Open & Affirming Conference

We are proud and excited that FCC is hosting this conference. Throughout the day, speakers and workshop sessions will focus on healing divides among people and building the “beloved community” that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke about. Read below to learn about two featured presenters, their workshops, and a wonderful closing session planned for that day.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Paula Stone Williams from Lyons, Colorado is an internationally known speaker on gender equity and LGBTQ advocacy.  She is the Pastor of Preaching and Worship at Left Hand Church in Longmont, Colorado. Paula has been featured in the New York TimesTEDWomenTEDxMileHigh, the Denver PostNew ScientistRadio New ZealandThe New York PostNPR and Colorado Public Radio. Paula’s recent TED talk with her son, Jonathan, has had over one million views, and her TEDxMileHigh talk on gender equity has had over 1.8 million views.

Freeing the Creative Spirit with James Crews: In this generative writing workshop, participants will use numerous prompts to explore how the act of creativity can become a part of daily spiritual practice. Crews will offer opportunities to write and share, letting intuition guide participants toward insights that allow the creative spirit to emerge in each of us and bring us closer together. James Crews is the author of two poetry collections, The Book of What Stays and Telling My Father. He is also the editor of an anthology, Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection.

 Growing Community Through Kindness with Brad Peacock: Workshop participants will explore how human connection can help us all become more present and thus kinder in our daily lives. Through discussion and storytelling, attendees will uncover practices that keep us grounded and grateful for the natural world and the communities we create – by reconnecting with each other. Brad Peacock is a Veteran, Organic Farmer and Former U.S. Senate Candidate from Vermont whose passion is to bring people closer to one another and the natural world.

Healing the Divide’s Closing Session will feature poetry readings by James Crews and songs performed by NH Gay Men’s Chorus.

If you are interested in volunteering, please speak to one of the committee members. A sign-up sheet will also be posted on the office window during the month of March.

Look for registration information on the NH Conference website or directly by clicking here and at FCC.

We hope that you’ll join us on April 6th.

Open and Affirming Committee

Kathy Alger, Bruce Attridge, Jeanine Finefrock, Jeffrey Frye, Karen Hawver, John Rowe, Kathy Rowe, Bridget Thornton, and Carol Soucy, Chair

The Open and Affirming Committee and our faith community were saddened by the recent passing of our valued friend and committee member Michael Pugh. He shared his passion for education, inclusion, and volunteer service here at FCC and through his teaching at UNH-Manchester.