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Global IMC Network

Local Southern Tier Clergy Issue Letters of Support for Marriage Equality

June 15, 2011 by Anonymous

As the marriage equality debate approaches the final days in the New York State Senate, the bill is now only one vote short of passage. Religion has played a significant role on both sides of the debate. Today a number of clergy from different Southern Tier communities of faith voiced their support for marriage equality. They point out that access to marriage is a fundamental human right and one that is consistent with their faith traditions. These are the clergy who have issued statements of support (complete letters/statements follow):

Rev. Steve Heiss
Tabernacle United Methodist Church

Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell
Temple Concord
Binghamton, New York

Rev. Patricia J. Raube
Pastor, Union Presbyterian Church
Endicott, NY

Deacon Barbara Hayden
Pastoral Leader
Redeemer Lutheran Church

Rev. Dr. Arthur Suggs
First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ

Rev. Mark Giroux
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Chenango Bridge, NY

Rev. Douglas Taylor
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton

Annette Snedaker. Pastor
Grace Adventure United Methodist Church

Rabbi Rachel Esserman
Executive Editor
The Reporter Group

Alex Compton
Lay Minister
The Binghamton Congregation of MCCNY

Rev. Susan E Davis
Pastor
First United Methodist Church of Endicott

Fred R. Brooks, Jr.
Vestal, NY
Ordained Minister (Retired)
The United Methodist Church

Rev. Monica Styron, Designated Pastor
First Presbyterian Church
42 Chenango Street

LETTERS

Statement in Support of Marriage Equality

June 14, 2011

I stand in support of full civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. The Union of Reform Judaism has a long-standing commitment to welcoming gay and lesbian couples into our communities and congregations. Loving couples, regardless of gender or sexuality, sit in our pews and strengthen our communities. Our religious values and principles affirm that we are all created b’tselem Elohim, in the image of God, and charge us “to love our neighbor as ourselves.” As a Reform Rabbi, I am proud of this welcoming tradition and remain committed to the fight for equality in our state. I am committed to working to enable same sex couples and their families to share equally in the responsibilities, protections, and commitment of marriage.

Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell
Binghamton, New York

In his inaugural teaching moment, Jesus stands before the congregation and reads aloud from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). As a person of faith I believe it is my responsibility to participate fully in Jesus’ ministry of healing and seeking to bring about freedom for those who are oppressed.

The current laws prohibiting marriage between two persons of the same sex constitute an ongoing situation of oppression and captivity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. This community asks no special privileges, only equal rights and protections under the law and the opportunity to live in peace and freedom with those whom they love.

Rev. Patricia J. Raube
Pastor, Union Presbyterian Church
Endicott, NY

An Open Letter from Michael Libous to Senator Tom Libous

May 24, 2011 by michaellibous

Dear Cousin Tom…

I wish I were contacting you with some scandalous family news, but I’m not.

Gay cousin Michael (Libous) here with some thoughts I need to share. (Governor Cuomo asked me to contact you.)

As you know, our state is in a ‘state’ right now pondering the question of gay marriage and all of its trappings. Having recently met a man with whom I hope to spend the last trimester of my life, many questions arise regarding our current state of civil equality.

I’m sure you’re aware that approximately 1000 federal and some 700 state rights are currently not available to me as a gay New Yorker. This sickens me.

Make Way for Ducklings

May 8, 2011 by pegjohnston

 

Ducklings vs. Curbs: Ducklings Trapped by CurbsDucklings vs. Curbs: Ducklings Trapped by Curbs
A family of ducks snarled traffic on the East Clinton St. Bridge on a recent rainy May afternoon in Binghamton NY. A car stopped suddenly and then attempted to block two lanes and soon a Mallard with her brood were seen crossing the street, a heart-warming sight until they got to the other side. The mother easily hopped the curb but the ducklings were unable to manage the steep curb on the bridge. Run off from a downpour added peril to the scene as the water raced toward the storm sewer.

That’s when Allan Troxler came to the rescue. He ran out and picked each duckling up –all twelve of them—and gently placed them on the sidewalk next to their agitated mother. “I was a little worried that the mother might attack me, or the ducklings might run away, but everyone cooperated.” Troxler, of Durham NC, was in the area to assist in the design of the Jane Freeman exhibit, “Art, Money, Love: Jane Freeman 1871-1963” at the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State St. “It was one of those rare moments in life when you get to interact with Nature and I will never forget those lifting those little downy ducklings.”

