Mon, 23 April 2012
**Note: The interview that aired live was edited due to time constraints. This podcast contains the unedited interview.
The Shower of Stoles- Listening to the Silence: LGBT People of Faith
Twelve years ago Bethany Presbyterian Church and other churches in the Spokane area brought the Shower of Stoles to Spokane. The Shower of Stoles is a collection of over a thousand liturgical stoles and other sacred items from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons from twenty-six denominations in six countries. Each stole contains the story of an LGBT person who is active in the life and leadership of their faith community in some way: minister, elder, deacon, teacher, missionary, musician, administrator or active layperson. The collection celebrates the gifts of LGBT people of faith who serve God in countless ways, while also lifting up those who have been excluded from service or who have served in secret because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Spokane exhibit, representing 200 stoles, was intended to show LGBT Christians that they are loved, respected and important to the church, and to show members of the Christian faith community what they were missing by shunning LGBT individuals. The exhibit included seminars, workshops, and opportunities for conversation and worship.
This year Bethany, with a new set of partners, is bringing the stoles back to Spokane. The exhibit at Bethany will run from April 28 - May 4, with pre-exhibits at Spokane Falls Community College, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University and the Community Building in Downtown Spokane. There will again be workshops, discussions, and opportunities to learn and dialog about creating a welcoming church community, reconciling religion and homosexuality, and how to nurture adolescents in the church who are discovering their sexuality.
My guest was Minister Paul Rodkey, pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church. We discussed the Shower of Stoles Exhibit in Spokane.