Press

Hundreds of pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians to converge on New Orleans on Sept. 4–7

Date: 
May 22, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Pedro Julio Serrano, Communications Coordinator
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954
pjserrano@theTaskForce.org

Faith leaders will be gathering for Many Stories, One Voice: The North American Convocation of Pro-LGBT Christians

“Today, too many people think Christian equals obsession with hating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Too many people hear preachers talking about ‘homosexuals’ causing Hurricane Katrina and all other sorts of natural disasters. But the Christian gospel and the ministry of Jesus are all about justice and healing and hope.”
— Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Institute for Welcoming Resources and Faith Work Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

WASHINGTON, May 22 — Hundreds of pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faith leaders will converge on New Orleans, La., Sept. 4–7, for Many Stories, One Voice, the premier gathering of pro-LGBT Christians.

Many Stories, One Voice provides a rare and unique opportunity for pro-LGBT Christians to build relationships, and offers rich Bible study, challenging and profound worship and praise, concrete skills-building, strategic action and reflective and incisive theological analysis. This is in part designed to grow the number of Christian churches that are welcoming and affirming of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Today, too many people think Christian equals obsession with hating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Too many people hear preachers talking about ‘homosexuals’ causing Hurricane Katrina and all other sorts of natural disasters. But the Christian gospel and the ministry of Jesus are all about justice and healing and hope,” said the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Institute for Welcoming Resources and faith work director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The conference will offer new tools and training in the areas of faith-based community organizing, media training, board development, fund-raising, research, biblical studies, theology, capacity-building and other concrete skills. Participants will also engage in discussions about issues of race, class, ability, age, embodiment, gender identity and sexual orientation.

“Many Stories, One Voice is a gathering of these extravagantly welcoming Christians, in all their identities. While this conference is rooted in Christian tradition, all are welcome,” said Voelkel. “To be Christian is to be called to live God’s extravagant welcome in the world. And there are hundreds of thousands of faithful Christians living out this vision. There are hundreds of thousands of pro-LGBT Christians who are African American, Latino/a, Asian American and Pacific Islander, European American and First Nations People. There are hundreds of thousands of pro-LGBT Christians who are of every age, class, ability, gender and orientation.”

Many Stories, One Voice is convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in partnership with more than 30 pro-LGBT Christian organizations, from progressive, moderate and conservative traditions.

They include Affirm United/S’affirmer ensemble, Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, DignityUSA, The Evangelical Network, The Fellowship, Gay Christian Network, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Integrity, Inter-Denominational Conference of Liberation Congregations & Ministries. Lutherans Concerned/North America, More Light Presbyterians, National Black Justice Coalition, New Ways Ministry, Reconciling Ministries Network, Reformed Catholic Church, Human Rights Campaign Religion & Faith Program, Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, Room For All, Ruach Fellowship of Christ Centered Churches World-Wide, Soulforce, That All May Freely Serve, Universal Anglican Church, United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns, Health and Wholeness Advocacy Ministry, United Church of Christ, Unity Fellowship Church, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches and Welcoming Communities Network.

For more information about the conference, please visit www.manystoriesonevoice.org.

–30–

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.