Vigil planned for Tri-Cities

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The Pride Community Center of the Tri-Cities will hold a candlelight vigil for marriage equality on April 27, 7:30 p.m., at Founders Park, 125 Lamont St.

Organizers want to lend their hand in showing solidarity for marriage equality across the U.S. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on LGBT marriage equality on April 28.


MCC to hold virtual retreat

SARASOTA, Fla. — Metropolitan Community Churches will hold a virtual leadership mentoring retreat from May 11-15 from 12-5 p.m. EDT.

This cyberspace pilot program is being held to provide training to those who were unable to travel to previous retreats. Its format will be identical to in-person events.

Topics will cover volunteerism, leadership style, service and call to governance or ministry and more. Participants will learn about the relationship between the local church ministries and the denominational/movement goals, organizers shared.

Fellowship moderator, Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson will preach during the retreat through a virtual worship.

Joining Wilson for the training will be Rev. Elder Don Eastman (retired), Dr. Robert Griffin (senior minister, MCC, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Stan Kimer (consultant, from the Triangle) and Rev. Elder Mona West, Ph.D. (director of MCC’s Office of Formation and Leadership Development).

Leadership Mentoring Retreat 1 is required for the LEAD Program and there are plans for a second level option. This first retreat is a must for those who wish to attend the second level.

Application is due by May 1 and should be submitted to Space is limited to 18 participants. An application process is required. Cost for the retreat is $100. Complete details, including IT requirements are available on the application.


Convention date announced

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — PFLAG will hold its national convention from Oct. 16-18 at the Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel, 600 Marriott Dr., in Nashville, Tenn.

Early-bird registration has now been extended through April 30. Rates are $150/member, $225/non-member, $150/student and $150/presenter.

The convention will be chocked full of workshops and plenary sessions. An awards ceremony will take place at the luncheon held at the end of the event.

Educational sessions are broken up into three tracks: back to basics (foundation fundamentals), from the frontlines (transformation and activism) and PFLAG next (tackling inclusive issues).

Awards are presented to chapters who are engaged in “outstanding work to futher PFLAG’s three-part mission that includes support, education and advocacy.” Nominations will be accepted through May 30 online.

No convention is complete without the support of sponsors at various levels. Contact Stephanie K. Blackwood at to learn more.

Attendees will be able to explore the Volunteer State, such as the Music City’s Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, a replica of the Parthenon and more. Country music devotees will find a plethora of options, including the famed Blue Bird Cafe. Just a few short hours away, one can have fun at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge or head west to Memphis to visit Graceland. Tennessee is rich in history and has other options for travelers.

Room rate is $129 per night. Deadline for the special rate is Sept. 23. Reservations can be made online at


Park service releases report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rainbow Heritage Network has announced that the National Park Service has released a document that explains how to engage with the LGBTQ Heritage Initiative nationwide.

Ways include sharing information about places important to one’s community, spreading the word, visiting historic places and writing nominations or nomination amendments for the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks programs. Suggestions include links to supporting information and examples.

Public involvement in the initiative is critical to its success.

The network is a partner of the initiative.

To download the document, visit


Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes:

Share your news with us
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.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.