The Witness for LOVE! campaign continues to grow as local communities hold witnesses to show support across Virginia for ending marriage discrimination.
More than a dozen communities have held witnesses since Valentine's Day 2014. We can see stories, photos, videos and news coverage about the witnesses here, including stories about the most recent witness in Leesburg.
Our next Witnesses for LOVE! are at the Arlington courthouse on Friday, April 25 and Hanover County on May 1. See Arlington details here
Witness for LOVE! continues, and you can join us!
2. Find a Witness for LOVE! event.
4. Get on our front page by being a Daily Witnesses for LOVE.
To more widely share our journey in preparing Virginia for equality, POFEV President Robin Gorsline has begun another blog, "Prophesy Now: Speaking Faith to Power," on Tumblr at http://prophesynow.tumblr.com/. Check it out and let us know what you think. And continue to look to our regular blogs featured below: the New Virginia blog that Robin also writes and Voices from New Virginia penned by friends and allies in the movement for equality.
POFEV's campaign for equality for LGBT Virginians is anchored in a broader and deeper mission to create a wider movement for a new Virginia. In our New Virginia Blog we want to share what we experience on that journey and what we see as Virginia moves forward toward becoming a more inclusive and welcoming community.
We also are eager to share with you the wisdom, thoughts, and perspectives of the many different individuals who make up this movement as well. That's why we created a second blog called Voices from New Virginia where we can share with you the vision of others from where they view this work.
Building Change: Inside and Out
by Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsine, POFEV President & CEO
January 6, 2014
The General Assembly of Virginia begins its 60-day session this week on January 8. A few days later, on January 11, the new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General will take office.
It is an exciting time to be in Richmond--and an important time. POFEV will be there (and we hope you will be there, too).
AND, and this is a big AND, we will be all over Virginia organizing for Witness for LOVE on February 14. . . . READ MORE
Good News of Great Joy for ALL the People
by Rev. Steve Hyde, Pastor
Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale
Last Saturday, I officiated at a wedding for two men, Richard and Mark. For me, it was a Peter the Apostle and Cornelius the Centurion moment.
In the 10th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, an angel appears to Cornelius--a Roman centurion--and tells him to summon Peter to his home in Caesarea. Peter is in Joppa, and while the messengers are on their way, the unsuspecting apostle goes up to the rooftop to pray. His message from heaven arrives in a vision, as Peter falls into a trance and is given a clear message that he is not to consider unclean what God considers clean.
Peter’s arrival at the home of Cornelius sets the stage for one of the most dramatic moments in the New Testament. For Peter to step across the doorstep of Cornelius and enter the home of a Gentile is momentous. We might wonder, “So what’s the big deal?” . . . ..READ MORE
Help bring real change to the Commonwealth! Join EV, ACLU, POFEV and other LGBT advocates and allies in Richmond on April 5 to discuss how we can work together to bring about marriage equality, end workplace discrimination, and stop the misuse of religion to discriminate and make Virginia a more welcoming and fair place to live.
We love to help publicize events taking place in or being sponsored by faith communities and faith-based organizations across Virginia that help promote equality and understanding. You can read more about such events your and other communities have held here. If you have events that you would like us to help publicize, please let us know by sending us a message from our contact form here or calling Robin Gorsline at 804-519-3196.
We now have regular clergy lunches in Northern Virginia, the Richmond area, and in Hampton Roads. Recent lunches have included a discussion on the topic "What If My Congregation Isn't Ready"? in Alexandria, a session with Kirsten Bokenkamp of Equality Virginia in Arlington, and get-to-know-one-another sessions in Richmond and Norfolk.
The first two Hampton Roads/Tidewater area lunches were held on November 21 at New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk on January 9 at Hilton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Newport News, the congregation of new POFEV Board member Rev. Terrye Williams.
At the November 21 lunch, we had a wonderful if unexpected celebration. Our host Rev. Mark Byrd (center in picture), newly elected Pastor at New Life MCC was interrupted by the arrival of a team from Old Dominion University to present Mark with this year's "ODU Diversity Champion Award." Read More
At Charlottesville Pride on September 14, Robin Gorsline with Virginia marriage equality plaintiffs Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff and with Mary Ann Archer.
POFEV is organizing and traveling across Virginia to Pride celebrations, congregations, interfaith services, and clergy lunches, with new events scheduled weekly. To learn more about what POFEV is doing each week and when we might be in your community, please check out our Events page. Our Events page also has links to stories about past events of note like Pride Festivals and Interfaith Services.
If you like for POFEV to speak or be a part of an event in your community or congregation, contact Robin Gorsline at revdocrobin[at]gmail.com or use our Contact Us link. Until then, please join us at one of the events we'll have near you!
Doors open at 6:30 pm to the bar and tapas. At 7:30 p.m., this two-time WAMMIE-winning chorus (Best Choral Recording, 2013 and 2014) takes the stage.
We need your support to help more communities Witness for LOVE!
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Recently, POFEV received some very good news . . . . the Laughing Gull Foundation , headquartered in Durham, N.C., awarded us a grant of $10,000 for each of three years beginning in 2013.
Here is part of what Meg Coward, President of the Foundation, said in her message, “the board of the Laughing Gull Foundation enthusiastically approved a grant to POFEV of $10k/yr for 3 yrs. We are all very excited by the possibilities ahead of you, and happy to be a part of this relaunch of POFEV.”
This is the first foundation grant received by POFEV, but President Robin Gorsline says it will not be the last.
“We are most grateful that in its first year of operation, Laughing Gull Foundation chose POFEV for generous support,” he said. Read More
POFEV joined with the Richmond, VA, NAACP to sponsor a showing of the Bayard Rustin biopic Brother Outsider at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church on August 28, 2013. Rustin, though most widely known for his role as the director of the 1963 March on Washington, also navigated through his adult life as an out gay man at a time when few in such public positions were willing to do so. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams wrote a magnificent account of the screening that raised the remarkable question, "What would have become of the March on Washington if homophobia had won?"
The event was part the March on Richmond for Jobs and Freedom co-sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Richmond, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, and Richmond NAACP, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. It was held in conjunction with the National Black Justice Coalition's effort to broaden recognition of Rustin's life and works. We were delighted that Kim Allen, President of the Richmond NAACP, joined the evening, along with many Quakers from the Richmond area (Rustin was a member of the Friends), and others from various parts of the community. Rustin was one of the truly great activists of the 20th Century, and we have much to learn from him.
POFEV is planning other events to celebrate Rustin's life and legacy in coming months. Look out for future announcements and learn more about Bayard Rustin's life at the Brother Outsider website. We also strongly urge you to see Brother Outsider for yourself online or on DVD through Netflix to learn about Bayard Rustin's remarkable life and contributions.
POFEV (People of Faith for Equality in Virginia), P.O. Box 4919, Richmond, VA 23220 • 804-519-3196 • www.facebook.com/pofev
Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, President & CEO • firstname.lastname@example.org