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    As 2018 comes to a close, two themes that brightened what has been a  dark year for many are the advances women made in electoral politics and other leadership roles, and the growing influence of progressive faith movements – often referred to as the “religious left” – in public rhetoric and activism. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll go in-depth with two pioneering women LGBTQ faith leaders, both of whom have long histories of ministry in New York City – and far beyond.

    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum has led New York’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah since 1992 and today holds the title of Senior Rabbi. It’s the largest LGBTQ synagogue in the world. The Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner is the longtime Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, where she has served for more than 30 years. With chapters worldwide, MCC is the largest LGBTQ membership organization on earth. Rev. Pat is also executive director of the Global Justice Institute.

    Both are faith leaders of incredible stature and respect within interfaith circles and both have made it their personal missions to bridge divides and work to improve the lives of those who are constantly disregarded by our society. This week State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with both Rabbi Kleinbaum and Rev. Bumgardner about their invaluable work and what we can do to improve the lives of others in the New Year.

    This conversation is part of our series Whosoever You Love, our semi-monthly series affirming the worth and full value of LGBTQ persons within and beyond religion. Whosoever You Love is supported by the Arcus Foundation, which is dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world. Learn more about Arcus and its partners at ArcusFoundation.org.

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