Anyway, Hamilton's McMaster University is soon going to feature an entire conference on this. A must see. Here are the latest details:
Spiritual Identity as a Path for Transcending Differences
A Conference on Spirituality and Sexuality
Sat. Oct 4th 9-10pm (registration to begin at 8:30am)
Sun Oct 5th 9-12:30pm
Room 3020 at Michael DeGroote Learning Centre, McMaster University,
$20 per person
($25 after September 20, 2008) or $15 per student
($20 after September 20, 2008)
On-campus parking fee in effect
Sponsored by the LSA of the Baha’is of Hamilton, BNASAA (Bahai Network for AIDS, Sexuality, Addictions and Abuse) and CABS (Campus Assoc. for Baha’i Studies - McMaster]
Cheques made payable to:
the Local Spiritual Assembly of
the Baha’is of Hamilton,
mail c/o Beth Fachnie,
129 Woodview Cresc.,
Ancaster, ON, L9G 1E8,
email Task Force - Spirituality & Sexuality Conference
Bring Brown Bag lunch and dinner, or eat at local restaurants (list will be provided).
Hotel listing available upon request.
(from an earlier letter on this conference)
As we approach more and more diverse peoples through Outreach, not only people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, but individuals with personal, social and family issues of physical, sexual and/or substance misuse or abuse, couples living in common-law, people practicing gay and lesbian lifestyles, etc,. it is important that we not exclude such individuals from approaching Baha’u’llah because of our own feelings or misunderstandings of the processes of change and transformation. This seminar is to start exploring the notion of tolerance and what it means to really appreciate and respect and support the process that leads people to approach Baha’u’llah and His teachings; to recognize the commonality and similarities of all our journeys as we face our humanity and struggle with the veils that keep us from attaining His Presence .
The Universal House of Justice has said, “The mission of the Prophets of God has been to train the souls of humanity and free them from the thralldom of natural instincts and physical tendencies…” and “The impression given…can be that the Baha'i teachins on sex and homosexuality are puritanical and need rethinking. It does not draw the vital distinction between the high standard that Baha'i’s must uphold in relation to themselves and the forbearance they must show towards others. In this connection there is a very important passage [from Baha’u’llah: Tablets of Baha’u’llah pp 169-70] “The heaven of true understanding shineth resplendent with the light of two luminaries: tolerance and righteousness. O My friend! Vast oceans lie enshrined within this brief saying.””
The seminar herein announced we feel offers knowledge, insights and practical training that would be of particular benefit to those going door to door on Outreach, as well as those serving on Local Spiritual Assemblies and Counseling Committees. The seminar is offered with the intention of furthering our understanding of the processes of Community Development, inclusiveness and encouragement.
Mary K. Radpour, MSSW, LCSW Chattanooga, Tennessee
Mary K., a second generation Baha'i, has extensive experience in the Baha'i community as former Auxiliary Board member for 5 Southern US States and member of the Institute Board. A popular presenter and trainer in both the Baha'i and secular communities she has expertise in the treatment of individuals, couples and families with post-trauma sexual abuse, gay and lesbian issues, gender dysphoria, eating disorders and substance abuse. Race relations and cross-cultural communications are also areas of leadership and she has served on Human Rights and Human Relations Commissions, consults professionally in Afro-American, Hispanic and Asian-Anglo communications and has served on the National Organization of Women.
The seminar/workshop is open to both Baha’is and non-Baha’is; however, it is suggested that any non-Baha’is wishing to attend be familiar with Baha’i law.
This seminar is not an occasion for challenging the Baha'i teachings.
Junior youth aged 12-14 may attend but must be accompanied by a parent.