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Ministry and Liturgy for Same-Gender-Loving Couples

Friday, September 27, 2013

9:00 AM

Lifelong Learning
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Because of a generous grant from the Carpenter Foundation we are able to reduce the registration fee for this workshop to $25. Register today and tell your friends!

Date: September 27
Registration Fee: $75 $25
Registration Deadline: September 17

Register by Mail

While debate continues in some faith communities as to the appropriateness or permissibility of religious blessing of same-sex couples’ unions, many faith communities have for years embraced the love of all couples who understand themselves to be called to a spiritual union. Few ministers, however, have had the opportunity to learn about providing pastoral support and inspirational liturgy for same-sex couples. Without such training, they borrow from methods they learned for opposite-sex couples, sometimes in ways that are effective, and sometimes in ways that undercut the significant obstacles same-sex couples continue to face. In this day-long workshop participants will be introduced to methods and resources that will enable them to minster effectively and faithfully with same-sex couples as they consider and prepare for marriage or the blessing of their union.

Schedule:
9:30 Registration and snacks
10:00-10:15 Welcome
10:15-12:15 Session 1
12:15-1:00 Lunch
1:00-4:00 Session 2
4:00  Closing

Snacks and lunch included.

Workshop Leaders:

The Rev. Dr. Leanne McCall Tigert and the Rev. Maren C. Tirabassi are the co-authors of All Those Whom God Has Joined: Resources for Clergy and Same-Gender Loving Couples.

Rev.  Dr. Leanne McCall Tigert Leanne is a Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist in Concord, New Hampshire, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, adjunct faculty in Pastoral Care and Counseling at Andover Newton Theological School, hospice chaplain, and a minister in the United Church of Christ. She has authored and co-authored several books and articles addressing concerns of sexuality and religion.

imageMaren is a prolific writer, having authored seventeen other books. Most recent is Gifts in Open Hands, More Worship Resources for the Global Community and forthcoming is From the Psalms to the Cloud – Prayer for a Digital Age. Ordained in the United Church of Christ she has served congregations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for thirty-five years. A facilitator for a wide range of programs for the New Hampshire Humanities Council and a former Poet Laureate of Portsmouth NH, she travels throughout the country leading writing workshops on creative liturgy, poetry and memoir.


The focus of the morning session is to gain clear insight into the pastoral needs of same-gender loving couples as they enter into covenanted couple relationships, whether that of marriage, civil union, and/or religious covenant. Beginning with an understanding of the changing institution and multiple meanings of marriage, we will develop awareness and skills to address the present day needs and realities of LGBTQ identified persons and couples with whom we minister.

The focus of the afternoon session is to develop skills in developing liturgies for same gender / LGBT couples. Working with a couple on their liturgy is a part of healing the past and hoping the future. The dangers of mechanical transposition on one hand or dated "faddiness" on the other are very real. There are additional liturgy needs as well -- family reconciliations being one of the most significant. Prayers at the time of divorce and liturgical acknowledgement of separation are also important since same-gender couples often receive more criticism than others when their marriages fail. During this more practical resource-building time a range of practical matters -- from invitation lists to program notes that quickly put those at ease for whom this may be their first same-gender ceremony to Sunday congregational blessings of couples who have been married the day before or who have had civil ceremonies.

This workshop is one of a series of practical ministry workshops offered by Andover Newton throughout the year. Workshop participants will receive 6 Sabbath Hours in recognition of their continuing learning. To apply for Sabbath Hour complete the Reflection Form that will be provided at the workshop..

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