2012 Transgender Religious Leaders Summit

November 1 to November 3, 2012



                                     November 1, 2, and 3, 2012


 Hosted at: Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                  Co-sponsored by:
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion (PSR), Light In the Closet Ministries, Starr King School for the Ministry of the Graduate Theological Union, and Nehirim.

Securing human dignity for others and ourselves is a necessary part of our expression of faith.  Our faith communities must be educated and inspired to embrace the inclusion and affirmation of our transgender, queer, intersex, transsexual and gender non-conforming members. This is the rallying call for the CLGS Transgender Religious Leaders Summit VI (2012). During this year's Summit attendees will have the opportunity to request special sessions for faith communities and specific social agendas.  

Reconnect and Rejuvenate!  

As always, this is a great time to make connections with those of like mind and have the opportunity to be with friends.  This is the Northern California premier gathering of transgender community leaders of faith. 

Who is a faith leader? If you are an active member of a faith community and are promoting transgender inclusion, acceptance, and dignity then YOU are a leader!

The beautiful Pacific School of Religion overlooks the picturesque San Francisco Bay. In this inspirational setting we will have seven separate opportunities to express your faith and worship! These should be wonderful times for sharing, connecting, and exploration.

                        Click Here for Full Summit Schedule PDF

Calendar of Sessions:

Thursday Evening, November 1

3:30 PM - 6:00 PM  /  PSR CHAPEL
Registration / at the PSR Chapel, Narthex

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM / MUDD 100
Welcome: Bernie Schlager, CLGS Executive Director, Rev. Roland Stringfellow, CWC Director of Ministerial Outreach
Introduction and Blessing: Rev. Dawn Roginski, ELCA / Rev. Megan Rohrer

6:30 PM - 7:45 PM / MUDD 100
Catered Dinner provided by Wild Thyme Catering, Walnut Creek, CA

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM / PSR Chapel 
Service and Celebration 
Contact: Lee Whittaker l whittaker[at]ses[dot]sksm[dot]edu
Event Leaders: Ashley Moore, Lee Whittaker and 4M Ministries

Friday, November 2

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM  / MUDD 100

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  
Breakfast at PSR Dining Hall

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM  
Sacred Space / Faith Expression 1 
Rev. Vicki Gray, Episcopal Deacon  

9:20 AM - 10:20 AM  /  MUDD 100
SESSION 1: Raising Our Expectations 
Panel: Elena Kelly, Order or St Hildegard / Rev. Louis Mitchell, Board Member National Gay and Lesbian Task Force / Rabbi Levi Alter, President FTM International

Why settle?  It is a function of this Summit to advocate for human dignity and inclusion in faith communities. Our faith communities need to be educated to view their transgender, transsexual, intersexed, and gender nonconforming members as the remarkable assets we are. 

10:30 AM - 11:55 PM  /  MUDD 100

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Empowering and Inspiring:Being an Advocate for Each Other.
SPEAKER: Rev. Megan Rohrer
Our keynote speaker, Megan Rohrer, has been working on the National level giving voice to the plight of transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex and gender non-conforming youth within faith communities and on the streets of our cities.  Megan will speak on our right and privilege as faith leaders to act as a "bridges" to communicate life-changing thoughts and actions.

11:55 AM - 12:10 PM  
Sacred Space / Faith Expression 2 

Patricia Kevena Fili, Wiccan and Pagan Priestess, Diverse Spiritual Traditions Group

12:10 PM - 1:30 PM 
Lunch at PSR Dining Hall

1:30 PM - 2:55 PM / MUDD 103
SESSION 2: Flourishing Beyond Shame Workshop
Moderator: Daniel Borysewicz, New Spirit Community Church
Co-Moderator: Tanesh Watson, 

Workshop: The influence and social control of shame affects us all. During this workshop, the participants will examine and discuss the influences of false shame upon gender, gender identity, and sexuality. This is accomplished through interactive discussions, a PowerPoint presentation, small group discussions, and a workbook for each participant. 

1:35 PM - 2:10 PM  /  MUDD 102
SESSION 3: Affirmation or Assimilation: Religious Movements & Trans Liturgy

Moderator: Joel Layton, Student PSR, Berkeley

Topic Description: This presentation will focus primarily on the importance of innovating new liturgy and ritual around trans* experience in order to create a religious community that reflects trans* people's lives. Focus on how trans* people's experience can change our church liturgy. 

