Monthly Archives: April 2016

Open Letter to the Organizers and Volunteers of the Wild Goose Festival

April 27, 2016 – For Immediate Release

Contact: R. Lawton Higgs, Leadership Council Chair at

To the Organizers and Volunteers of the Wild Goose Festival:

We, the Leadership Council and members of the Progressive Christian Alliance, have been very excited about the Wild Goose Festival and had even been planning to have a meetup of our board and members at this year’s festival. However, in light of the passage of HB2 by the state legislature of North Carolina where the festival is held, and the fact that there is no clear anti-harassment policy on your website, we have decided that we will not be attending Wild Goose Festival this year.

While we appreciate the statements of inclusion that you do have on the website (on your about page and your blog statement posted on March 24, 2016), there is no clear definitive statement of inclusion on its own and there is no listing of a clear and detailed anti-harassment policy. It would be wonderful if all attendees could be counted on to follow the way of inclusion that Jesus intended, but as we are all humans, there is no guarantee, of any kind, that harassment will not occur. Harassment of all types is a sad reality at any convention or festival and a particular issue for transgender and gender-variant persons.

We recommend looking at the anti-harassment policies of other conventions and festivals, as well as training your volunteers on how to listen to victims without shaming and judgment. Compassionate responses are especially important for transgender persons, who, despite your calls for support in your blog post, have an extremely high likelihood of harassment even in the most progressive of communities.

For examples of clear anti-harassment policies, we’d recommend the following:

Geek Feminism Wiki:
Ada Initiative:
Pantheacon Anti-Harassment Policy:
Black Hat Convention:

While these aren’t specifically from Christian groups, they are groups who are at the forefront of instituting policies that not only have clear expectations and consequences around sexual harassment, but also around harassment and bullying of others for belief, gender identity, age, race, body size, or other differences.

We do support the aims of the Wild Goose Festival and all the good it has done since it began in 2011. It would be wonderful to be able to bring our members to this event in the future but until the event has a clear, detailed statement of inclusivity, an anti-harassment policy to ensure the wellbeing of others (particularly LGTBQA persons), and the North Carolina legislature repeals HB2, we cannot in good conscience recommend that our members, many of whom are LGBTQA persons, to attend the Wild Goose Festival.

R. Lawton Higgs, Leadership Council Chair
Beth Beyer Abbott, Co-chair
J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer
Fred-Allen Self, Secretary
Gina A. Pond, Councillor-At-Large

About the Progressive Christian Alliance:

The Progressive Christian Alliance ( is an international, transdenominational association of Christian ministers, ministries, and laypersons. We are a diverse fellowship inviting others to share in our common spiritual journey while walking our unique and sacred pathways. We believe that following Christ’s example means working for social justice and hospitality to all people, especially those who have not found hospitality elsewhere, and a heartfelt, thoughtful approach to being in relationship with God.


LC Meeting Minutes 3/13/2016

 PCA – LC Meeting Minutes

Sunday, March 13, 2016 @ 6 PM CDT

In attendance

Fred-Allen Self, Gina Pond, Lawton Higgs, J.T. Ramelis, Beth Abbott

Minutes recorded by: Fred-Allen Self

Opening Reflection and Prayer – Lawton Higgs

Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting – *noted that Beth’s name has 2 b’s and 2 t’s. Motion to accept: Lawton      Second: Gina     Accepted unanimously.

Approve Agenda – unanimously approved.

Old Business:

Web site domain name & hosting –

  • Fred-Allen now holds the domain. Servers are moved over. Email is not currently working, but we believe it should be working shortly!
  • Fred-Allen will take care of cancelling 1and1.
  • Beth asked what will happen to the domain in the future. Fred-Allen offered to transfer GoDaddy account to the PCA itself. We will make this transfer after 501(c)3 is done.

Facebook administration –

  • Talked about the PCA User Covenant.
  • Fred-Allen will send final version of Covenant in email for approval. Upon approval will post it.
  • New members must agree to the covenant.
  • Fred-Allen will write rules for adding members to the group and post it to the admin group chat.
  • Fred-Allen will approach Kim Shinabery about being a group admin.
  • We will offer to remove admins if they would like to no longer remain admins, per Gina’s

Ordination Committee and ordination & affiliation process

  • Discussed membership/affiliation/ordination processes.
  • Do we have a record of everyone who is ordained? Beth has records of everyone she has sent out certificates to, but that is only the last couple of years.
  • Lawton will check in with Roger and Ann to see if they have a list of names.
  • Unanimous approval of process set forth by Beth. Will be sent to RSLs.
  • Lawton will contact Mike Kear about the possibility of serving as SW RSL. Recommended by Beth. She also recommended him as an admin. We believe that there is a vacancy in that area.
  • Beth also suggested Mike Wright Chapman.

