Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit #SFS17

At the summit, I spoke to seminarians, ministers, and fellow Christian writers engaged in meaningful dialogue around sex and faith. It reaffirmed that sexuality is an important aspect of spiritual activism and that people of faith can and should collaborate with non-faith activists to do good work.

My First Gay Pride Parade— #ResistMarch

My Episcopal church participated, as did many other churches. Quite a few signs were carried by people coming from a specifically Christian perspective. “This is the gay that the Lord hath made” was my favorite, carried by a young man.

Revisiting Re-Imagining

"We worshiped as feminists, sharing rituals grounded in women’s experiences and using feminine language for God. These rituals included a milk and honey ritual that celebrated the goodness of women’s bodies and a song that affirmed the wisdom of women as created in the image of God..."

Report from the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women...

It was empowering to connect with women and men from around the world who are doing vital work for women’s economic empowerment inextricably linked to our overall empowerment.

McKenzie Brown’s Reflection on Protest— How We Prevail

I don’t want to have to protest again. I don’t want to be in a position where I must exercise my civic responsibility to stand and defend other human beings from a political leadership who would oppress them. That said, as an individual who has inherited the freedoms and privileges of American citizenship, it is a responsibility I cannot choose to ignore right now.

Dan Wilkinson’s Reflection on the 2017 Women’s March — “Dissent is...

Throughout the day waves of emotion moved through me. It felt so right to stand for justice and be a part of a fantastic movement that said, “We won’t let our country go backward. We will rise up; we will work together to ensure justice for all—not only for a select few.”

Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton’s Reflection on the 2017 Women’s March — “Changing...

"The amazingly diverse crowd, estimated at 50,000, moved slowly along, some in wheelchairs and some in baby strollers. There were people of various ages, genders, races, gender identities, religions, abilities, political parties. Even dogs joined the march and were as polite as the people!"

The Women’s March in Pictures

January 23, 2017 On Saturday, January 21, millions of people gathered on all seven continents to demonstrate their support for women's rights and other social...

2017 #GCNConf Reflection by Elyse Kitrakis — “The Inspiration to Move...

Once I was set free from the bondage of a fear-based faith, my life became full, and my faith has grown these last 20 years to be more inclusive and less judgmental. In 2004, I became more politically involved, recognizing the important role we, the people of God, must play in the governance of God’s world and the care for the things God cares about.

2017 #GCNConf Reflection by Jennifer Kane — “A Most Inspiring Story”

Many of the stories of the conference were new. But as I reflected on my conference experience as a whole, I was aware that, though the stories felt new, they also reminded me of the most inspiring story I have ever heard. The story of God becoming human and dwelling among us and then suffering and dying so we could be made new and be made whole.

2017 #GCNConf Rev. Janet Edwards Interview, Part 3

There are lots of reasons for women to leave parish ministry, I’d say. Complicated family circumstances and fewer openings because of the implosion of the American church experienced first in the mainline but followed now by the evangelical church, as well, to name two. The bias that blights women’s service is one among them, in my experience.

2017 #GCNConf Rev. Janet Edwards Interview, Part 2

... the PC(USA) cannot confess sin against LGBTQ people with any integrity. First, this action would not include those Presbyterians who do not feel that they are sinning when they judge the LGBTQ person. Second, people with these judgments are still hurting LGBTQ people in the PC(USA). We are not of one mind in the PC(USA).

2017 #GCNConf Rev. Janet Edwards Interview, Part 1

My tradition is Reformed, always being Reformed (which is why we tend to protest what is traditional). Coming to a more expansive understanding of marriage is our generation’s experience of reforming our grasp of God and God’s will for us.

Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D. — #GCNWomenConnect Speaker

Identification with and support of LGBTQ people began, I would say, with the effort to make sense of my uncle coming with Johnnie from their home in Southern California to enjoy the fall change of season and to visit family. Nothing was ever said except that this was his friend, Johnnie, and my grandmother loved them both.

2017 Gay Christian Network Conference — Introduction

Again, in 2017, CFT will be partnering with the Gay Christian Network to present their WomenConnect women's retreat at the 2017 Gay Christian Network Conference. Several CFT members will participate.

