Imani Metropolitan Community Church will install Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Jr. as its new minister.

Updated Feb. 28, 2018

St. John’s MCC installs clergy

RALEIGH, N.C. —St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church will hold an installation service for Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Jr. on Feb. 24, 2 p.m., at 622 Maywood Ave.

A reception will follow at the church. Clergy in attendance are invited to wear their traditional vestments and join in the procession. An RSVP is being requested via email to or by calling 919-834-2611.

A community dinner will follow at 5:30 p.m. at the Golden Corral off S. Saunders St.


Imani MCC celebrates clergy

DURHAM, N.C. —Imani Metropolitan Community Church begins the month of March with several celebratory events.

On March 3, 7:30 p.m., at AMF Durham Lanes, 4508 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd., the church will hold a bowling celebration to honor the fifth anniversary of Pastor Marilyn Bowens’ tenure. Participants can enjoy fun, food and fellowship throughout the evening.

Then the next day, the church continues the celebration with its “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” worship service at 10 a.m., at 3602 C-View St. Johnika Johnson-Perry will serve as guest Psalmist and Rev. Annie Ross will be the guest preacher. All members and friends are being asked to bring a special monetary love offering for the pastor. This offering will be taken up separately during the service. A potluck dinner will follow.


UNC hosts speaker series

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The LGBT Center and Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present their Biracial Multiracial LGBQ Undergraduate Student Leader Experiences Speaker Series on Feb. 23, 12 p.m., at the Graduate Student Center.

Bobby Kunstman will be the guest speaker.

The presentation is held to share the stories of five biracial multiracial LGBQ student leaders’ undergraduate experiences at a leading southern university. Through multiple interviews, participants shared stories of their background, educational journey and the impact they hope to have in the future.

Lunch will be served and registration is requested to allow for an accurate head count. Visit to register.

The Graduate Speaker Series is a program of Queer Grads, a collaboration between the LGBTQ Center and the Graduate School’s Program for Diversity & Student Success, with the goal to share the work of graduate and professional students, faculty and local researchers conducting research related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.


Lez music legends on tour

CARRBORO, N.C. — The talents of lesbian legends will be showcased when The Reunion Tour, featuring Cris Williamson, Barbara Higbie and Teresa Trull, make a stop in the Triangle on March 30, 7:30 p.m., at the Carrboro Arts Center, 300-G E. Main St.

Back from New Zealand where she now makes her home, blues/rock vocalist and songwriter Trull joins forces with old friends Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and singer Higbie and singer/songwriter Williamson for an evening of old and new favorites. This concert marks Trull’s return to her North Carolina roots for a short visit.

Tickets are $30 and are available online.


Org ride boosts efforts

CARRBORO, N.C. — Planned Parenthood South Atlantic will hold their Ride for Choice on April 29, 1 p.m., beginning at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.

The afternoon ride is broken up into two options — one that nets 54 miles and one that nets 24 miles. This ride is appropriate for all levels of riders. It is supported by mechanics, support vehicles, rest stops and volunteers and seasoned cyclists.

After pumping the peddles, riders can enjoy beers, bratwurst and other treats at the Carrboro Town Commons. Options for vegetarians and drinks beyond beer will be provided.

Early bird registration at $35 for individuals is now available and teams with at least one new person will receive swag. Sponsorship level tickets range from $250-$750.

For more information, email


Senior expo slated

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Triangle Expo for LGBTQ Aging Adults will be held on June 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Five Points Center for Active Adults, 2000 Noble Rd.

This SAGE Raleigh and Resources for Seniors inaugural sponsored event brings together consumers and providers of vital resources for those who are 50 and older. It connects LGBTQ-affirming healthcare professionals, housing providers, service organizations and others with LGBTQ individuals across the Triangle.

“This Expo will include non-profit service agencies that are aware of the special needs of senior populations and are prepared to handle them,” organizers said.

Admission is free.

For more information or to be part of the event as a contributor, supporter, sponsor, participating agency, exhibitor, guest speaker or volunteer, email


Inclusivity makes it mark with glittered ash

RALEIGH, N.C. — Across the country and here in North Carolina, clergy have created a way to show support to members of the LGBTQ community by sprinkling a dash of glitter into the ash that they use on Glitter + Ash Wednesday in Christian churches during the advent of the Lenten season. The movement to do so was launched by New York-based Parity. It provides support to LGBTQ pastors, as well as offers encouragement to LGBTQ youth so that they can integrate their spiritual, gender and sexual identities, Raleigh News & Observer reported.

One example of that was at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church where Rev. Vance Haywood Jr, who serves as senior pastor, offered this to his worshipers when they came for the imposition of ashes on Feb. 14, the News & Observer shared. The combination of the symbol of the cross, representing the church and smudged in that shape on the forehead, with glitter, representing the LGBTQ community, is an acknowledgment that the two can do more than simply coexist, Haywood told the News & Observer. “The outside world has gotten this view of Christianity that Christ is against the LGBT community. They are one. When Christ died, he died for all people, not just for some.”

Other churches in North Carolina who participated were Parkway United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, Faith Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, along with Christ the King Lutheran in Cary (which provided drive-through imposition to meet the needs of its congregants).


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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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

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.