Countdown to SFS15: Sexuality and Spirituality

It’s almost here! We are less than one week away from the Woodhull’s 2015 Sexual Freedom Summit and we’re continuing our Summit Countdown to August 13th!

We’re bringing you the Countdown to SFS15 series to make sure you know about every corner of the Summit. We want you to know about every fabulous speaker, workshop, and event so that you can make the most of your Summit experience. For this edition, we bring you sexuality and spirituality!

That’s right—that was an “and,” not an “or”!

Spirituality and sexuality are often seen as opposing forces. Religion is often used against us to excuse hatred and bigotry. Just think about the fact that if who you are and what you do offends someone’s concept of their religion, they don’t have to give you emergency medical care. The very mention of religion is often tied to conservative viewpoints and policies—ones that can stop the movement towards sexual freedom in its tracks.

At the Summit, we turn the conversation around to the positive, affirming reality of spirituality and sexuality as integral parts of a healthy society. Take the right to family, for instance.

“When faith communities come to understand and welcome multi-partner relationships (or kinky ones, for that matter) there are more welcoming spaces for people in non-traditional relationships,” says Valerie White, one of our Summit presenters integrating faith and sexuality.

Here are three workshops that will help make the connection between spirituality, religion, and sexuality:


Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel

“What’s Spirituality Got To Do With It?”

Speakers: Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and the Executive Director for the Center for Sustainable Justice. She has also worked with organizations such as PFund and the National LGBTQ Task Force. She’ll be speaking with Rev. Harry Knox, who is the president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

The question: Where do we find the intersection of the erotic and the sacred? 

What you’ll learn: Join us for three, life-altering hours in this safe space to share both positive and negative experiences with religion and sexuality. Learn how our own spiritual truths add authenticity to our advocacy for sexual freedom!


Sexual Freedom and Christianity: Dismantling the Hostilities”

Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale
Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale returns to the Summit! She is an ordained minister, sociologist, and theatrical advocate for body affirmation and pleasure. She is currently completing a memoir titled Sex Without Apology, Becoming a Sex-Positive Person of Faith in a Sex-Negative Culture.

The question: How do we interpret biblical studies in a way that supports sexual freedom?

What you’ll learn: “My aim is to reframe Christian teachings that are, unfortunately, used to support and justify sexual repression,” says Rev Bev. “I know that faith can and should affirm our bodies, celebrate pleasure, and guide our decision-making in just ways—rather than being in the business of controlling,  squashing, and judging.”

Valerie White, Esq.
Valerie White, Esq.

Polyamory Awareness in Unitarian and Universalism: The UUPA Story

Speaker: Valerie White, Esq. is the founder and current president of Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness. She is also the volunteer executive director of the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

The question: How did Unitarian Universalists begin to accept polyamory within their denomination?

What you’ll learn: Share the story of the UUPA’s evolution, beginning with just a short email list in 1999. Discover how this Church began to accept polyamory, and what impact that acceptance has had on ideas about polyamory throughout the U.S.

We can’t wait to share these discussions and learning experiences with you! Haven’t registered yet? Click here to make sure you save a spot at SFS15. Hurry, online registration closes Monday, August 10th!