Come join us at one of our monthly gatherings.

An Interactive Meditation

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Washington Street United Methodist Church, Columbia


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? What gift would you like to receive from the Creator?

The Transgender Community

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church, Columbia


Panel Discussion


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

Planning Session

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shandon Presbyterian Church, Columbia


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.

Bullying in South Carolina Public Schools

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

College Place United Methodist Church, Columbia


Senator Phil P. Leventis, District 35 - Lee and Sumter Counties

Dottie Cronise, Liason to the LGBTQ 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.

Film and Discussion


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church, Columbia


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 LGBTQ 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.

City of Columbia Police Department


Tuesday, July 27, 2011

Reformation Lutheran Church, Columbia


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


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

Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ Bill


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Columbia


The Reverend Mark Kiyimba, Unitarian Universalist Pastor from Uganda and Outspoken Critic of Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ 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-LGBTQ 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.

Irmo High School's Gay/Straight Alliance


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Washington Street United Methodist Church, Columbia


Stephen Freedman, Founder of the Irmo High School Gay/Straight Alliance

Gloria Talcove, Faculty Sponsor 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.

Bulletproof Faith


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jubilee! Circle United Church of Christ, Columbia


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).

Christian Educators and Ministers Discuss Faith and Sexual Orientation


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Columbia College


Panel Discussion

Sponsored by Columbia College Diversity Committee


The panelists were George Gainor, deacon at a non-denominational church; Dr. Roni Pruitt, director of 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.