|A Community Conversation|
LGBTQ Youth at the Crossroads of Faith
Hartford, CT - The Unitarian Universalist Church at 328 Paddock Avenue in Meriden, CT will host the Spiritual Institute's first Community Conversation: LGBTQI Youth at the Crossroads of Faith & Identity this Sunday, March 27th from 2- 4 pm with refreshments to follow.
During the event, participants will hear from panelists representing several faith traditions regarding what their particular places of worship are specifically doing to engage with LGBTQIA youth. The panel discussion will be followed by a Question & Answer portion during which participants can submit questions via text, written on an index card or simply standing up and asking. The event will conclude with an opportunity for attendees to mingle with each other and enjoy some refreshments, including a decorate-your-own-cupcake bar!
Members of the Spiritual Institute understand the devastating effects that religious rejection can have on LGBTQI youth: "Some of the most painful experience our kids have had, have come from their communities of faith. That is soul-wounding. We hope this event helps people know that there are lots of faith traditions in which they are loved. We hope for it to be healing for them." says, Robin McHaelen, Executive Director of True Colors, Inc. "The Spiritual Institute is a coalition made up of faith traditions that are open-and-affirming. This particular Community Conversation event is intended to validate spiritual experiences (or lack of) that youth may have had and to support them as they move ahead with their spiritual journey. The Spiritual Institute hopes to conduct similar Community Conversations in other parts of the state in the near future."
Panelists for the Community Conversation include:
· Pastor Shirley Gadson, of Open Door Ministries in Bridgeport, CT
· Rev. John Gage, of the United Church on the Green in New Haven, CT
· Rev. Dr. J. P. Morgan of the Montowese Baptist Church in North Haven, CT
· Rev. Marilyn Bowens, of the Metropolitan Community Church in New Haven, CT
· Shawn Lang, of the Quaker Meeting House in West Hartford, CT
· Teo Drake, offering a Buddhist perspective
· Becca Lazarus, of the Unitarian Universalist Church in West Hartford, CT
True Colors, Inc. is a non-profit organization that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met. The organization trains more than 2400 people annually and manages the state's only LGBT mentoring program. True Colors has been spotlighted by both national and local media for their expertise in LGBTI youth issues, including most recently CNN.
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