Rev. Frank Schaefer is front and center in the “An Act of Love” documentary being shown in Raleigh, N.C.

Documentary screening scheduled

RALEIGH, N.C. — “An Act of Love” documentary film will be shown on June 20, 7 p.m., at Fairmont United Methodist Church, 2501 Clark St.

anactoflove_logoThe film tells the story of an unwitting advocate in the fight for equal rights within the church, Rev. Frank Schaefer, who had his ministerial credentials revoked in December 2013 after officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. They were restored later on appeal.

“An Act of Love” follows Schaefer and his family, from the initial trial through his final Judicial Council hearing, as they joined the struggle to change the church from within to allow for greater acceptance of its LGBT members and clergy, Reconciling United Methodists of North Carolina said.

In late May, The General Conference of The United Methodist Church voted to accept a proposal by the Council of Bishops for a special commission on LGBT-related policies and practices. Reconciling Methodists hope that the council will agree to demands placed upon it by LGBT members, clergy and supporters to put an end to defrocking ministers for being gay and for performing same-sex marriages, both of which are currently part of the church’s Book of Discipline.

Upon the vote on May 18 by the conference, Matt Berryman, executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network released the following statement: “This historic action by the Council of Bishops (COB) represents a significant institutional shift in the direction of inclusion and equality. It is just a beginning, but it signals hope to an end of church trials, to celebrating all marriages, to accepting the gifts of our LGBTQ candidates for ministry, clergy and lay employees. This is the first time the COB has put their collective voice around the urgent cries for change and acceptance. We applaud their efforts knowing that the real work lies ahead. We call on the Council to act quickly and deliberately and to lead the church as promised. Today, we commit to hold the COB accountable for finally bringing justice to The United Methodist Church.” The proposal can be read at

Sign the petition at to show support for LGBT Methodists, clergy and initiatives.


Pros meet for dinner

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network will hold its monthly meeting on June 8, 6:30 p.m., at P.G. Werth’s, 927 W. Morgan St.

Guest speaker will be George Smart, an archivist and architectural historian. He will share the “great secret” that North Carolina has the third most Modernist houses in the country. In 2007, he discovered the state’s large number of “livable works of art” which led him to start North Carolina Modernist Houses, the largest open digital archive of Modernist residential architecture and architects in the nation.

His presentation will showcase some state gems, some of which are endangered.

Registration is available online.


Workshops aim to aid couples

UPDATED June 15, 2016

DURHAM, N.C. — The Hold Me Tight Workshop for LGBT Couples will be held from June 24-26 at Durham Friends Meeting, 404 Alexander Ave.

Learning skills to have a successful relationship takes work and the Hold Me Tight workshops offer a road map for development and sustaining them. Working with one’s partner, participants will be able to identify and stop painful patterns that have existed that have proven harmful to the relationship. Exercises in trust building and security issues will bring couples together so that they may experience a lifetime of deepening love.

Elli Schmeltekoph, LPC, will serve as facilitator for the event. The educational opportunity runs for three days: June 24, 6:30-9 p.m.; June 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and June 25, 2-6 p.m.

Cost to attend is $695 per couple. However, there is currently a 50 percent discount (use FILLTHEHOUSE coupon code) and some scholarship slots for those whose financial situation would preclude them from attending. Visit the website to learn more. Registration is requested prior to the starting day of the workshops and is available online.

The workshops and the work that is undertaken is based upon attachment science, which has studied the ways humans bond with important others, Schmeltekopf shared. “The first focus was how infants bond with mothers, but in the last 20 years or so, a lot of evidence has mounted in understanding adult partner bonds. The bottom line is that humans are hardwired for emotional connection to each other and this connection is vital to health and thriving.”

Dr. Sue Johnson has been considered the foremost researcher and therapist in the area of Emotionally Focused Therapy and wrote “Hold Me Tight” to explain the process. The workshops are an extension of the book and offer increased support for couples and are held globally.

“The format follows the same series of ‘conversations’ contained in the book. These conversations build on one another to help couples understand where they get ‘stuck’ in the ways they are interacting and change those interaction patterns, replacing them with positive ones based in love and a better understanding of themselves and their partner. The format of the workshop gives a powerful structure for change, providing safety and support for each couple to explore their unique relationship,” Schmeltekopf added.

She also said that each workshop is self-contained and participants should expect to attend for all the hours offered. The exercises within the workshop start with the couples studying their own interaction cycles and moving on to deepen their understanding of how they impact each other. This leads to needed changes. Material is presented by facilitators for learning, and videos of Sue Johnson working through the conversations with couples are shown, in addition to assisting couples as they work through the exercises. It is not a group process workshop, and sharing in the group is not necessary. Each couple works with the exercises in private.

Schmeltekopf has been working with clients for over 10 years and specializes in trauma healing. Her partner, Dr. David Bate, is a family physician with over 30 years experience. He has also had extensive training in trauma healing.


Gala tickets sale ending soon

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Crape Myrtle Festival (CMF) 36 Gala, “On the Brink of Change…,” will be held on June 8, 10 p.m., at the North Carolina Museum of National Science, 11 W. Jones St.

Organizers hope to reach a goal of $100,000 in funds. Those who make contributions by June 8 at 10 p.m. will be included on the gala invitation list and be recognized on the organization’s website. Recently, CMF has reported that they had raised more than $53,000, but still needs more in order to assist the community, as well as take care of its operation expenses.

“The theme of the CMF36 gala is a profound statement about how far we have come in the fight against HIV/AIDS. But, the need in our community is as great as ever,” organizers shared. Monies raised go toward supporting local groups which provide funding to HIV/AIDS and/or LGBT organizations.

To date, CMF has raised nearly $2,000,000 since it began 36 years ago. The CMF35 annual report has details on the accomplishments.

One does not need to attend the event in order to make contributions toward the effort.

Visit Crape Myrtle’s website to learn more or to make a contribution.


Performers lends equality support

RALEIGH, N.C. — Singer Cyndi Lauper will bring her “Detour” tour to the Triangle on June 4, 8 p.m., at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., and through her True Colors Fund and team will make a contribution from ticket sales to Equality North Carolina as it pushes back against HB2.

“I have seen time and time again what can happen when people join together to do what is fair and the effort to repeal HB2 is the right and fair thing to do. I am hopeful that all of the current efforts to repeal HB2 will be successful and the True Colors Fund and I will continue to do all that we can to help,” Lauper said.

Tickets are still available online.

Demi Lovato recently cancelled her concert with Nick Jonas in the Tar Heel State. However, she has joined the fight against HB2 by contributing proceeds of the sale of her “Cool for the Summer” T-shirt (which she wore at last month’s Billboard Music Awards) to support the transgender community. Proceeds will go to benefit Equality North Carolina and Time Out Youth Center. Sale of the shirt is available at tour stops.


Story time comes to center

DURHAM, N.C. — The LGBTQ Center of Durham, 114 Hunt St., will host its Rainbow Family Story Time on June 5 at 2 p.m.

Held the first Sunday of each month, the program provides time for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers to listen to LGBT-focused literature, as well as joining in with songs and movement. It is led by Rachel Galanter from the Exchange Family Center located on the premises.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...