Durham News: Community

Chapel Hill church to hold LGBTQI workshop this weekend

United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., will host a workshop this weekend on LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Intersex) concerns for congregations in the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ.

The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, executive director for the UCC Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy, and Andy Lang, executive director of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns, will lead the workshops and forums beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 5.

In addition, Schuenemeyer will discuss LGBTQI concerns around the globe, moving from advocacy to action, during a forum in the church’s Assembly Hall at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Schuenemeyer has represented the United Church of Christ in advocating for greater faith-based participation and resources in response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the U.S. and throughout the world. He has also represented the United Church of Christ in dialogue with the Boy Scouts of America about changes in their policies. He is also one of the faith representatives on news shows and other media formats when LGBT concerns are featured. For example, he was one of the people interviewed on PBS Newshour following the Supreme Court ruling in June 2013.

Lang has 18 years of experience as a communications professional in the United Church of Christ. He was a daily newspaper reporter and a Congressional public-relations specialist in Washington, D.C., before moving to Cleveland to join the UCC’s national communications staff in 1993. He built the UCC’s first churchwide website at ucc.org in 1994 and led the church’s national web ministry until 2004. He has been the coalition’s executive director since April 2011: in that capacity, he leads the UCC’s Open and Affirming Program. His passion is to reach the nearly 4,000 UCC congregations that have not yet adopted an ONA covenant. He is a member of Plymouth UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

The United Church of Christ, headquartered in Cleveland, has a long history of affirming and working for equal rights for LGBTQ persons. The UCC is a mainline Protestant denomination of 1.1 million members and more than 5,000 local congregations.