Art, Money, Love: Jane Freeman 1871-1963

April 24, 2011 by pegjohnston

Art, Money, Love: Jane Freeman 1871-1963: Art, Money, Love: Jane Freeman 1871-1963 Paintings and Ephemera from a Working Artist will be at the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State St. Binghamton May 6-28th, 2011.

Art, Money, Love: Jane Freeman 1871-1963
Paintings and Ephemera of a Working Artist

May 6-28, 2011
Cooperative Gallery 213

Jane Freeman supported herself as an artist at a time when it was exceptional for women to work, much less as a painter. “Art, Money, Love: Jane Freenan 1871-1963” exhibits several of her paintings and will display photos, letters, and other ephemera to illustrate her life as a working artist. Peg Johnston is curating the show which runs from First Friday May 6th through Saturday, May 28th. A reception on May 7th from 3-5 pm is open to the public and fellow gallery members and friends.

Two paintings will be on loan from the Springville (Utah) Museum of Art: “Eyes for Two” won several prizes and depicts a blind former matador in Spain with his wife. “French Peasant” is also a noted painting. Vern Swanson, PhD director of the Museum comments, “These are really fine paintings and we are happy to contribute to this revival of Jane Freeman’s art.” Other paintings include a portrait of Albert Schweitzer, two still lifes, and several portraits in oil and chalk. See the Springville Museum of Art paintings at http://springvilleartmuseum.org/collections/browse.html?x=art&art_id=393...

Peg Johnston Honored for Abortion Work

February 9, 2011 by pegjohnston

At its annual conference February 5th, 2011, the Abortion Care Network gave three awards to those who have shown exemplary and outstanding service to the abortion care community and to the women it serves. The David Gunn Lifetime Achievement honoree this year is Peg Johnston, a clinic director, long-time leader in the abortion care community, and author of many patient self help materials. The Vision Award, given to “person or persons who challenge the stigma of abortion in every day practice,” was awarded to Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), with Director Tracy Weitz accepting the award. Shelley Oram was honored as “ACN Person of the Year” for her “above and beyond” service to the members of the Abortion Care Network, especially in her work as meeting planner.

Peg Johnston has been director of an abortion facility in Binghamton, NY since 1981 and has been active on the national stage in her efforts to provide compassionate abortion care for women. She is a past president of the Abortion Care Network, the Abortion Conversation Project, and the National Coalition of Abortion Providers and the primary author of several patient aides, notably the Pregnancy Options Workbooks, Healthy Coping, Mom, Dad, I’m Pregnant, and Especially for Men.” She has also written several influential essays, including, “Opting Out of the Abortion Wars,” “We Have Met the Enemy and S/he is Us,” and “Lose the Adjective.”

Building bridges for peace, for hope and for justice

February 1, 2011 by tim wolcott

 

A locally developed website, teachpeacenow.org, has for over three years offered educators, parents and students resources for them to create peace at school and in the community. The site provides lesson plans, activities, discussion forums and editorial pieces that encourage hope and social justice. Veteran educators Dr. Joan Koster and Tim Wolcott currently support social action projects in five educational districts. The mission of the website includes the distribution of anti-bias, anti-bullying and muti-cultural messages through the use of childrens' literature and action projects. The following revised video introduces the site. They welcome your comments and questions.

Bob Johnston Memorial Photography Show and Competition

January 5, 2011 by pegjohnston

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW OPENING FIRST FRIDAY; WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The Bob Johnston Photography Show and Competition, January 7th to January 29th, 2011, is being sponsored by the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State St. in Binghamton as a tribute to the late Johnston who was a founding member of the gallery. “We are delighted that thirty five photographers submitted some great images,” said Bill Gorman, a gallery member. “It shows great interest in photography as an art form.”

The open themed, non-juried show was judged by Dave Williams of Beyond the Print, a photo store. Cash prizes and a supporting membership will be awarded to the Judge's Choices. The photograph chosen as Best in Show is “Singin’ the Blues: Railroad Depot” by Mike Ricciardi. Two Judge’s Choices are “Dawn at Kastro Church” by Greg Chianis and “Gas Tank” by John Normile. Two honorable mentions were also selected: “Shadows on the Snow” by Geoffrey Gould and “Winter Sunset” by Larry Lefferts. Cash prizes and supporting memberships will be awarded to the Judge's Choices.

There is a closing reception for photographers, members and their friends at 3 pm on Saturday January 29th, 2011. Dave Williams, of Beyond the Print, a photo store in Vestal, the judge for the Competition will be on hand to discuss photography.

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