Inclusion Shabbat upcoming

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Temple Beth El, 5101 Providence Rd., will hold its annual Inclusion Shabbat on Nov. 15-16.

This year’s focus evolves around being out as a straight ally in the Bible Belt and is sponsored by the congregation’s Keshet (rainbow) Committee, an LGBT advocacy group.

Every year Keshet holds these special services to bring awareness to marginalized communities. In the past they have focused on being an LGBT person within congregational life, disabilities and more.

On Nov. 15, 7 p.m., the sermon will be on the importance of allies in the fight for LGBT civil rights.

The following day from 9-10:30 a.m., a workshop will be held that will focus on issues as they relate to transgender education and inclusion. Presenter will be Marcia Rogers who will relate her personal story through “Being T[rans] or the World of Tall Women and Short Men.”

Beth El says that the workshop provides a tour of the transgender experience, especially as it impacts individuals who are transgender, their families and their careers. Ir provides an overview of the status of transgender persons as currently defined by the psychiatric, medical and legal communities. During the workshop participants will be able to ask questions and there will be a discussion of Jewish resources with Rabbi Judy Schindler. Coffee and bagels will be served. A contribution of $5 is encouraged.


— Lainey Millen

Protest planned at St. Matthew

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina chapter of GetEqual will hold a peaceful protest on Sunday, Nov. 24 outside St. Matthew Catholic Church. The group says it is standing up against anti-LGBT discrimination after the church rescinded its offer to host an interfaith Thanksgiving service. The service was to include a music director, Steav Bates-Congdon, who had been fired by St. Gabriel Catholic Church last year, after he married his male partner.

“This kind of blanket bigotry is sad, and we’re going to call it out publicly in a peaceful protest,” the group said in an event announcement. “We’re going to be gathering outside of St. Matthews to stand up for Steav, but also to show every LGBTQ person in North Carolina that we stand with them, as well. If you’re looking for a place to give thanks and to stand up for LGBTQ equality on the Sunday of Thanksgiving, please join us!”

The interfaith service is a project of Mecklenburg Ministries, which found a new home for its 38th annual event at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

— Matt Comer

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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.