Welcome to Openings

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We are a supportive and welcoming network of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and straight allies coming from diverse spiritual traditions to open hearts, minds, and doors

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Welcoming South Carolina Faith Communities

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April Meeting Details

April 24, 2018

Seven Oaks Presbyterian Church
530 St. Andrews Rd.
Columbia, SC 29210

Meal: 6:00 pm $10 payable in cash at the door

Program: 6:30 pm

~Telling our OWN Stories~

Join Openings members John Evans and Reverend Brenda Kneece as they share stories of their lives and journeys.

John Evans is a Methodist Minister and a Family and Marriage Therapist with a long history of working with the LGBTQ community. He grew up in Sumter in the 1940’s & 50’s when life seemed idyllic and uncomplicated. It was when he moved away that he became more aware of the struggles of others. Educated at Erskine College and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, John served Methodist church parishes for 12 years before starting his counseling practice where he has been helping people for 38 years. He was part of the small group of folks who met for lunch many times in the formative years before Openings was started. As a Founding Member of Openings, he is proud of all the things that our group stands for, and its being a safe place to talk without fear and strategize for LGBTQ affirmation within our churches.

The Rev. Brenda Kneece, a native of Batesburg, has degrees from Winthrop College and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. With the Woman’s Missionary Union, she helped organize the Christian Women’s Job Corps, a ministry designed to help impoverished women move from being unemployable to meaningful work. As a member of Greenlawn Baptist Church in Columbia, Kneece is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina. When she was selected to lead the the South Carolina Christian Action Council in 1999, it was the first time in its 67-year history that a woman was selected to lead the state’s most visible ecumenical organization. She was drawn to the council’s “heart statement,” which advocates, “A loving and just church creating a loving and just society.”

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Welcoming Organizations

Within many faith organizations and religious denominations, there are movements that support full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the life of that community. Most of these inclusive movements are not part of the religious denomination's or faith organization's official structure, but they are working to change policies. In addition, they provide support to LGBTQ persons within their churches.

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