2:15 PM - 2:55 PM / MUDD 102
SESSION 4:  The Transgender Christ

Moderator: Rev. Megan More, MCC North Hollywood

Topic Description: Reflects upon the nature of Jesus Christ from a transgender perspective, both before and after the Crucifixion and  Resurrection, as well as in his social and emotional character, life style, and eventually, physical transformation. 

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM  /  MUDD 100
SESSION 5: T Forward / Moving Trans Advocacy Forward in Religious Life
Panel: Chris Paige on PCUSA and the T Forward / Jamie Ann on TransLutherans
/ Vicki Gray on TransEpiscopal and GC 2013 / Barbara Satin on health care / Ruth Branham on United Church Canada and Toby's Law 

"T Forward," sponsored by Transfaith, is a collaboration of mainly Christian transgender leaders who are working together to strategically cultivate political movement in our religious settings. In this session, we will present briefly about activities in and around 5 denominations. Participants are invited to imagine next steps for moving the "T Forward" in their own contexts.

4:50 PM - 5:00 PM  
Report on Nehirim: Rabbi David Dunn Bauer, Nehirim

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM  / PSR CHAPEL
Sacred Space / Faith Expression 3  
Shabbat Service 

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM  / Venue: Mudd 100
Don't miss this evening in Berkeley for food, fellowship, faith and fun!
DINNER SESSION: The Open Door Coffeehouse
Moderator: Joni Christian, UCC 

The Open Door Coffeehouse provides a safe, welcoming atmosphere where friendships can be forged and diversity can be celebrated. Everyone has a gift to share, so grab a microphone and have at it! We love to embrace performers and help them come in contact with the spirit that they already have inside them! 

Saturday, November 3

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM  
Registration / at MUDD 100

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM  
Breakfast at PSR Dining Hall

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM  
Sacred Space / Faith Expression 4 /  Outside or in Chapel

"An Un-convent-ional Devotional."
Elena Kelly, Order of St. Hildegard

9:00 AM - 10:25 AM  / MUDD 102
SESSION 7: Gender Fluidity - Moving past polarized models

Panel: Rev. Dawn Roginski, ELCA / Randi Klein, Founder Light in the Closet Ministry / Chris Paige, Director TransFaith Online / Megan Rorher

The polarized archetypes of male and female don’t always seem to fit. Even so, archetypes are what society looks to for defining gender.  This discussion will revolve around what it means to be in-between those archetypes, and to define ourselves by personhood.

9:00 AM - 10:25 AM  / MUDD103
SESSION 8: The Break Through Conversation

How to "come out" to friends and family members.
Moderator:  Rev. Roland Stringfellow, Coalition of Welcoming Congregations

Workshop: During this workshop participants will develop a personal plan of action. This is accomplished through interactive discussions, a PowerPoint presentation, and a workbook for each participant. 

10:35 AM - 11:35 AM  / MUDD 103
SESSION 9: How TG allies and advocates can work together.
Panel: Don Crisostomo, SF Trans Ally  / Rev. Will McGarvey, Pastor Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg / Rev. Roland Stringfellow CWC

Topic Description: Discussion of sensitivities, guidelines and methodologies for creating change within and without spiritual communities. 

10:35 AM - 11:35 AM  /  MUDD 102

Tru-Life of Modernday Post-Operative Transgender
Moderator: June Remus, MCC Minneapolis

Topic Description: A large part of being a post-operative transgender are the things that doctors and friends tell you about how you should try to fit into the world. These people never believed in you before, and are still not real sure of you now. Today's youth and baby-boomers need to know you don't have to go back in the closet to keep people from knowing the real you.

10:35 AM - 11:55 AM  /  MUDD 100
SESSION 11: Transgender Seminarian Forum  
Moderator: Ben Lunine

This forum will provide a platform for trans-identified seminary students, those  considering seminary, and recent seminary graduates to come together and discuss the unique challenges we face. This will serve as a springboard for further discussion and connections among seminarians.  Discussion about the GTU Health Insurance Plan.

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM  /  MUDD Building Entry Way 
Transgender Community Resource Faire

11:00 AM - 1:45 PM  
Lunch at PSR Dining Hall

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Sacred Space / Faith Expression 5  
Lee Whittaker / 4M Ministries - Healing service of lights

2:30 PM - 3:40 PM  /  MUDD 102
SESSION 12: Being Transgender is Kosher

"Beyond the Binary in Ancient Jewish Texts"
Moderators: Rabbi Dev Noily, Ben Lunine

Topic Description: As trans and queer Jews and our allies gain unprecedented access to traditional Jewish sacred texts, there is an explosion of Jewish scholarship and study about gender categories beyond the male-female binary in ancient sources.  In this interactive workshop we will explore our own experiences of gender identit, and use that as jumping off point for diving into texts from the Mishna, Talmud and Hebrew Bible that examine the complexity and variety of human genders. 