2016 Christian Feminism Today Gathering

Too, we are committed to equality for all people, believing that God’s gifts are not given through roles but through individual gifts to be developed and celebrated. We strive to show empathy, to create an atmosphere of acceptance and love. We are educated and enjoy being challenged by what we learn.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Kirsti Reeve

I'm grateful that the space of GCN exists for those people who do desperately need it, for whom the weekend was spent in tears and overwhelm, and who can, hopefully, leave with a little more of a belief that they are loved and accepted by God and by others just as they are.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Bastian Bouman

When those in my group started talking about their hopes and dreams for future relationships and discussed models of relationships, I realized I’d made a huge mistake. The Side B people I had dismissed were exactly the people I’d been looking for.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Sam Koster

I worshiped in a community of strangers that felt like family. I cried in front of a crowd of parents who held me in their arms like I was their own child. I felt like I was being given a glimpse of what heaven feels like, or maybe what I hope heaven feels like: open arms of strangers full of love and grace.

2016 #GCNConf – First Timer Reflections – Jann Aldredge-Clanton

As I listened to people’s stories, my heart ached over the pain they have suffered from denunciation and rejection by church and family, and I felt inspired by their courage in claiming who they’re created to be and working to liberate their churches from homophobia and unjust, unloving actions.

2016 #GCNConf — “weconnect” Emmy Kegler Interview

I believe the church at its core can also be a place of healing (and it breaks me when it's a place of trauma). We have confession and forgiveness, peacemaking and reconciliation, prayer and offering going back to the earliest days of Christianity. Self-examination and self-giving isn't something we can do without community...

2016 #GCNConf – “weconnect” Featured Speaker Emmy Kegler

She connected deeply to the true good news of Christianity’s two-thousand-year-old story. Over and over, she witnessed both the church’s capacity to wound and to heal, and she grew more convinced that she had to be a part of the transformation and recommunication of God’s love as shown in Jesus.

2016 Gay Christian Network Conference — Introduction

This year’s GCN speakers will include: Allyson Robinson, Baptist preacher and national trans leader; Broderick Greer, Episcopal curate and social justice advocate; Misty Irons, nationally-acclaimed blogger and theologian; and Justin Lee, the Gay Christian Network Executive Director.

The 2015 Parliament of World Religions— Sophia Lives!

Without a fundamental shift in how we conceive of God, we will continue to be a people of oppression, bondage, war. And yet there is a failure in our faith traditions to see that oppression, bondage, and violence are by-products of masculine portrayals of God; of patriarchy baptized by religion. If we fail to recognize the interconnection between our theology of God and how we treat others, we cannot work for justice, liberation, or peace.

A Report from the “Jobs, Justice, and the Climate” March in...

For me, honoring First Nation people and ensuring environmental justice is essential, especially if we claim to truly love this "blue dot" (what astronauts have called the earth from space, depicted in my poster above) we all call home.

The Gay Christian Network Conference: The Kingdom of God Unfolding

At the GCN conference, in spite of current cultural tableaus, these two unlikely identity categories converged: LGBT-identified people and Christian-identified people. We worshipped. We prayed. We nurtured one another in the sharing and receiving of our stories. And the results were luminous.

Precious God, Forgive Them, Because They KNOW What They’re Doing

With all the LGBTQ people courageously coming out in conservative Christian settings, with all the information available freely on the internet and through print and broadcast media, with our new host of educators and speakers (both LGBTQ people and allies) reaching out to conservative and evangelical Christians, it would be impossible for someone to miss the obvious wounding of our people.

The Words of the LGBTQ Christian Experience

The primary difference between me and a heterosexual person is not my sexual activity. The primary difference between me and a heterosexual person is with whom I am most comfortable establishing my primary intimate partnership.

Together At the Table: Inclusive Communion and Intimate Conversations

The challenge each of us faces is in learning how to maintain our convictions while also respecting and appreciating a sister or brother's differing approach. Maybe the key is to start from a trusting place, believing that we all deeply desire to do what is good and right.

Our Job Starts and Stops with Loving Each Other

There’s no safe choice. The wounding is pervasive. And we all are perpetrators when we project our expectations and our own unique experience onto other people we consider more like us than not. None of us is the same. None of us knows the heart and mind of any other. As LGBTQ people, it is certainly our calling to become all we are meant to be. But that’s an internal process for the person looking out into the world. Where we stand, looking into each other’s eyes, our job starts and stops with loving each other.

