In response, the community came together to establish greater understanding and connection. PUZZLES is a deeply human exploration of the roots of hate crime, and the intersections between joblessness, homophobia, intolerance, alienation and violence.

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Queer Clergy

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.

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Resources from IWR Available

NEW RESOURCE NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Kol B'mishpachat Elohim

Kol B’mishpachat Elohim

All in God's Family: A Jewish Guide for Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families

National LGBT Rights Organizations Launch First-Of-Its-Kind Jewish Curriculum for Faith Leaders

New Resource to Help Jewish Faith Leaders with Creating A Welcoming Community for LGBT people

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 28, 2014-Today, the National LGBTQ Task Force's Institute for Welcoming Resources, Keshet, COLAGE, and Family Equality Council released a curriculum designed to help Jewish congregations support and embrace lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members and their families. Titled "Kol B'mishpachat Elohim / All in God's Family: A Jewish Guide for Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families," the multimedia curriculum provides tools to support Jewish congregations in their efforts to create inclusive institutions for LGBT people and their families.

"Our work to secure basic rights and full equality for LGBT people has advanced thanks to the commitment and compassion of our faith leaders and communities of faith," says David Lohman, Faith Work Faith Resource Manager at the National LGBTQ Task Force. "For people of faith, their religious community is the bedrock of their work for fairness, justice, and equality. We believe that LGBT people and their families deserve the same love and honor as all of God's beloved families. This curriculum will help congregations extend God's extravagant welcome to all of God's families - particularly LGBT families."

"Kol B'mishpachat Elohim" includes concrete tools to help leaders, including a step-by-step guide to supporting LGBT families of faith, and frameworks for facilitating group learning, community dialogue, text-study, and community action planning to highlight LGBT families in our communities. Additionally, the curriculum utilizes "Families Like Mine," a book about adults with LGBT parents written by Abigail Garner, whose father is gay; the youth-produced documentary "In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents"; and a phototext exhibit "That's So Gay: Portraits of Youth with LGBT Parents."

"LGBT families are a part of every Jewish community," says Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet. "We are thrilled to make this new resource available together with our partners and look forward to seeing our families embraced and honored. Full inclusion makes a community stronger and more vibrant for all of us."

"Finding a welcoming and inclusive faith community is a priority for some LGBTQ parents," says Gabriel Blau, Executive Director of Family Equality Council. "And that can be difficult in many regions of our country, even today. Although these parents may want to raise their children in a community that shares their values and beliefs, they also want their children to be embraced. That's why we partnered to put together 'Kol B'mishpachat Elohim.' We know that there are increasing numbers of congregations out there that want to welcome our families and we want to give them any tools that we can to do so more fully."

"For youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, finding a faith community where your family is respected and reflected can be a challenge," says Meredith Fenton, previous program director for COLAGE. "COLAGE is pleased to be a partner on 'Kol B'mishpachat Elohim' and invites your faith community to use these tools to move beyond acceptance to full inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ families."

Companion Resources:


Building an Inclusive Church

Training and a Toolkit

Building an Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit version 2.0

NEW RELEASE!

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.

AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!

Building an Inclusive Church
Training Opportunities


Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater

Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater by David R. Weiss

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 LGBTQ 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

A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

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 LGBTQ 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".

Leer más en español...

Más artículos sobre A La Familia en español

HRC, National LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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.

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Before God, We Are All Family: a companion film for A La Familia

In 2011, the Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources, in close collaboration with Unid@s, the national Latin@ LGBT Human Rights Organization and the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program, jointly released A La Familia, a bilingual conversation about our families, the Bible, sexual orientation and gender identity.



For more information about Before God, We Are All Family, click here.


Go to the Believe OUT LOUD web site

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.

New Believe OUT LOUD web site!


Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity USA Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