1:55 PM - 2:25 PM  / MUDD 103
SESSION 13: Launching of the Transgender Families of Faith Support Group
"Support for those who are impacted by transgender family members."
Moderators: Randi Klein, Rev. Will McGarvey 

Topic Description: Gender non-conforming family members impact the entire family. Some of these issues are difficult to live with especially when there are issues of faith to consider. This will be the launching of a new support group for family members of transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM  /  MUDD 103
SESSION 14: Voices of Witness, "Out of the Box"
Documentary film produced by, Integrity USA
Session Leader: Rev. Vicki Gray, TransEpiscopal

1:55 PM - 3:30 PM  /  MUDD 100
SESSION 15: What Does it Mean to be a Leader?

Moderator: Louis Mitchell
Panel: Patricia Fili, Elena Kelly, Chris Paige

Topic Description: Do "Trans Religious Leaders" really need to be clergy?  There is a tendency to align leadership with the need for PhDs and MDivs. This session will focus on the kinds of leadership needed that fall outside of traditional seminary/clergy credentialing tracks. 

3:45 PM - 4:55 PM / MUDD 100
SESSION 15: Reports and What is in Store for the next 12 months

Moderators:  Rev. Megan Rohrer and Bernie Schlager

Session includes: A Report from the Transgender Religious Leaders Roundtable: 

Patrick Califia—Writer and Pagan priest, Fellowship of the Spiral Path
Angel Collie—Yale Divinity School, Candidate for Ordination Metropolitan Community Churches
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza—Iliff School of Theology
Jakob Hero—CLGS Transgender Roundtable Coordinator, Candidate for Ordination MCC
Hilary Howes—Roman Catholic
Shannon "Shay" Kearns—Deacon, Old American Catholic Church
Louis Mitchell—United Church of Christ
Elena Rose Vera—Starr King School for the Ministry, Unitarian Universalist 

Reports from Transgender Sessions across the USA:
Chris Paige, Editor and Publisher of TransFaith Online
Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls , founding pastor of Unity Fellowship Church in Charlotte, N.C.,
and Bishop, Unity Fellowship Church Movement
Bernie Schlager, Executive Director, CLGS, and Faculty, PSR
Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, IWR and Faith Work Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Open Reports, and Connections Made in work groups.

5:10 PM - 5:50 PM 
Time of personal sharing, worship and reflection   / at PSR Chapel

Sacred Space / Faith Expression 6
Rev. Dawn Roginski  (A Different Communion)
Open for other Expressions of Faith and Testimony.


 There will be lots of extra features this year that you will find spiritually uplifting!


Click here for Travel and Lodging information.


                                           Partner Events:

California Gathering of Gender Non-Conforming Jews

Friday, November 2 - through - Sunday, November 4, 2012

A gathering of transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, and gender non-conforming Jews, presented by Nehirim, the largest national provider of programming for the LGBTQI Jewish community, partners and allies and one of the co-sponsors of the Summit.  This event will start on Friday November 2 and continue through Sunday November 4. Organized by Rabbi David Dunn Bauer of Nehirim, with the support of Rabbi Reuben Zellman of Congregation Beth El, Noach Dzmura, Director of Jewish Transitions, and Coordinator of the East Bay Transgender Chevra, and Kadin Henningsen from Los Angeles. This being the first gathering of its kind, some sessions will address Jewish trans concerns exclusively, but the Gathering will also participate actively in some sessions that address wider issues facing all faith communities.

Featured Speaker:
Our featured speaker is Joy Ladin, the David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. She is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. Joy is the author of five books of poetry, including, most recently, Psalms and Coming to Life.

For more information contact:
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer at david@nehirim.org


Gathering of Gender Non-Conforming Muslims

Friday, November 2, 2012

A gathering of transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, and gender non-conforming Muslims is in the planning stages. Presented by Starr King School  for the Ministry of the Graduate Theological Union.  The contact person for this event is Noach Dzmura, Executive Assistant to the Provost. 

For more information contact Ibrahim Farajaje via his assistant, Noach Dzmura at: NDzmura@sksm.edu 

 Co-sponsored by:
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion (PSR), Light In the Closet Ministries, Starr King School for the Ministry of the Graduate Theological Union, and Nehirim.

TGRLSummit2012Sessions.PDF1.54 MB