Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary



The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Peterson
Professor of New Testament and Coordinator of Internships
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary


The Bible and the Church in Support of Same-Gender Marriage

Despite the Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage rights (and in response to it), the rhetoric in opposition continues to assume and assert that there is one clear and unified “biblical” position on gay marriage. Those who oppose it (recently, most visibly in Rowan County, Kentucky) are lauded as standing up for “biblical principles.” Such arguments not only need to be challenged broadly on the basis of civic rights, but also (and perhaps especially) need to be challenged from within the church and from the very biblical tradition that they claim to represent.

Dr. Peterson explored some biblical texts and themes that provide a perspective different from the standard texts that tend to end up on signs at anti-gay rallies. Click here to read Dr. Peterson's presentation.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015


St. Luke's Episcopal Church


Panel Discussion

Talking Together III
A Continuation of Our Conversations on Racism

Working on issues of race and injustice is similar to tending a garden. First the soil is tilled. Then the seeds are planted. In order to enjoy the harvest, however, much watering and care must take place. The Openings June and July meetings allowed us to till the soil. Now we are ready to plant the seeds in preparation for our harvest. At this gathering we continued this important dialogue. Small group discussions were held with summary and questions and answers following.



Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Reformation Lutheran Church


Panel Discussion

Talking Together II
How to Plan a Workshop on Dismantling Racism Through Building Trusting Relationships

A presentation and discussion on a recent workshop on racism facilitated by Pastor Tim Bupp from Reformation Lutheran Church and Pastor Leroy Cannon from Christ Mission Church with workshop participants from both churches, both Reconciling in Christ congregations. Discussion and questions and answers followed.

As a follow-up to Openings May meeting, the tragedy in Charleston losing the Mother Emmanuel Nine, and the subsequent lowering of the Confederate battle flag from the State House grounds, Reformation and Christ Mission churches presented information on a recent workshop that explored what separates us and what can bring us together and discussed experiences with racism, the power systems present in our society, and the skills needed to interrupt old patterns and dismantle racism in our community.



Tuesday, May 26, 2015


St. Martin's-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church


Panel Discussion

Racism (Talking Together I)

Panelists representing different points of view including religious, activist, law enforcement, and public policy presented information on issues of racism. What is the role and responsibility of the faith community in improve race relations? Why is Sunday the most segregated day in the country? Why are Blacks disproportionately profiled, arrested, and imprisoned? Discussion and questions and answers followed.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Washington Street United Methodist Church


Panel Discussion

Transgender 101

A presentation and discussion by members and advocates within the transgender community. The presentation included information, terminology, facts versus myths, and advice on how to be supportive of the transgender community. Discussion and questions and answers followed.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Shandon Presbyterian Church


Panel Discussion

Reports and Inspirations from the Creating Change Conference

A panel of some of the South Carolina delegates to the 2015 Creating Change Conference in Denver discussed what they learned from the conference and how that information will impact SC. Creating Change is sponsored by the National LGBTQ Task Force. The 27th National Conference on LGBT Equality had nearly 4,000 people from all over the country attend the five-day program that featured over 390 workshops, training sessions, meetings and events. Approximately 30 delegates attended from SC. The panelists included:

Jennifer Tague, Ambassador from SAGE (Service and Advocacy for Gay Elders)
Lester Franzen, The Harriet Hancock LGBT Center
Petie Bradley, President, South Carolina Gay + Lesbian Business Guild
Ann Willbrand, SC Equality



Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Reformation Lutheran Church


Panel Discussion

Big Upcoming Topics for 2015

The following panelists addressed some of the big topics for 2015 with insightful introductory updates and comments. Group discussion followed. The panelists and their topics were:

Legislative: Jeff Ayers, Chair, SC Equality: Updates on projected legislation affecting the LGBTQ community and what responses are needed.
Politics: Bruce Lawrence, Former Pink Party Co-chair and Founder of Strategic Cents, Fundraiser for Non-profits and Political Campaigns: Local and state prospects for gay and/or gay-friendly candidates; who and how to support them?
Progressive Agenda: Wayne Borders, Progressive Network: What are the big issues - race, race/law enforcement, others - and how can the LGBTQ community support them?
Religion: Rev Tom Summers, United Methodist Clergyperson: Overall updates from the denominations; reaching out to more churches; what's next in Marriage Equality?

2014 Openings Gatherings


2013 Openings Gatherings


2012 Openings Gatherings


2011 Openings Gatherings


2010 Openings Gatherings