Elmhurst University will host two events in October that celebrate Rev. Dr. William R. Johnson ’68, an Elmhurst alumnus and the first openly gay person to be ordained by a mainline Christian denomination.
On Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day, the University will host “Out and Faithful: A Multifaith Celebration of Queer Spirituality and a Call to Advocacy” to honor the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s ordination in 1972 by the United Church of Christ. This celebration of spirit, words and music will include a panel of speakers reflecting on spirituality and human sexuality, and a call to advocacy. Sponsored by the Elmhurst University Chaplaincy and the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ.
“Out and Faithful” begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. Admission is free and all are welcome.
On Oct. 19, the University will host the William R. Johnson Intercultural Lecture, an annual forum that explores the issues and stories of the LGBTQIA+ community. This year’s Johnson lecture, “From Stonewall to the White House: Media as a Weapon for Change,” is presented by journalist, author and activist Mark Segal.
Segal has long understood the power of the media as a vehicle for awareness and education about LGBTQIA+ issues. A participant in the Stonewall Riots in 1969, he went on to found the Philadelphia Gay News and also is the author of the memoir And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality.
The Johnson lecture begins at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the Frick Center, Founders Lounge. Admission is free and all are welcome.