Workshops

October 26, 2002

Soulforce / Return to Lynchburg
10:30 a.m. – First Christian Church

Each registered Soulforce delegate who has completed the Friday night and Saturday morning Soulforce Training will be able to choose from one of the following workshops. Delegates will be choosing which workshop to attend during the registration process.


MediaActivism Training by GLAAD – presented by Beth George

Sick of one-sided anti-gay stories on your local news stations? Tired of references to the ‘gay lifestyle’ in your newspaper? Want to get that reporter to stop using the word ‘homosexual’ instead of gay or lesbian?

There is a way… In the last twenty years, coverage of our community has vastly improved thanks to the efforts of grassroots activists to ensure that coverage was fair and accurate. MediaActivism was born out of the day-to-day work of GLAAD: what we learned the hard way in the past 17 years as grassroots activists and what we have gained through the expertise of professionals. This MediaActivism training is designed to give you the tools to monitor representations of LGBT people in your own community, respond effectively to the media, and proactively work to prevent defamation in your local media.

A native of South Carolina, Beth George came to GLAAD in June to serve as GLAAD’s Southeastern Regional Media Manager. Beth has worked extensive with the media, including serving as the Press Secretary for New York City Council Member Kathryn E. Freed and working in the Public Education department of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. She also served as a primary researcher for the ACLU’s recent book, "Too High A Price: The Case Against Restricting Gay Parenting."


TRANSGENDER SPECTRUM, an Overview of the Trans Family and Our Outdated Gender Paradigm, by Mary Boenke

Transgender Spectrum will provide basic information about various identities included within the Trans Family, as experienced by FTM, MTF, parents intersexed persons and others. Terms, the transition process, family reactions, coming out ideas, a new social paradigm and more will be presented. Both trans persons and others interested in learning are welcome to attend and also to participate with both questions and their own (brief) experiences.

Mary Boenke is a retired social worker, mother of an FTM transsexual son, author and frequent speaker on trans issues. She founded the Roanoke PFLAG chapter, was Regional Director and recently retired from the national PFLAG board.


Living in a Post 9/11 World: A Call for Modern-Day Heroes by Christian de la Huerta

On September 11, 2001, we woke up to a shockingly new world. In this touching, challenging and inspiring presentation Christian de la Huerta, author of the critically acclaimed book, "Coming Out Spiritually," shares his personal journey in the weeks following 9/11. Heeding what seemed an implacable inner urge, de la Huerta was moved to perform volunteer work on the site of Ground Zero. In the months to follow, he returned to New York again and again. Drawing on both his personal experience of 9/11 as well as his study of the world’s spiritual traditions, de la Huerta offers a unique perspective, uncovered during his deeply personal search for a silver lining to the tragedy.

Christian de la Huerta is author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed Coming Out Spiritually. Chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best religion books of 1999, the book was also nominated for a Lambda Award. Christian’s writing has appeared in The Advocate, Hero, Genre, and other publications. He is founder and president of Q-Spirit, a strategic organization catalyzing the necessary conditions for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to fully reclaim our spiritual roles of service, leadership and community enrichment in the world. Graduating with honors from Tulane University, de la Huerta holds a degree in Psychology. He has been a seminar leader and group facilitator for the past twelve years.


The Seven Habits Of Highly Passionate Couples, presented by: Jeff Lutes, MS, LPC

Join us for a morning packed full of useful information that you and your partner can use to strengthen your relationship. Singles are welcome too! The presenter has consolidated the latest relationship research, including new studies on gay & lesbian couples, into seven important habits practiced by those in happy, long-term relationships. This information is presented with a blend of humor, storytelling, and handouts that make the workshop both informative and fun.

Jeff Lutes, MS, LPC lives in Austin, Texas, where he is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice. He is a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) and specializes in helping same-sex couples build and maintain healthy, long-term relationships. He has trained professionals and the general public on a variety of mental health topics, supervised therapists in a variety of clinical settings, and written over a dozen newspaper articles about relationships. He is an active member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Austin, where he has served as a deacon, lay worship leader, and coordinator of the Peace & Justice Ministry (now Soulforce Austin). Jeff and his partner are the proud parents of a beautiful 5 year old son.


The Bible and Sexuality: Undoing Biblical "Misinformation" by Rev. Dr. Lisa Wilson Davison

Those who seek to keep GLBT persons outside of the church and even outside of God’s love and acceptance make many claims about what the Bible says about homosexuality. A handful of biblical verses are referenced as support for the claim that "homosexuality is a sin." The bible is wielded as one of the most dangerous weapons used in spiritual violence. The truth is that these "biblical" claims are based on misinterpretations of the text. This workshop will look at these so-called "clobber passages" and examine what the "really" mean within their canonical, historical, and cultural contexts.. But we will not stop there! Attention will be given to the countless places in the bible where sexuality is celebrated and where healthy relationships between persons, of same or different sexes, are honored as God-given and blessed as "good."

Rev. Dr. Lisa Wilson Davison, Professor of Old Testament at Lexington Theological Seminary (KY), is a native of Radford, VA and a ’88 graduate of Lynchburg College with a BA in Religion and Spanish. In 1991, Dr. Davison received the Master of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School in Ft Worth, TX. She was ordained as a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in September, 1991. She earned an MA from Vanderbilt University in 1996 and a PhD in Hebrew Bible from Vanderbilt in 1999. During her seminary years, Dr. Davison served churches in Garland and Plano, Texas. She has been an interim minister in Louisville, KY and also worked with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) In Kentucky as a congregational campus ministry developer. Just prior to joining the faculty at Lexington Theological Seminary, she served for a year as the chaplain of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO. Dr. Davison served as the Chair of the Religious Organizing Project of KY for 3 years. She is often asked to speak in congregations and at conferences on the topic of the Bible and Sexuality as well as these other topics: women in the Bible/ministry, Christian Misuse of the First Testament, and "Difficult" Texts of the First Testament. She and her husband, Rev. Michael A. Davison, enjoy traveling and fine wine.


Starting a Soulforce Grassroots Local Group by Karen Weldin

How to start a Soulforce grassroots local group will cover the basic steps of how to organize a local group as outlined in the Soulforce Local Group Start Up Kit. We will outline the necessary steps to become a local group and walk participants through the process. There will be time for questions and answers and representatives from existing local groups will be on hand to share their experiences and to help answer questions. Local group start up kits will be available for participants. Come be a part of the fast growing Soulforce grassroots movement!

Karen Weldin is Director of Operations and Local Groups Coordinator for Soulforce, Inc. She also is founder of Soulforce In Oklahoma, Inc. (www.soulforceinoklahoma.org) and OBUPride (www.obupride.org – Oklahoma Baptist University Pride). She lives in Stigler, Oklahoma and is a retired Addictions Counselor and Licensed Marital and Family Therapist. Karen and her partner Susanne devote their lives full-time to Soulforce work and other activities working for the full inclusion and acceptance of GLBT. Karen has been involved with Soulforce since the first Lynchburg trip in October, 1999.


Introduction to the Soulforce Principles of Nonviolence Resistance by Kara Speltz

This workshop will give the basic principles of Soulforce and is required for anyone who has not been through the initial Soulforce training and was not present at the training on Friday night in Lynchburg. Additionally, people who seek a more detailed understanding of the basics of Soulforce are welcome to attend.

Kara Speltz has been involved with Soulforce since shortly after its inception. She has been involved for almost 40 years in the civil rights, peace and social justice movements.

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