Press

Powerhouse lineup of speakers to address the state of the faith movement and the inclusion of LGBT people

Date: 
July 30, 2008

Media Contact:
Pedro Julio Serrano, Communications Coordinators
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954
pjserrano@theTaskForce.org

Pro-LGBT Christians will converge in New Orleans, Sept. 4–7, for
Many Stories, One Voice conference

WASHINGTON, July 30 — Some of the country’s most dynamic pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faith leaders will address the state of the faith movement and the inclusion of LGBT people at the Many Stories, One Voice conference. The gathering, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will be held Sept. 4–7 in New Orleans, La. Pro-LGBT Christians will converge on the Big Easy to strengthen the movement of Christian churches that are welcoming and affirming of LGBT people.

The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson of the Metropolitan Community Churches will give a Sept. 6 keynote speech during the special plenary that will highlight the advances nationally and internationally, and discuss the challenges ahead for the pro-LGBT welcoming church movement. Wilson has been one of the LGBT community’s most visible and active leaders for over three decades and led the first delegation of LGBT religious leaders to the Carter White House in 1979.

On Sept. 7, after participants had the chance to learn new skills and shared action plans on how to move the pro-LGBT Christian movement forward, Bishop Yvette Flunder will preach at the closing worship. Flunder will urge participants to go out and change the world, as she has done in the past, with her passionate call: “I challenge you, prophets, to stand up!”

Each morning at the conference, the Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre will guide participants through a Bible study titled “Widening the Circles of Inclusivity.” De La Torre’s personal story is extremely compelling — he had once been anti-LGBT but has since had a change of heart and become a straight ally. In his Bible study, he will offer attendees insight, guidance and inspiration for the work of the day and for the future of the pro-LGBT Christian movement.

“This is a rare opportunity to listen and commune with these extraordinary faith leaders in an atmosphere of extravagant welcome. They will provide us with inspiration as we in the faith community work towards a just society that discriminates against no one,” says the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Institute for Welcoming Resources and faith work director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Other featured speakers include Dr. Peter Barbosa, Ann Craig, the Rev. Angela Denise Davis, the Rev. Dr. Horace Griffin, the Rev. Debra Haffner, Amber Hollibaugh, Harry Knox, Dr. Sylvia Rhue, the Rev. Tiffany Steinwert, the Rev. Erin Swenson, the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel and Carol Wise. For photos or full bios for the keynote speakers, please visit www.ManyStoriesOneVoice.org.

Many Stories, One Voice: The North American Convocation of Pro-LGBT Christians is a conference that 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. And in the end, each participant will emerge with individual and shared action plans for how to move the pro-LGBT Christian movement forward.

For more information or to register, please visit www.ManyStoriesOneVoice.org.

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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.