Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Faith Project launches at All Saints
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis
2010-10-27

This article shared 3923 times since Wed Oct 27, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Religion and LGBTQ issues can make for a pretty volatile mix. However, they can also constitute an intriguing and lively discussion where people discuss their similarities and differences.

The latter occurred Oct. 20 as the Faith Project held its launch at All Saints Episcopal Church. The grassroots organizations LGBT Change and the Civil Rights Agenda, who collaborated to create the project, sponsored the talk.

According to its Facebook page, the Faith Project "unites and empowers people of faith to gain justice for the LGBTQ community through their faith and engagement. The Faith Project utilizes outreach and events to promote dialogue and inspire action. Resources and projects are shared to influence progress and reach our goals."

At the outset, LGBT Change co-Executive Director Anthony Martinez thanked attendees "for being at the very beginning of something that has been a three-year-long process. ... It's something that I'm very excited to see come to fruition."

Project head and LGBT Change member Chas Lovelace said that she met Martinez a few months ago at a conference. Then, " [ Martinez ] approached me a couple months later, and he was [ talking about ] the lack of faith-based groups that dealth with LGBT rights. I agreed with him, and that's when we started working together." She added that "it's really important to us to make sure that people of faith can have this conversation and feel like they're in a welcoming environment."

Pastor Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church & Preschool in Romeoville spoke about being a gay-rights activist, having worked with such organizations as Equality Illinois. "Sometimes I feel like I'm alone out there," she said.

She also talked about how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently voted "to allow for same-gender unions and for the ordination of LGBT people, which is a huge thing for many of us who are straight and are in the ministry, because it was a turning point." However, she reiterated "that it gets lonely sometimes" because the Northern Illinois synod "is not the most welcoming." Anderson-Hurdle also said that it is important to build goodwill out in the suburbs ( "It's not just a Chicago thing" ) if change is going to happen. The married mother of three children talked about how the oldest ( 17 ) put on his Facebook page, "For everyone who says I'm gay, I'm not. But if I was I wouldn't have any problem with it, so shut up." Lastly, she said that she constantly invokes a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Collins Hunter of Chicago's Second Presbyterian Church started by talking about his personal life, mentioning that he is in a three-and-a-half-year relationship with another man and that Hunter just graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in May. "It's not just about me being in love, but it's about the ability to express myself, and for you to express yourself however you choose," Hunter said. "The way we go about living our lives when we are in committed relationships to other persons is very important to me, because the Bible teaches us to be in love with thyself and with each other. That's what the church is really all about."

Hunter admitted that it is tough for everyone to be on the same page regarding same-sex relationships because the church itself is not unified. He then asked, "Beyond my personal relationship, what can I do to lift up others to want to have that relationship?" Hunter, who is also a lawyer, has also analyzed various bills and measures, and talked about how he can effectively communicate with everyone from attorneys to state legislators.

Former Catholic priest Michael Herman gave an emotional talk that centered around a friend of his who just been buried earlier last week, and the bond that he ultimately formed with the friend's mother, who, by Herman's words, seemed to be very traditional. The mother flew in from Detroit to Chicago to be by her son's side at the hospital. Herman and his partner held a wake on the friend's behalf, and the mother attended. Herman talked about the difficulty and eventual success of "trying to merge the worlds together without hurting one or the other" through song and words. The important thing, Herman said, was to not be mad at anyone but "to use our faith to bring us together."

At the end of the wake, Herman said, "she called me over and gave me a big hug. A few minutes later, she came over to say goodbye. Our three-and-a-half-year-old son was standing there. She asked him for a hug so I said, 'Go give Mrs. Serrano a big hug.' And he jumped up and grabbed her and embraced her—and she had this smile on her face.

"It's worth it to fight those battles. Faith has the potential to unite us. In the end, she might not have walked away [ a changed woman ] —but she didn't walk away like we didn't exist. She knew how much we appreciated the opportunity to celebrate his life."

Out lesbian Carol Goldbaum of Congregation Or Chadash said, "I came into the gay community a little bit later—12 years ago, when I was 67." She then talked a bit about Judaism: "Judaism is interesting because we have almost as many denominations as Christianity except each one is smaller. Two-thirds to three-quarters of the denominations have been supporting gay people for at least 20 years ... with conservatives changing their [ way of thinking ] about two or three years ago."

Goldbaum said that she was "struck by Herman's words; it made me think of my own process with my partner. When I came out, my kids cheered, 'Oh, good. You're finally in a relationship.' ... My partner's background [ is extremely diverse ] so the whole acceptance process was much more complicated." She added that people of all faiths "need to work together" and said that she will not get married "until it has some value [ although ] we are married in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the community. I also think that we have the [ 1,138 ] benefits that come with marriage."

The Rev. Bonnie Perry, pastor of All Saints, talked about growing up Irish Catholic but finding "an amazing home in the Episcopal Church. ... This congregation has pushed me to be more of who I am." She also talked about the moment when she truly was changed, spiritually ( at 16 ) : "It started up through my toes and it went all the way up through my body, and I couldn't stop laughing and couldn't stop crying—and I knew in that moment that I was loved. How conscious was I about being gay at that point? I don't know."

