Raising Lazarus workshop to explore empowering LGBTIQ students through Campus Ministry

May 15, 2014
By: 
Episcopal Young Adult and Campus Ministries

Today’s guest blogger, the Rev. Cameron Partridge, serves as counselor to Episcopal/Anglican students at Harvard Divinity School, where he studied for his Masters in Divinity and Doctorate in Theology. Rev. Partridge now lectures at Harvard on both liturgical topics and those relating to gender and sexuality. He has also led congregations at Boston University and Christ Church in Cambridge, Mass.

As the academic year draws to a close, the predictable stressors of university life have reared their heads: final papers, exams, projects, labs. Everyone is some version of stressed out and/or sick. And while many can’t wait for the long stretch of summer break, I know all too many who are terrified.

By and large these folks are LGBTIQ young adults headed home to families and friends who are unaware, uncomfortable, or unsupportive of the student’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In many cases religious traditions — Christianity in particular – are an active ingredient in this explosive mix.

These are the kinds of scenarios that Episcopal campus ministers shared last summer in Chicago when we met in several breakout groups at the national “Shared Space” conference. Whether we minister on progressive or conservative campuses, in red or blue states, students often come out as LGBTIQ in college (even as increasing numbers do in high school).

Even in an era of increasing, unprecedented openness to LGBTIQ people, students coming out as LGB and especially as T—as trans* – continue to experience profound spiritual trauma. As campus ministers shared their experiences last year, several of us decided to create a forum to expand this discussion. We wanted create a space to explore how campus ministries can – and already do – serve LGBTIQ students. We asked:

  • How can campus ministries connect with and support LGBTIQ centers on campus, on campuses that have such spaces?
  • Where no such centers exist on campus, how can campus ministries create LGBTIQ empowering spaces?
  • How might we welcome LGBTIQ students and empower them to claim the faith that truly is their own, to set them alight as agents of transformation in the Church and the world?

To make this happen, leadership of Integrity USA and the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Boston Universityhave joined forces to create the two-day workshop “Raising Lazarus: Empowering LGBTIQ Students through Campus Ministries.” With the support of a program grant from The Episcopal Church’s Office for Young Adult and Campus Ministries, we are bringing together campus and young adult ministers to explore the above questions and to learn strategies for:

  • Pastoral care and resiliency development amid spiritual trauma,
  • Development of liturgies that speak to and empower LGBTIQ people, and
  • Sharing the resources of new queer and trans* theologies

All this we seek to do in the spirit of Lazarus who came out from the tomb, was unbound in community, and set free.

When: June 19th and 20th
Where: the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Boston University, 40 Prescott Street, Brookline, MA & Boston’s Buckminster Hotel

 

For information regarding registration or other queries, contact Sam Peterson at the Integrity USA office, Sam@Integrityusa.org, 919.413.7492 (text or call).

CONTACT:
The Rev. Shannon Kelly
Staff Officer for Young Adult and Campus Ministries

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