Sex and spirit transforming our world

Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong

By Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong and Task Force Faith Work Director Rev. Rebecca Voelkel

Do you grapple with being transgender and Jewish? Do you ever wonder what liberating Jesus has to do with community organizing? What about the intersection between sex, religion and politics? Practice Spirit Do Justice at Creating Change explores these connections which others may name as scintillating or taboo but that we understand as sacred. There will be six advanced “Academy” sessions, 32 workshops (which range in skill-level), and six caucuses all dealing with the intersections of faith/spirituality issues and the lives of queer folks. We’ve been working with atheist and pagan, Jewish and Catholic, Muslim and evangelical Christian leaders (and many more!) to create spaces that challenge and strategize, inspire and call us to action.

In a pro-LGBTQ religious movement such as ours, we honor both the rich diversity of experience and wisdom, and the ways in which oppression is devastating in its specificity. Given that, we’ve partnered with seven working groups that include African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, diverse spiritual traditions (pagan and indigenous, earth-centered spiritualities), Jewish movement building, Latin@, Queer Muslim, and transgender communities all of whom are working to honor and change their spiritual traditions and the world. A People of Color/People of Faith Summit will also be held as part of the Racial Justice training on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Rev. Rebecca Voelkel

We’ll have an opportunity to lobby our federal senators as religious and spiritual people around issues of transgender justice, safe schools and immigration during the Federal Lobby Day on Thursday, Jan. 26. And ritual and spiritual practice will be present throughout with Muslim Salaat-ul-Jumah prayer service held on Friday at 12:30 p.m.; Jewish Shabbat Service at 7:30 p.m. that same evening, and a multifaith/multispiritual service on Sunday at 9 a.m. All are welcome to all services and rituals.

2012 promises to be a year filled with political work and a lot of noise — much of it geared against those of us who are immigrants, people of color and/or queer; it may be one of spiritual shifting; and it certainly will be filled with a lot of wise, strategic and faithful work done by many, many spiritual and religious folks who believe in and act for the liberation of all people.

Practice Spirit, Do Justice at Creating Change will help with the skills, the inspiration, the clarity and the spiritual grounding and inspiration for this journey. We hope you will join us! (Just look for the sessions marked “Practice Spirit, Do Justice” in the Creating Change program book when you get to the conference or go to for a full schedule of Practice Spirit, Do Justice events.)