Perry came out in seminary, "where 20 percent of the people were lesbians," she said. "And I was mildly confused when I encountered people who were queer and not religious." She then talked about meeting her partner of 24 years while playing softball ( "I know, I know" ) and moving here while unemployed—after making fun of women who moved because of their husbands. Perry also talked about her ignorance regarding certain aspects of religion and history, including the ordination of openly gay bishop V. Gene Bishop and the Anglican Communion—and that there were more similarities than she originally realized: "I'm delighted to say that much of that change began ... when we said that you can be in solidarity with people who live in absolute poverty in other parts of the world and you can be in solidarity with those who happen to be queer."

Following the talks, there was an open forum that involved what social-justice issues are important; frustrations with the LGBTQ and faith-based communities; and actions to counter said frustrations.


This article shared 3923 times since Wed Oct 27, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Lighthouse Foundation looks ahead to 2021 survey 2021-01-19
- Lincoln Park-based Lighthouse Foundation, an advocacy that primarily uplifts Black LGBTQ Chicagoans and has its roots in Lincoln Park-based Lighthouse Church of Chicago, will survey five prominent LGBTQ-focused local organizations ...


Gay News

Groups sue to overturn Dept. of Ed regulation that forces funding of anti-LGBTQ groups 2021-01-19
--From a press release - Washington, D.C.—January 19, 2021—Today, the national civil rights organizations American Atheists and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, on behalf of the Secular Student Alliance and a California ...


Gay News

Pfleger answers after being charged with sexually abusing child more than 40 years ago (UPDATE) 2021-01-06
- Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich sent a letter to the St. Sabina parish stating that longtime activist Father Michael Pfleger will be stepping away from his ministry after being accused of sexually abusing a child more than ...


Gay News

Chicago native becomes first Black cardinal; has pro-LGBTQ history 2020-11-29
- On Nov. 28, Pope Francis formally elevated 13 new cardinals in a ceremony, including Chicago native Wilton Daniel Gregory, who is the archbishop of Washington D.C. Gregory, 73, is the first African-American cardinal. He told the ...


Gay News

Feds investigating alleged anti-Semitic activity at Univ. of Illinois 2020-11-17
- The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it has opened a formal investigation into a complaint alleging Jewish students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) ...


Gay News

CVS Health offering free, rapid COVID-19 testing on South Side 2020-11-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Ill., November 10, 2020 — Together with the New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church and Peer Plus Education and Training Advocates, CVS Health is launching rapid COVID-19 testing at the Chicago Baptist Institute. CVS pharmacists ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Is Pope Francis' support of civil unions just lip service? 2020-10-29
- Pope Francis has expressed support for civil unions in the Catholic Church. Once again, the pontiff has sent shockwaves across the globe to 1.3 billion of his followers with another LGBTQ- affirming statement. However, this one ...


Gay News

LETTER Pope Francis appoints America's first African American cardinal 2020-10-27
- Pope Francis has appointed 13 new cardinals world wide. Archbishop Gregory is listed as elevated to cardinal by his Holiness. The archbishop served in Chicago for 10 years under Cardinal Joseph Bernadine, being transferred to Atlanta ...


Gay News

WORLD Church leaders, Amnesty International, students 2020-10-26
- Pope Francis included a U.S. archbishop who has made several strong, positive statements about LGBTQ people in the group of 13 church leaders named cardinals; there are also a bishop from the island nation of Malta ...


Gay News

LETTER Thank you, Pope Francis 2020-10-22
- I never thought I would live to see the day when a pope would endorse civil rights for LGBTQ couples. Praise God for His Grace. Also, the many Roman Catholic individuals and organizations who worked so ...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett 2020-10-22
- Women-Church Convergence, a coalition of Catholic-rooted organizations including DignityUSA, deplores the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. We have serious concerns about the judgment of any nominee ...


Gay News

Pope calls for same-sex civil unions in documentary (UPDATED) 2020-10-21
- In a departure from the position held by the Vatican's doctrinal office, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary that aired in Rome, NBC News noted. "Homosexuals ...


Gay News

Former PFLAG board member Rev. Gil Caldwell dies 2020-09-16
- Former PFLAG National board member Rev. Dr. Gilbert H. Caldwell passed away, the organization announced in a press release. A retired United Methodist Church minister, Caldwell participated in the 1963 March on Washington, the 1964 Mississippi ...


Gay News

Mishkan Chicago to host High Holiday events Sept. 12-28 2020-08-25
- Local Jewish spiritual community Mishkan Chicago, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave., is merging ancient ritual with film, theater and music production to create unique programming for the 2020 Jewish New Year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sept. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Bakery situation, tribal marriage, anti-LGBTQ crimes, Penn. lawmakers 2020-08-10
- Extreme right-wing organization the Church Militant requested that Detroit bakery Good Cakes and Bakes co-owner April Anderson (who's LGBTQ) put on a cake, "Homosexual acts are gravely evil. (Catholic Catechism ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.