City-based branch of Lutheran church to host online day of discussions around LGBTQ community, race and more

MNYS Float
Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan New York Synod

A local branch of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) is hosting a day-long pride event online this weekend.

The Metropolitan New York Synod, a radically inclusive, LGBTQAI+ friendly, branch of the ELCA, announced their new Queer & Faithful initiative in celebration of Pride Month. On Saturday, June 27, the synod will stream a day of conversations, advocacy and more on Facebook Live.

The day will kick off at 10 am. with a beginner’s introduction to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression language and terminology using resources from Reconciling Works, with Christopher Vergara, MNYS Advocacy Taskforce Chair, followed by a drag story time at 11 a.m. with Coco Taylor, reads some inspiring books about celebrating differences and inclusion. At 12 p.m., Bishop Paul Egensteiner, will speak with Bishop Kevin Strickland, of the South Eastern Synod, and Bishop Guy Erwin (TBC), of Southwest California Synod (who was recently featured in the new season of Netflix’s “Queer Eye”), about their personal journeys of being queer & faithful.

At 1 p.m., viewers can learn about Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries with Executive Director, The Rev. Amanda Gerken-Nelson, and MNYS Proclaimers The Rev. Kelsey Brown and The Rev. Mark Erson, in a conversation moderated by the Metro New York Synod Candidacy Coordinator, The Rev. Becca Seely. At 2 p.m., Assistant to the Bishop The Rev. Kevin Vandiver will moderate a conversation about the intersection of queer and BIPOC identities with Rev. Brown and activist/artist Andy Jean.

At 3 p.m. The Rev. Heidi Neumark, author and Executive Director of Trinity Place Shelter, and The Rev. Emily M. D. Scott, church planter and author of “For All Who Hunger,” will discuss their experiences in serving queer communities in a conversation moderated by Alex Lawrence, Administrative Director of Trinity Services and Food for the Homeless. This discussion will be followed at 4 p.m. by a conversation with The Rev. Nicole Garcia, first publicly-identified trans Latina pastor of the ELCA, and MNYS Sanctuary/AMMPARO Ministry Coordinator, The Rev. Fabián Arias about the crossroads of queer identity in immigrant communities, moderated by Assistant to the Bishop Roberto Lara.

At 5 p.m. younger queer voices from the synod, including Rev. Brown, The Rev. Analyse Triolo, Assistant to the Bishop Roberto Lara, and Alex Lawrence, will discuss what work that lies ahead for the queer community and the church, moderated by The Rev. Jared Stahler. The event will conclude with a worship service at 7 p.m. with Bishop Egensteiner, presiding, and Rev. Garcia, preaching.

For more information, visit the Metro New York Synod’s Facebook page or Facebook event.