A youth pride conference to be held on Saturday at the Naples Church has suffered a great deal of misinformation.
The conference is described as being created by LGBTQ youth to give students the opportunity to be confident in their identity, according to the event’s page.
David Greenhaw is the interim senior minister at UCC Naples. He says, “If you look from the side of the church, it says,‘ The United Church of Naples of Christ is an open and affirmative congregation, ’and that means that this church recognized and decided that God believes that all people should be loved and that we should welcome everyone. “
On Saturday, the church welcomes an educational network of gays, lesbians and straight – the branch of the district of Collier (GLSEN Collier).
Chris Schmeckpeper-Kobzin is co-chair of the GLSEN Collier. He says, “the fact that they’re there and they’re willing to let us be there makes everyone feel better because they know they’ll be safe there.”
The former pastor did not resign because of the conference. The conference is also in no way affiliated with the church.
Greenhaw says: “Yesterday was the last day for the senior minister. He finished eight years of service here and made that decision last fall. ”
GLSEN is just one of many organizations to which the church rents space.
There is a rumor that public schools in Collier County are involved.
However, Schmekpeper-Kabzina says: “We don’t do something at school, we don’t do something at school, we don’t meet at school.”
Greenhaw says: “We are very sorry and sad that some members of the community have reacted so negatively, and believing that we are here, we are doing a good job, we will continue to do a good job.”
The event is designed for students aged 12 to 18 years. Open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Here is the link to register the event for students interested in attending.