2011 Gatherings



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Washington Street United Methodist Church

An Interactive Meditation

Rev. Steve Earl led participants through a process to select photographs that spoke to them and answered the questions: What gift would you like to give to the creation and/or Creator? and What gift would you like to receive from the Creator?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church


Panel Discussion


The Transgender Community

Members of the transgender community shared their personal journeys and told how people of faith can be supportive of transgender people.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shandon Presbyterian Church


Rev. Steve Earl and Ben Bullock led a planning session to further develop Openings' mission and determine appropriate action items to focus the energy of Openings and the faith community.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

College Place United Methodist Church


Phil P. Leventis
Senator, District 35 - Lee and Sumter Counties
Dottie Cronise
Liason to the GLBT Community, Richland County Sheriff's Department
School Resource Officers from Local School Districts

Senator Leventis, Ms. Cronise, and the school resource officers discussed "Bullying in South Carolina Public Schools and What's Being Done to Stop It!" including Senator Leventis' sponsoring Senate Bill 566, "Definitions of Safe Schools Acts," which seeks to improve South Carolina's anti-bullying policy, and Senate Bill 528, the Teen Dating Violence Bill.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church

Film and Panel Discussion

8: The Mormon Proposition

Christian K. Anderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina
Christine Johnson
Executive Director, South Carolina Equality
Ashley Miller
Human Rights Campaign Staff in California during the Proposition 8 Campaign

Following the showing of this documentary, a scorching indictment of the Mormon Church's involvement in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8 and the Mormon religion's secretive, decades-long campaign against GLBT human rights, the panel discussed their experiences with the Mormon Church and its influence in the State of Utah legislature and in the Proposition 8 campaign.


Tuesday, July 27, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church


Inspector Catherine Hartley
Jeri Steedley
Sergeant Shannon Williams
City of Columbia, SC, Police Department

Representatives from the City of Columbia Police Department discussed the role of high school resource officers and their interaction with LGBT students and how Chief Randy Scott is affirming LGBT police officers and other LGBT employees within the department.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia


The Reverend Mark Kiyimba
Unitarian Universalist Pastor from Uganda and Outspoken Critic of Uganda's Anti-LGBT Legislation

Rev. Kiyimba spoke about legislation that would mandate harsh penalties, including life imprisonment or even death, for being homosexual or for protecting homosexuals in Uganda. While the anti-LGBT bill recently moved on and off the Ugandan Parliament’s agenda and the legislative session closed without a vote, it could still be debated and voted on by the next Parliament. A portion of the documentary Homosexuality, the Last Taboo in Africa was shown, and an offering was taken to support Rev. Kiyimba's work in Uganda.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Washington Street United Methodist Church


Gloria Talcove
Faculty Sponsor of the Irmo High School Gay/Straight Alliance
Stephen Freedman
Founder of the Irmo High School Gay/Straight Alliance
Christine Johnson
Executive Director, South Carolina Equality

Gloria and Stephen told the story of the formation of the Irmo High School Gay/Straight Alliance, and Christine discussed the future of gay/straight alliances in South Carolina.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jubilee! Circle United Church of Christ


The Reverend Candace Chellew-Hodge
Pastor, Jubilee! Circle United Church of Christ

Rev. Chellew-Hodge discussed developing a bulletproof faith, based on her book Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians (Jossey-Bass, 2008).


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Columbia College


Panel Discussion


Christian Educators and Ministers Discuss Faith and Sexual Orientation
Sponsored by Columbia College Diversity Committee

The panelists were George Gainor, deacon at non-denominational church; Dr. Roni Pruitt, director of D.Min. in member care and counseling program at Columbia International University; Jennifer Spears, pastor in training at Garden of Grace United Church of Christ; Rev. Tom Summers, retired United Methodist minister and former chaplain at South Carolina State Hospital and William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute; Rev. Diana Westerkam, retired United Methodist minister and former associate minister at Washington Street United Methodist Church; and Rev. Nicky Wilson, director of youth, teens and young adult ministry at Brookland Baptist Church.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary



The Reverend Dr. Daryl S. (Tony) Everett
Dewey F. Beam Professor of Pastoral Care, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

Dr. Everett discussed the Training and Education of Future Pastors for GLBT Issues - What Students Do Learn, Could Learn, Should Learn. A forum followed his presentation.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church


Christine Johnson
Executive Director, South Carolina Equality

Christine discussed how faith-based organizations can be partners in supporting the civil and human rights of South Carolina’s GLBT community.