501c3 discussion & fund raising and fund management

  • J.T. was unable to access the 501(c)3 file via DropBox. Gina also has a corrupted local file. We will need to contact Ann Joyce to see if we can get a good copy of the file. We absolutely NEED this file.
  • We need documentation of our incorporation. This is the first step of getting 501(c)3. J.T. will need to contact Ann to see if she has this document as well.
  • The main challenge at this point is the treasure hunt to find all of the required information. J.T. believes that we are structurally sound.
  • Lawton would like to begin developing a budget.


New Business:

Annual Meeting @ Wild Goose Festival July 7 – 10, 2016

  • There is likely not enough time between now and July to organize an annual meeting.
  • There are still those planning to attend the festival, but would be happy to arrange a meeting while we’re there.
  • We think that it would be helpful to have a time that people could come to the LC for questions or to connect with.
  • Discussed the possibility of a webinar or online open meeting for LC.

Other Business:


Next meeting date & time – Friday, April 22 6:00 CST

LC Meeting Minutes – 2/21/2016

PCA – LC Meeting Minutes

Sunday, Feb. 21st @ 8PM CST

In attendance: Fred-Allen Self, Beth Abbott, Gina Pond, Lawton Higgs

Opening Reflection and PrayerLawton shared a short reflection on the lectionary text of today about Jesus as a mother hen gathering all into peace in God’s care. He shared this as an image of Progressive Christianity.

Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting – motion to accept – Gina  second Beth

Approve Agenda – unanimously approved

Old Business:

Web site domain name & hosting

  • Gina explained that John Shore owns the domain. Gina and Fred-Allen have both attempted to contact him, but have thus far received no response.
  • As a result of the above we may need to create a new domain and port the website over.
  • The question was raised how John Shore owns the domain. Gina explained the background and why the situation is as it is.
  • The cost of the website is currently $68/quarter.
  • Domain is registered with Gina and Fred-Allen will work on contacting John Shore to get details settled.
  • Lawton will contact John Shore to release the domain to us.
  • If we needed to come up with a new domain it’s not a huge deal. Most domains cost between $10 – $16/year.
  • If we absolutely need to get a new domain, we can setup a redirect to our new domain, although this will be difficult, as the current domain is on all ordination letters and official documents.
  • Beth proposed that if we do not get a response from John Shore by the next LC Meeting that we will move forward with a new domain and figuring out what to do.
  • Lawton will discuss with Ann whether the 1&1 bill has been paid or not. Beth has offered to pay the bill if it is outstanding.


Facebook administration

  • Fred-Allen sent out an email about concerns about the Facebook Group.
  • Fred-Allen will create a Google Doc for creating the User Covenant for the Facebook Group. Once the covenant is created Group users will have to respond to the covenant before being able to comment.
  • We will need create one for both groups.
  • After creating the Covenant we will revise how admins work and what we need to do to add new people to the group.
  • Beth asked for Fred-Allen to clarify what is needed from other admins until we get the covenant up. He asked that admins help delete the political posts on the page and remove those who repeatedly post politics.
  • Fred-Allen will create the covenant document and get it sent out to the LC to edit.


Chaplaincy approval process

  • Beth reports that the 501(c)3 must be completed before the Progressive Christian Alliance can even be considered as a recognized faith group for chaplaincy.
  • Even though we are incorporated it is not enough to be recognized for chaplaincy organizations.

** Due to running out of time we skipped forward to the Brochure.

New Business:


Approval of Intercommunion Agreement with TPEC

  • Unanimously approved.


Approve PCA Brochure for distribution

  • Beth noted that the front is trifold and the back is not. Lawton shared that the non-trifold section is the inside of the brochure.
  • Lawton will make some refinements to the brochure and send it back out.


Affirm new RSL’s and list all others

  • Barbara Tarvid has agreed to take Beth’s place as RSL. Currently she will be a transitional RSL.
  • Jenny Howard will be the southeast region RSL.
  • Both were affirmed unanimously.


Tabled to next meeting due to lack of time

501c3 discussion

Ordination Committee and process

Discuss affiliation process and documents

Fund Raising and Funds Management Discussion

Annual Meeting @ Wild Goose Festival


Other Business

Next meeting date & time

  • March, 13 – time change Sunday! 6:00 CST


Minutes for Leadership Council Meetings


The current Leadership Council has met a few times since being elected. We apologize for not updating on minutes, due to transfer of the website to a new server, changes in administration, and technical issues we have been unable to post them.

From this point forward we will be posting meeting minutes shortly after the meetings so everyone will know about the great things that are happening in the Progressive Christian Alliance!


Rev. Fred-Allen Self