San Anselmo, Calif. (SAN FRANCISCO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY COMMUNICATIONS) —The Center for Innovation in Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS) is pleased to announce the addition of the Global Faith and Justice Project (GFJP) to its suite of pioneering social impact initiatives. Beginning January 1, 2018, GFJP Founder Dr. J. Michael Adee will assume the role of Partner of the Global Faith and Justice Project at the Center for Innovation in Ministry.
“We are excited to have Michael and his project join the Center. The Global Faith and Justice Project is the sixth initiative of the Center, and with it we expand our horizons beyond the borders of the United States by more fully embracing the world and international faith and human rights work,” says Center Director Rev. Floyd Thompkins.
A lifelong human rights advocate, Adee created the Global Faith and Justice Project (GFJP) to amplify faith voices that protect human dignity and achieve equality for LGBTQ people and their families worldwide. From its new location at the Center for Innovation in Ministry, GFJP is pursuing two key initiatives:
- Expansion of the Ethics of Reciprocity Dialogue Project at the United Nations
- Countering the global export of hate and homophobia from the United States, and around the world
“Religion is both the problem and the solution,” says Adee, who also serves on a global working group associated with the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), creating the Global Interfaith Network. “Right now, it is illegal to be LGBTQ in 80 countries, and the death penalty is a threat in ten. Discrimination and violence against LGBTQ is sadly rising in the United States, and is an epidemic around the world.”
In October 2017, Adee invited Rev. Thompkins to be one of the national faith leaders participating in a historic dialogue event at the United Nations. The Ethics of Reciprocity event combined dialogue, testimony and discussion with the aim of addressing the challenges faced by LGBTQ people within their lives and communities. Led by a diverse group of LGBTQ religious leaders representing a range of religions, the group explored ways to end the violence and discrimination faced by LGBTQ people around the world. The event was sponsored by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the LGBT Core Group at the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and the Global Faith and Justice Project.
Adee has already laid the groundwork for expanding the reach of GFJP by establishing partnerships with a dozen organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the World Council of Churches. “Our partnerships are essential for guiding our accompaniment model. These are sensitive issues being discussed in diverse communities across the globe. We rely on our partners to help spread the word in respectful, culturally appropriate ways,” says Adee.
This partnership is made possible by a grant from the Global Faith and Equity Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Horizons Foundation in San Francisco, CA. The grant also includes plans for dissemination and promotion of pro-LGBTQ resources, serving as a thought partner and on the planning team for an interfaith LGBTQ-affirming event with international LGBTQ faith activists at the United Nations, and producing an online LGBTQ inclusion course at the Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS. The Center is currently offering an online LGBTQ inclusion seminar, where Adee serves as an instructor.
Adee adds, “This is such an extraordinary opportunity for the Global Faith and Justice Project. SFTS has a long history of championing social justice and LGBTQ inclusion in the Presbyterian (PCUSA) Church. Bringing this project to the Center offers us a faith-rooted platform of unlimited possibilities for social change in the world. For a time such as this, I am grateful for the sacred call to serve with Floyd and the amazing team at the Center in this new way.”
San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), a leading Protestant graduate theological school, has prepared students from around the world for various forms of ministry for nearly 150 years. Located in Marin County, California, SFTS offers doctoral, masters, and certificate programs for people from all walks of life, on campus and online. SFTS is a founding member of, and partners with, the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley—the most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America. For more information, visit sfts.edu.
The Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS discovers, creates, and incubates community collaborations that address pervasive social challenges. Systemic and behavioral change of this breadth is complicated and messy, requiring the spiritual tools of deep compassion to understand and work through opposing points of view. The tools of ministry at SFTS are brought forth to actively embrace social suffering and heal divides. The Center embraces this work through the development of groundbreaking initiatives, distinct in their objectives, and community alliances. Please visit innovation.sfts.edu.
The Global Faith and Justice Project was created by Michael Adee in 2012 and he serves as Director. GFJP seeks opportunities for collaboration with faith communities within the United States, U.S.-based organizations doing LGBTQ work, and international LGBTQ faith-based organizations. Rooted in faith and justice, this global project amplifies faith voices that protect human dignity, and achieve equality for LGBTQ people and their families. The Global Faith and Justice Project is an initiative of the Global Faith and Equity Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Horizons Foundation in San Francisco, CA. Please visit lgbtglobalfaith.org.