Hear Me! Stand With Me! LGBTQ+ in the Abrahamic Traditions
Join us in hearing and standing with members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are people of faith active in their Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. More communities will be represented in future sessions.
Racism and prejudice harm people of many groups and divide us from one another. Often, we don’t fully appreciate the challenges that various groups are facing and so fail to work together for our common good.
Hear Me! Stand With Me! is an opportunity to hear the struggles of many groups through story, poetry, music and art, and learn what it means to stand with that group to create a better life for all of us.
We are all in this together and our future are inseparably bound up with one another.
Each webinar will feature:
• Hearing some of the lived experience of people harmed by racism and prejudice
• Learning what we can all do to stand with them
• A presentation on what it means to be an active partner
• Breakout sessions to reflect together
• A breakout session to get connected to leaders of each group
We began this series with African American and Indigenous communities, and we look forward to continuing it with other marginalized communities as we co-create future opportunities.
This event is sponsored by Northwest Interfaith, Paths to Understanding, Interfaith Community Sanctuary, Call of Compassion Northwest & St. Patrick Church
Shelly F. Cohen (she/her) is a long-time member and past president of Temple Beth Am in Seattle. She is also a member of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, a policy-development and leadership body of the Reform Jewish Movement in North America. She has been involved in numerous social justice efforts over the years, especially involving LGBTQ+ rights. Her happy place is at the intersection of Judaism and queerness, where she can express both identities without friction or fear.
Pastor Laura Harris-Ferree is originally from Ohio and grateful to be living in the great state of Washington! Pastor Laura serves as the pastor of Outreach and Community at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in the Broadview neighborhood of Seattle. This congregation is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Pastor Laura has been ordained for one year and is excited to see where ministry might lead!
If Pastor Laura isn’t at the church you might find them spending time with their spouse, Kate, or black cat Jurgen.
Roy A. Hamrick, is a long-term Seattle resident and has been an active member of both the local Jewish and LGBT communities for over 30 years. He has served as a member of and in a variety of volunteer positions for numerous nonprofit and religious organizations in the Seattle area, including Temple De Hirsch Sinai, the Pride Foundation, MultiFaith Works, the Greater Seattle Business Association, Temple Beth Am and the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. He is a long-term board officer of Congregation Tikvah Chadashah, Seattle’s LGBT Jewish chavurah. Roy was born in San Francisco in 1951 and is a graduate, with honors, from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is founder and an owner of Hamrick Investment Counsel, a Seattle based investment management firm. He and his life partner, Stephen, met square dancing in the basement of Pilgrim Congregational Church, and they have been together now for over 25 years.
Ameera Khan is a Bengali-American Muslimah whose Islam is informed by personal experience, theological training in the completion of her Hifz, or memorization of the Quran, and progressive Muslim perspectives. She is informed by Sunni, Sufi, anti-patriarchal, and liberation theology-oriented traditions within Shari’a, Quran, Hadith, and Islamic History. She joined the Muslim Youth Leadership Council as a Youth activist in 2018 to learn how empowered queer and transgender Muslims are reclaiming their narrative across the country. She is also an active member of the El-Tawhid Juma Circle Unity Mosque based out of Toronto, and she co-founded the Madison branch of ETJC. In her professional life, she works as a DevOps engineer at Carrot Health in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.
El-Farouk Khaki (he/him) is a lawyer whose practice since 1993 focuses on refugee claims based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression & HIV. He is a co-owner of the Glad day Bookshop, the world’s oldest LGBTIQ bookshop. He is an activist, public speaker, writer, author & media commentator on: Islam, LGBTIQ/human rights, refugees, politics, racism, HIV, & queer Parenting. El-Farouk is the founder of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community (1991), and co-founder & imam of el-Tawhid Juma Circle: The Unity Mosque (2009). He is ordained as a Reverend & officiates marriage for all orientations and genders. He is featured in a biopic ‘The Accidental Activist’ by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drjBVKhiOfs&t=784s ) and is a TedX speaker (We Resist. A Queer Muslim Perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXydVaieYdo&t=708s) His awards include the “Excellence in Spirituality” Award – Pride Toronto (2006) and the Community One Steinert & Ferreiro Award. In 2020, he was inducted into the Arquives National Portrait Collection. El-Farouk’s writings include Writings include a children’s book titled “Moondragon in the Mosque Garden” co-authored with Troy Jackson. (https://www.flamingorampant.com/books/moondragon-in-the-mosque-garden).He is currently working on a book exploring Islam, intersectional identities, global issues, sexuality, refugees, social justice and spirituality.
Gary Southerton is currently the pastor of Broadview Community United Church of Christ in North Seattle and has been serving in this capacity for the past five years. Gary is a native of Seattle and grew up in the Phinney Ridge/Greenwood neighborhood. He was ordained a Catholic priest in Seattle in 1988 by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. He transferred his ordination to the United Church of Christ in 2011. He has over 30 years of experience in pastoral care and non-profit management in the secular arena as well as in the church as a pastor. He holds degrees from the University of Washington, Columbia University and The Catholic University of America. He lives near Green Lake with his husband David Isla. His hobbies include walking, downhill skiing, attending theater and dance programs and reading.
Pastor Jermell Witherspoon is a native Seattleite. Jermell Pastors Liberation United Church of Christ, Everett United Church of Christ, and works for a non-profit called Zeno math. Pastor Jermell is passionate about bringing the Unwavering, unfailing, inclusive love of God to the world, starting with his community. Jermell has been actively in ministry for over ten years, and at 31 years old, is passionate and eager to draw others to a safe and loving community, within a radically gracious creator. Is a graduate of Seattle University, from which he earned a Master of Theology in Pastoral Studies. Pastor Witherspoon is dedicated to expanding his knowledge and spirituality through study, but more so, through relationship with God’s beloved, all of humanity! Jermell believes in the power of God and honors ALL the various spiritual journeys that draw God’s people closer to the bosom of God. An effective communicator of God’s Word; a passionate orator; Pastor Jermell is widely known for his practical and dynamic teaching style which opens the minds of God’s people, helping them to seek their own truths surrounding scripture, and spirituality. Jermell also is deeply steeped in community work; Works to train teachers on how to effectively teach minoritized students math; has worked for several non-for profits; serves on community boards for equity and inclusion and is dedicated to THE WORK, in and out of the pulpit. Pastor Jermell Holds tight to our obligation as humans to love one another, across and within our many differences including but not limited to, racial, economical, religious, gender, sexuality, etc. Pastor Jermell believes sincerely that the heart of God lies in the multiplicities of its work, and our ability to honor EVERYONE’S seat at “The Table”.
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