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Spotlight on: St. Paul’s Foundation
The challenge: Would you like to help parents of LGBT people in other countries?
The St. Paul's Foundation is developing a program that will connect loving parents of LGBT people in the US with concerned parents of LGBT people in countries where their children could be arrested. We are looking for volunteers in our faith community who would like to give support to these parents by answering questions about sexual orientation and how to support their LGBT children.
Thanks to a grant from the San Diego Pride Committee, we will be able to fund the computers and other materials for this effort.
Members of the local San Diego PFLAG (Parents, Relatives, and Friends of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) will give a 1-2 hour training session in March to parish parents on how to answer common questions. The training dates will be announced in February.
Methods and Time Involved
Support sessions will be initially set up for connecting our volunteers with parents in Kenya and Uganda. The sessions will take place once or twice a month and will last one hour each session. We will be using the free computer conferencing programs Skype or Facetime. With these software programs, our parents can see as well as hear the parents abroad and vice versa.
Because of time differences, the sessions will be scheduled in the morning or evening hours, most likely 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM or 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Eventually participating parents could set up their own schedules once they have established rapport.
The parent-to-parent sessions will start in late March.
The volunteers at St. Paul's Foundation feel that understanding and acceptance can be attained through faith communities. We have good contacts in the Anglican and Catholic communities in several countries and we intend to reach out to other faiths as well. Perhaps eventually, the Spanish-speaking parents of LGBT people in our congregation will be asked to volunteer to help parents in Latin America.
Linda Miles will be arranging the training session at the Cathedral for volunteer parents. She will also be scheduling the parent-to-parent sessions, many of which will take place at the Foundation's Cathedral office. Her contact information: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Cell Phone: 615-251-4881; Home Phone: 858-509-9173.
Please contact Linda if you are interested in volunteering to help parents abroad who want to support their LGBT children.
-The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle