|Looking for gifts? Check out the "Merchandise" page...there are limited quantities of some items.|
Twenty of us met at Deerhaven Campgrounds March 21-23, 2014, for the 3rd annual GALA Retreat, and our theme was Building Bridges in Community. We were representative of Community of Christ, Catholic , Lutheran and Jewish Faiths, and gay, trans and straight allies (of LGBTQ-Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered and Queer folks). GALA stands for gay and lesbian acceptance, and is trans and bisexual friendly. Florida GALA is an affiliate of the National GALA organization, which holds an annual retreat in different parts of the country over Labor Day weekend.
The goals for this Spring retreat were to provide support and education. We are finding how much we have to learn about our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and the community is richly gifted. We started each day with meditational prayer. We shared our journey stories. We had classes on Bridging Cisgender and Transgender ( Cis -gender is what most people experience where their gender identity matches the sex given them at birth, and Trans-gender is where one's self-identified gender does not match one's assigned sex.); and Bridges of Understanding on the new USA same-gender Marriage, Covenant, and Priesthood policies.
We shared fun and laughter in the mixer table dice game George! and doing ethnic line dancing. We watched the movie "A Beautiful Boxer" which helped cisgender people to understand a transgender person's transitional journey. We worshipped by singing songs from our beautiful new hymnal and in a closing Communion service.
We were inspired to be advocates in our local communities in a variety of ways from protesting anti LGBTQ jokes to attending a local PFLAG meeting (Parents, Friends, Families of Lesbians and Gays), to living the Enduring Principles, to participating in local gatherings of Florida GALA. We made plans to bridge from the retreat community to the communities we live in by planning social gatherings in between retreats.
2013 GALA retreat picture
April 19-21, 2013
21 April 2013
USA National Conference Recommends Policy Changes (PDF)
First Presidency and Council of Twelve Will Have to Approve before Implementation
The Community of Christ USA National Conference was held April 19–21. After a three-year consent-building process of study, dialogue, and prayer, members from across the nation gathered at Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, to address two issues: same-sex/gender marriage where legal, and covenant commitment services where marriage is not legal; and ordination of people regardless of sexual orientation. After hearing multiple perspectives, the USA National Conference, by more than the required 67-percent majority, made the following recommendations to the Community of Christ First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles.
The First Presidency and the Council of Twelve will need to approve policy revisions recommended by the USA National Conference. To develop, approve, and implement interim policies can take up to one year. Any policy changes will pertain only to the United States of America. Other nations will continue to abide by existing church policies.
If you are looking for a good movie that is LGBT-friendly, check out the "Movies" link under the "Resources" tab.
Touched by Grace is another wonderful compilation of life stories from members of GALA--members, family, and friends. After months of work collecting stories, reading stories, editing stories, designing covers, finding pictures, the final proof reading and implementing the corrections, the GALA Board and John Whitmer Books is proud to announce Touched by Grace is now available!
Read stories of some of our LGBT sisters and brothers and their allies as they journey in Community of Christ.
If you would like to share your story, please send it to Saundra Merth.