Rachel Goossen key-speaker at opening ceremony
Rachel Goossen, Professor of History at Washburn University will take care of the third speech at our opening ceremony. The topic of her key-note will be: LGBTQ Leaders Among Us: New Directions in Peacebuilding. – This is contested issue among some Mennonites, and certainly a new topic for peacebuilding within the Mennonite community – and beyond.
Goossen will reflect on acts of exclusion within the Mennonite church, based on the research she started three years ago. "I began doing oral history interviews with theologically-trained Mennonite leaders who identify as LGBTQ. In earlier decades, some of these pastors and chaplains were expelled from Mennonite settings, while others were left on their own to seek more hospitable faith communities. Now, younger leaders are arriving from other traditions and are welcomed in Mennonite institutions. While there is the promise of reconciliation, Mennonites are still reckoning with legacies of exclusion and discriminatory policies."