APA More Inclusive than Church?: On August 17 at its annual convention, the American Psychological Association (APC) approved a resolution supporting full equality for transgender and gender-variant people. The resolution calls on the APA to:
support legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression;
support the provision of adequate and medically necessary treatment for transgender and gender-variant people;
recognize the benefit and necessity of gender transition treatments for appropriately evaluated individuals;
call on public and private insurers to cover these treatments.

The resolution is the culmination of a multi-year study undertaken by the APA's 6-member Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance. In addition to its final report, the task force developed a brochure, Answers to Your Questions about Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity. As a direct result of the task force's work, the APA added gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy earlier this year.
With more than 148,000 members, the APA is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists.

Scenes from a Wedding: Our Bay Area correspondent was present for the August 30 wedding of Brad Hubert and Martin Thompson (pictured at their reception, cutting the cake) at St. Mark's Lutheran Church (SF). About 120 people gathered for the rite of marriage and the Eucharist. Pr. Elizabeth Ekdale presided and preached. (At the reception that followed, one attendee enthused, "Was that a great sermon or what?") Lessons chosen for the occasion were Isaiah 12:1-6, Philippians 4:4-9, and John 2:1-11.
Our correspondent was surprised to encounter the vacationing Bishop Thorvald "Wally" Noe-Effingway of the Central Great Lakes Synod at the reception. It seems the bishop happened upon the service by accident.
Asked for his impression of the wedding, Bishop Noe-Effingway is reported to have said only, "I thought you had to be gay to officiate at a same-sex marriage." Apparently not.

Sikh Festival at Valpo: On September 27, Valparaiso University will host a Sikh Festival to mark the 300th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib the holy book of the Sikhs.
Speakers include


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    Dr. Gurinder Singh Mann and Dr. Balwant Hansra. Dr. Mann is professor of religion at the University of California-Santa Barbara and is the author of Sikhism and The Making of Sikh Scripture. Dr. Mann will present the keynote address "Sikhs in America: Opportunities and Challenges."
    Dr. Hansra is a member of the Board of Trustees for the World Council of Religions and past president of the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago.
    Members of the Sikh Religious Society of Indiana-Crown Point also will sing a shabad, or guru's word, and perform a folk dance from Punjab known as a Bhangra. The festival will conclude with a communal meal of traditional Indian foods.
    Dr. Renu Juneja (pictured), associate provost and a professor of English, said the festival will help the community to learn more about Sikhism and connect with the local Indian community. The event is being planned under the auspices of the Surjit S. Patheja Chair in World Religions and Ethics and in partnership with the Sikh Religious Society of Indiana-Crown Point.

    Liberal Evangelical at Trinity Seminary: The 2008 Kantonen Lecture at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio will be delivered by Jim Wallis editor-in-chief of Sojourners and president/executive director of Sojourners/Call to Renewal. The theme of the lecture will be The Meaning of Prophetic Politics in an Election Year. Wallis, a "liberal evangelical", by reputation, has taught at Harvard Divinity School and Kennedy School of Government. Among his works are the 2005 bestseller God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It, and the recently released Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America.
    The Kantonen Lecture will be delivered as part of Trinity Days, September 25 - 26.

    Holmerud at PLTS: Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) will hold its annual Founders' Day celebration on September 24. The theme of this year's event is Beyond Bureaucracies and Ivory Towers: How can PLTS and the Sierra Pacific Synod work together to provide resources that make a difference on the "front lines" of ministry?
    Sierra Pacific Synod Bishop Mark Holmerud will deliver the keynote address.
    The deadline for registration is September 17, 2008. For more information send email to events@plts.edu.

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