Queer Stories/Sacred Witness

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by Jen Rude, ELM program director

Registration is now open for the 2016 Proclaim Gathering.  This annual gathering is a time for LGBTQ leaders to build community, receive continuing education, worship, play, connect, and renew.  This year on April 10-13, 2016 Proclaim members and their families will gather at beautiful St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista, CA.

2016 gathering logo colorI love the logo for this year’s theme, developed by Proclaim member Katy Wallace. Katy is a seminarian at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary – and a graphic designer.  I love the way all the words mingle and connect. Our stories are queer, they are sacred, and they are a witness.  What is sacred is our stories, our queerness, and our witness.  Our witness is stories, is queer, and is sacred.

This year our speaker Dr. Frank Rogers will be facilitating part of our time together as we mingle and connect with Queer Stories/Sacred Witness. We will have time for personal reflection and contemplation, small group story sharing and listening, and large group sharing and reflection.  We’ll also have time to stay up late singing and laughing with others, or get up early and take a hike through the hills alone.  We’ll worship, pray, learn and grow as individuals and as a community.

Some of the folks who received scholarships for last year's Proclaim Gathering.
Some of the members who received a scholarship for last year’s Proclaim Gathering.

LGBTQ leaders have extraordinary gifts for ministry.  And their witness proclaims the gospel now in our church and world.  The Proclaim Gathering is an opportunity to nurture these gifts and these leaders so their ministry may be grounded, fruitful, faithful, and fabulous.  Sounds like what our church needs!

You can support these leaders by contributing to Proclaim Gathering Scholarships.  We never want finances to be a reason someone can’t attend. Help us invest in our extraordinary leaders! We hope to raise $10,000 to support all who may need a scholarship – we’ve already received one gift for $1,000!


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by Rev. Jen Rude.  Jen remembers her first ELM retreat in 2004 and eating dinner with famous LGBTQ Lutherans she’d only seen in films or read about in the news before.  Eating meals and lingering over table conversation continues to be one her favorite parts about Proclaim Gatherings.  Such wise, interesting, faithful, and hilarious people.  These conversations continue to be a great source of sustenance.  

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