LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #60: April 29, 2008

This month's news:

  1. LGBT-RAN Moving to Center at Pacific School of Religion
  2. Funding for African American Oral History Project
  3. LGBT-RAN Anniversary Dinner in Philadelphia on May 31
  4. New Profiles Added to Web Site

1.  LGBT-RAN Moving to Center at Pacific School of Religion

As LGBT-RAN completes its sixth year of operation, it is in the process of affiliating with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. CLGS, the largest existing research center on LGBT persons and religion, oversees myriad programs such as Outfront Workshops, the Center for Scholars, Certificate in Sexuality and Religion, a lecture series, a book series, Racial Ethnic Roundtables, and an archive project.  LGBT-RAN adds a valuable component to CLGS' services for scholars and researchers. In turn, LGBT-RAN will benefit from the administrative support of the much larger CLGS staff and operations.

"LGBT-RAN has grown into such a valuable resource for historical study that it now needs an institutional affiliation that will sustain its long-term development," notes LGBT-RAN coordinator Mark Bowman.  "Over the past year LGBT-RAN staff and Advisory Committee members have explored a number of prospective institutional homes for LGBT-RAN.  We concluded that CLGS is the best match for LGBT-RAN at this time."

Because LGBT-RAN's information services are primarily digital, this change will be largely transparent to you. The web site will remain the same. LGBT-RAN will function as it does now with its ongoing projects, activities and staff.  

LGBT-RAN is most grateful for the support of the Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) that dared to be the seed bed of the ideas and dreams that has grown into this major electronic resource on LGBT religious history. The work of CTS faculty and staff and its support as fiscal agent has brought LGBT-RAN to where it is today.

2.  Funding for African American Oral History Project

LGBT-RAN has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Riverside Church Sharing Fund for a pilot project gathering oral histories of African American LGBT religious leaders.  This generous support will allow LGBT-RAN to record and make accessible interviews with 5 or more early African American leaders as part of the larger LGBT-RAN Oral History Project. These interviews will preserve valuable information and stories that otherwise could be lost to the historical record.

The Rev. John Selders will be working with LGBT-RAN staff in implementing this project.  The Advisory Team for this project includes: Steven Fullwood, Joan Martin, Irene Monroe, Emilie Townes, and D. Mark Wilson. You may direct questions and ideas about this project to the LGBT-RAN office.

3.  LGBT-RAN Anniversary Dinner in Philadelphia on May 31

LGBT-RAN friends in the greater Philadelphia area are encouraged to attend LGBT-RAN's Sixth Anniversary Celebration on Saturday night, May 31st, at 6:30 p.m. at the Liacouras Center at Temple University in Philadelphia. The featured speaker will be Rabbi Jacob Staub addressing "The Embrace of LGBT Jews in Reconstructionist Judaism: Sketches from the 1980s."  Also Dr. Heather White will be honored with the 2007-08 LGBT Religious History Award.

Details of the program and location are given at this link. The cost of the dinner is $25. Reservations to be received by May 23rd.  Contact the LGBT-RAN office with any questions. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about LGBT religious history and LGBT-RAN ground-breaking work.

4.  New Profiles Added to Web Site

Profiles of these six leaders of LGBT religious movements have been added to the LGBT-RAN web site in recent weeks:

Roger Corless, Buddhist scholar & leader;
Swami Dhumavati, Hindu practitioner & organizer;
Joseph H. Gilbert, early MCC pastor & leader;
Jim Lokken, one of the founders of Lutherans Concerned;
Jeremy Marks; former ex-gay leader & founder of Courage in the UK; and 
Phillip Zimmerman; archbishop of the Reformed Catholic Church.

More than 200 persons are now included in the LGBT-RAN Profiles Gallery. However, there are hundreds more persons who have played significant roles in LGBT religious movements around the world that should be included here. Please send a bio sketch of yourself or another LGBT religious leader--or names and contact information of persons to invite to submit profiles--to the LGBT-RAN office. Together we can ensure that our voices and stories are preserved for future generations.

The LGBT Religious Archives Network News is an occasional email newsletter for persons interested in supporting the preservation of the history of LGBT religious movements. Subscribe now.