This year at the Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium, there will be an unusually large number of sessions dealing with the issue of homosexuality. I'll be participating in four sessions, either as a presenter or as a chair:
#173 (Thursday, August 5, 4:45 - 6:15 p.m.), "Some SAHD Stories." This isn't a gay-themed panel! But I'll be one of a number of presenters, in my capacity as a "Stay At Home Dad"!
#313 (Saturday, August 7, 8:45 - 9:45 a.m.), "Church, Priesthood, and the Gay/Lesbian Journey Toward Spiritual Maturity." This is the one session where I'll be the primary presenter.
#352 (Saturday, August 7, 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.), "The Epistle of Paul: Homosexual Spirituality and the Redemption of Pleasure." Paul Toscano is the main presenter at this session; I'll be chairing.
#363 (Saturday, August 7, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.), "Two Loves: Documenting Gay Mormons' Stories." Two Loves is a 25-minute documentary film exploring the stories of gay Mormons. Michelle Ripplinger will be presenting and discussing the film; I'll be chairing the session.
Other sessions addressing the issue of homosexuality and the Church include #225, "Same-Gender Marriage & Religious Freedom: A Call to Quiet Conversations and Public Debates"; #251, "Responses to the Documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition"; #275, "Developments from the Community of Christ 2010 World Conference" (in this session a paper will be presented on the Community of Christ's Section 164, which provides for the full participation of gay and lesbian individuals in the life of the second largest Mormon denomination); #332, "The Gay Mormon Literature Project"; #351, "Mobilizing the Saints: Behind the Scenes Strategies on SSM"; and #371, "Gay and Mormon on the Stage and Screen".
Of course, there will be lots of sessions having nothing to do with same-sex attraction. I'm particularly interested, as a teacher of American religious history, in some of the history-themed panels, and plan to make as many of those as I can.
If you're planning to attend Sunstone and/or be in the Salt Lake and/or Provo/Springville areas during that time, let me know! I'll be staying with my brother Joe and his wife in Provo, and commuting to Salt Lake for the Symposium. I'd love to see if we could plan some kind of Sunstone Mohos and Friends get-together. (Maybe Scott and Sarah are already organizing/planning to organize one of their meet-ups to coincide with this weekend, which I'm usually never able to attend living here in the Great White Northern antipodes of Mormonism?)
If we can't organize a formal get-together, I hope to see some of you at least informally in the sessions and/or in the hallways of the Salt Lake Sheraton!