Trauma and the LGBTQ Christian

When someone involved in conservative or evangelical Christianity experiences the trauma and wounding associated with coming out, generally they do not have access to sympathetic witnesses or good support systems. Often nearly everyone around them believes that to be lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, queer, or questioning is sinful and shameful.

An Opportunity to Practice Grace and Love

When I realized this was the Wall of Love, I was overcome with emotion. As they formed what would ultimately become a Tunnel of Love, the tears rolled down my cheeks. I had to turn away from them so I could gather myself because the feeling of unconditional love was so overwhelming in the moment.

2015 #GCNConf – “weconnect” Featured Speaker Wendy Gritter

After I finished Wendy Gritter's book and spent some time reflecting on what I had read, I realized that she had chosen a very difficult path. She is now regarded with suspicion by people on all sides. Many conservative Christians believe she has been deceived and has departed from the “truth” of the scriptures. LGBT people like me find it difficult to forgive her involvement with Exodus.

2015 Gay Christian Network Conference – Introduction

This year’s GCN speakers included: Vickie Beeching, British theologian, singer/songwriter, and media personality who recently came out as a lesbian; Jeff Chu, author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?; Danny Cortez, Southern Baptist pastor and father of a gay child; and Wendy Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness and Executive Director of New Direction Ministries of Canada.

2014 Christian Feminism Today Gathering

"Let Justice Roll On Like a River!" The Christian Feminism Today 2014 Gathering June 26-29, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri "But let justice roll on like a...

Feminist Faith-Based Social Justice

Backlash is a subtle thing. It can result in even the bravest of us stepping back from what we know to be right because the cost is so high—the loss of a job, perhaps, because of principles, or some dreaded implication for our children, who can become pawns and/or casualties in social justice skirmishes.

Oriented to Love— The Huge Knot of Misunderstanding

Oriented to Love brings the people together who are willing to move beyond the adversarial paradigm, who are willing to accept that reconciliation might be possible, and willing to sit down in a room together to begin the slow process of untying the knot, one strand at a time.

Oriented to Love— What Am I Really Afraid Of?

But what if, deep in my body, there are pockets of anger, tucked away like time bombs waiting to go off? What if I harbor hurt and resentment about the treatment I have received during my life, about the possibilities that I have been denied, about my ambitions that have been thwarted? How can I love that in me?

Oriented to Love— All these Words

My experience of hearing that song, in that moment, can only be described as feeling I was wrapped in the tender softness of the sacred presence of God. Through my tears, I looked over at Tim, and with eyes full of tears, he met my gaze. Something I will never find the words to describe flowed between and through us. I will never get over it.

Oriented to Love— Questions and Consequences

She called me to move toward the place I stood. She brought me there. She wanted me to sit with twelve other people, starting the next day, being open and vulnerable. She called them as well. They were going to show up whole. It was my job to show up whole as well.

Oriented to Love— Introduction to the Series

I need to tell you what it meant to me and how it changed me. I need to tell you that She was there in a way I've never experienced before. I need to tell you what it felt like. But the trouble is, I'm still not sure I can put any of it into words, because the important stuff that happened there in that convent didn't have anything to do with words.

Oriented to Love – Of the Mystery and Miracles

When we stop paying attention to the mystery and the miracles of God, when we ignore that which we cannot describe, cannot understand, cannot categorize, cannot explain-- when we ignore that, we ignore God. Because God is not our logical, ordered existence. God is not the sure thing, the safe bet. God doesn't make sense. God doesn't dream safe and steady dreams for our lives. God doesn't move us in comfortable directions.

weconnect – Rachel Held Evans’ Presentation Summary

Why can't we go along with God? We're scared that if we get out of God's way this whole grace thing might get out of hand— just the way it got out of hand when Jesus looked out from the cross and said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

weconnect – We are Broken

When we talk about brokenness I want to feel the pain of naked truth. I want the words to be untamed and un-groomed. I want to hear the crimson bloom of shame in our voices. I want to feel the emotional morass of untenable situations caused when we responded without grace, without patience, without compassion.

weconnect – There Will be Some Tears

I cried for me and I cried for everyone I was going to meet. I asked Divinity to be present with all of us as we sought and found a way through our pain and longing to reconnect with Her love. Not just Her love for us, but Her love for everyone, especially those who cause our pain.

weconnect – Susan Shopland Interview, Part 2

And if my son could take the risk, how could I not? I will say it makes a huge difference to have support; I am deeply grateful to the members of GCN who have mentored, inspired, supported, equipped, and empowered me.

weconnect – Speaker Susan Shopland

Now I celebrate having a gay son, and consider it one of the greatest blessings of my life. His journey to a more authentic existence has been the catalyst for my own journey toward greater authenticity. It has forced me to confront my own deceitfulness in living a compartmentalized existence...

weconnect – Audrey Connor Interview, Part 2

I think the days of being a minister as a career are numbered, even for straight, white men. The truth is that the church is on shaky ground even for those at the center. But the good news is that walking over shaky ground often leads us to find more sure footing with God.

