In Between People and In Between Spaces — An LGBTQ Retreat
led by Peterson Toscano
Liminal, adjective 1. of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of process. 2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
Many times in life we find ourselves “in-between.” It is that space after an ending but before a beginning. Adolescence and middle age are liminal times in our lives. People talk about being in-between jobs, relationships, or living spaces. Our bodies are liminal too. The Coming Out process for many of us took time as we left an old self, embraced a new self, and temporarily lived in a place of uncertainty, adventure, and revelation as we integrated the old with the new together. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer people so often stand in the in-between place of gender. Yes, I am male or female or both, different from my father or mother or brother or sister. We can be “either/or people” in certain places and with certain people.
The Bible is jammed filled with liminal people and spaces. Eunuchs fill an essential role in many stories and derive their power from being sexual minorities who have a foot in both the male and female worlds while also inhabiting the broad spaces in between. Moses led the people through the desert in-between place of Egypt and the Promise Land. Jesus and the disciples, so often caught out on the water between two shores, stand in-between the physical and spiritual at the same time. They find themselves straddling different worlds and creating a unique space in the middle. Many times though being in-between is challenging, lonely, and painful. Being in the that liminal space requires support, companionship, and the determination to be fully present with the whole self.
The 2015 Foundry UMC LGBTQ retreat, led by Peterson Toscano, will seriously and playfully explore many different in-between times in our lives and the many in-between identities we have had. We will also unearth stories of in-betweenness in the Bible and celebrate those people who not fully part of either worlds create a new space of discovery, forgiveness, and love. Expect lively conversation, moving contemplation, and many connections to our various selves and to each other.
Peterson Toscano is a comic, a Bible scholar, a playwright a retreat leader, and a human rights activist. He comes with a full toolbox of activities that generate discussion and help people connect with each other. He knows how to create serious fun in a safe environment that pushes the envelope just enough so people think and grow.
Peterson Toscano is a dynamic, insightful, and creative facilitator. Working with him is delightful and educational. Peterson has a rare ability to combine humor and scholarship in ways that allow participants to explore the depth of spiritual authenticity. I would work with him anytime!
Peterson Toscano has the rare gift of being able to simultaneously open the pages of Scripture and the minds of his audience, enriching both by his creative use of humour and drama, laughter and tears, challenges and uplifts. His performances are not to be missed!