Practice Spirit, Do Justice gets under way

Among symbols of diverse religious and spiritual traditions, the Practice Spirit, Do Justice conference just got underway. The Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, the Task Force’s faith work director, stated that the conference “is a statement of a lifetime’s work you have given with the shared struggle” of bridging the gap between faith and secular communities in the struggle for LGBT equality.


Voelkel was joined on stage by Sung Park and Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz, coordinators of the conference, to explain and detail its vision, which is to build a movement, communities and a world that does justice to all of us.

Since this conference is being concurrently held with the 23rd National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Minneapolis, the Rev. Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the Task Force, welcomed the participants and called this conference a “historic moment and a new, bigger, broader of the secular and religious sharing together.”

The conference features several working groups that have been meeting for months to plan for this gathering. The groups are: the African American Working Group, the Jewish Movement Building Working Group, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Working Group, the Transgender Working Group, the Queer Muslim Working Group and the Latin@ Roundtable. Closing the plenary, Native American elder Sharon Day, Ojibwe, led the participants in an exercise of solidarity and liberation that separated the crowd but brought back everyone together to form a circle of healing, love and understanding — a space where we can be our whole selves, showing how the vision of the conference can be accomplished.

For the full schedule of the Practice Spirit, Do Justice conference, click here. Later today, the opening plenary for Creating Change will feature prominent faith leaders, including the Rev. Elder Nancy L. Wilson of the Metropolitan Community Church and Bishop Yvette Flunder, founder of the City of Refuge Community Church UCC.