The Gay Christian Network’s “weconnect” Women’s Retreat

The weconnect Women's Retreat will feature speakers, discussions, games, giveaways, and an all-female praise and worship band. Hasty-Zander stresses that her primary goal is building community and creating a safe space for conversation. She hopes the retreat will build lasting connections among GCN's female-identified attendees.

Queer Creation Synchroblog

Today some of our Christian Feminism Today writers are participating in Queer Theology's "Queer Creation" synchroblog.  This is the Queer Theology website's third synchroblog event about...

Wild Goose – Index and Links to Content

There are some great Wild Goose Festival posts, videos, and pictures out here in web-land. I've prepared a list of some of my favorites.

There’s something missing at the Wild Goose Festival

Realizing that scheduling nothing is just as important as scheduling something, might help the people involved in a weekend of spiritual discovery to become aware of how Spirit is moving through them, or to engage in relationship building, or participate in spontaneous spiritual practice together.

Diners, Authenticity, and Why I Journeyed to Wild Goose

When you don't know me, but you stop and meet my heart right where we are standing, I know we are all made of the same stuff— holy stuff that simply must connect, even for just a few minutes, with more of that holy stuff. And I desperately need to be reminded— every single day— that we are made of that holy stuff.

Wild Goose – James Alison Presents “You can … if you...

The really delicate task we (LGBTQ people and their allies) are now faced with is to ask how we inhabit the "Lord's victory." How do we bear it up without making it toxic for others. How do we reach out a hand to those who are scandalized so that they too can be reconciled?

2013 Wild Goose Festival Audio Collage

An audio collage of the 2013 Wild Goose Festival created by Marg Herder.

Wild Goose – Jared Byas and Levi Weaver Present “Re-membering the...

The creative act is often felt as dangerous to those who rely on, who find comfort in, well-defined systems of knowledge. Creators often illuminate not just the sturdy looking façade of knowledge, but also shine a light on the rather shaky foundations, the dangers and flaws one can only see when a system is approached from a different angle.

“Mending Broken” Performed by Peyton Davis – Wild Goose 2013

And the lesson of the day? It's never too late for Divinty to make beautiful things happen! I had even decided to toss my field recorder into my backpack Sunday morning, despite the fact that I didn't expect to use it. So there, in the middle of the Wild Goose parking lot, Peyton got out her guitar, sat down on a rolled up sleeping bag, and played the song. After one aborted attempt, due to incoming motorcycles, we got a good take all the way through without disturbance.

Coming Out— It’s a Struggle for Atheists Too – Wild Goose

Everyone has felt like an outsider; everyone has felt misunderstood. I always believed that a Christian church would have all the answers, that embracing Christianity meant an end to the isolation and the confusion. Clearly, I was wrong; so many people are searching for answers.

Wild Goose – She Is Here

So here's what happened on another level. Five women, sitting on a plywood platform in the woods, sang, and prayed, and beckoned Sophia to join them. And She answered by filling their hearts and bodies so full that they couldn't hold it all. So She spilled out of them, disguised as tears, and dispersed into the bark of the trees, the green of the leaves, and the sound of the river.

Wild Goose – Where Anything Can Happen

It's not about following the rules or joining a club. It's about how I can be a better companion to my fellow human beings while we share this time on earth together. It's about how I can spend less time thinking about myself, and more time thinking about how I can be more loving and compassionate toward others.

The Journey to the Wild Goose

When the story we choose for ourselves divides, when it perpetuates judgment, fear, and anger, when it has nothing to do with humility and love, it's time to let it go. I guess I thought I was going to Wild Goose looking for something, but maybe I'm really going to learn how to let something go.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Beth Whitney Interview

Last winter at snow camp, a young girl asked me if I would write a song with her. I didn't really feel like it. I was kinda tired and had just pulled a great book off the shelf. It was pretty obvious I wasn't doing anything though, so I agreed. As we talked about what to write, I found the afternoon transforming into a healing session.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Jared Byas

I like to think that this is where Spirit moves, in the underlying dynamics of what we find ourselves involved in here. In our lives and in our world, I see Her as being what flows through everything, but She's too often obscured by all our bluster, pretension, and ego. Perhaps She is most knowable in the spaces that often go unnoticed, unobserved.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Introduction

I've never been to Wild Goose before but am looking forward to the experience. You'll be able to read about and see what I experience here on Where She Is (and on the Christian Feminism Today social media outlets) as I'll be posting frequent updates leading up to, during, and directly after the conclusion of the festival (August 8-11, 2013).

2012 EEWC-CFT Gathering Recap

"It was supposed to be just a gathering, a reunion of friends who have worked for biblical feminism for twenty or thirty years—and in the case of some, even forty years. But the 2012 event in Indianapolis turned out to be a power-packed conference with speakers and workshops to rival any of our past landmarks in Pasadena, Seattle, Norfolk, Saratoga Springs, San Francisco, and Chicago."

Blessed the Waters That Rise and Fall to Rise Again

If this organization is to survive and persevere; if we as individuals are going to sustain our work of love and justice, we need to know that behind the ebb and flow of waves and water there is a Power, an Energy, a web of Wisdom we call God, creating, empowering, sustaining. "Blessed the waters that rise and fall to rise again."

Harvard Divinity School’s Conference on “Religion and the Feminist Movement”: Two...

I was saddened but not surprised to hear Ada Maria Isazi Diaz's remark that the more she identified with Latinas, the more she became invisible. And moved by my old friend Riffat Hassan's distress that only two Islamic feminists were on hand to represent 500 million Muslim women.

The 2010 EEWC-CFT Gathering

I had so much going through my head in the days after the conference. I wanted to let each presenter know how much I appreciated their efforts and their gifts. So instead of writing to each individually, I decided to express my thanks by recapping the events with deep appreciation, while at the same time sharing my experiences with those who could not attend.

2008 EEWC Conference

It was an event in the planning for 20 months, so its arrival was anticipated with enthusiasm by those of us on the conference committee. We had put our hearts and souls into every aspect of this conference; and as we prayed together before we left Sharon Bowes’ house to head to the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel.

2006 EEWC Conference

Approximately seventy inclusive biblical feminists gathered at the Hyatt Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, from July 20 to 23 to enjoy speakers, music, workshops, worship, and togetherness.

2004 EEWC Conference

Old Testament scholar Phyllis Trible opened the conference with a Thursday evening plenary analysis of texts about Wisdom in Job 28 and Proverbs 1, 8, and 9, while theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, the Friday evening plenary speaker, helped listeners understand the call of God's people in an age of oppressive globalization.

2002 EEWC Conference: A View from Backstage and Beyond

by Alena Amato Ruggerio I was too weepy with exultation and exhaustion after the Blessing Circle Sunday morning to really get a sense of how...

2000 EEWC Conference

Jubilation was the feeling that swept through me as my daughter and I pulled into the North Park University campus, and were greeted by the huge "Welcome EEWC" banner! After years of planning and visions of how this conference would be, the time had finally arrived.

The Message of EWC’s 1980 Saratoga Conference: Love + Justice =...

Attenders of EWC's fourth plenary conference, "Women and the Ministry of Reconciliation," heard a strong, repeated challenge to demonstrate their Christian faith by working for justice in a world filled with injustices.

1978 EEWC Conference Recap by Diane R. Jepsen

Information-gathering was a valuable part of the conference, as was sharing in small groups, in conversations. Women talked of the relief of being with other women who are serving and trying to deliberately follow Jesus Christ.

1978 EWC Conference Recap by Nancy Hardesty

It has seemed a long three years since that historic Thanksgiving Evangelical Women's Caucus in Washington, D.C. Yet the Spirit is still at work in our midst. This was evident in Pasadena, California in mid-June when about 900 women and a handful of men met for a conference on "Women and the Ministries of Christ."

Women in Transition: The First Evangelical Women’s Caucus Conference (1975)

A surprising number of the women attending, perhaps half, were new to feminism. They came out of interest and out of a sense of alienation from their churches; for the first time this weekend they began to identify themselves as feminists.

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