This month Prism is featuring the works of local author Jessica Minster (She/Her). Jessica is a Northern Arizona based maverick transgender female author who grew up in Prescott, Arizona. She has been writing seriously for more than 11 years, starting when she was only 12 years old.
When asked to describe her writing interests she says they are "all over the place" but she tends to focus on "darker, more dramatic and subversive fair".
She started as a screenwriter and now has has completed over fifty projects including novels, books of poetry, screenplays, novellas, short stories, and plays. She also works in historical fiction and non-fiction, usually in the form of blog posts and literary/film/music criticism.
Bourgeois Wasteland: Political Poems
Minster first self-published chapbook of poetry, Bourgeois Wasteland: Political Poems is now available as an e book for free on most digital retail sites or on Amazon for $0.99.
You can order Bourgeois Wasteland HERE
Here's a sneak peek of Bourgeois Wasteland:
"In a land of hypocrisy, hatred, and violence, there are no easy answers. Jessica Minster's Bourgeois Wasteland offers poems that embrace this difficulty and serve as acritical eye and a voice calling for peace and love."
The description ends with a note from Minster herself indicating that her conservative father hates the poetry in this collection, insinuating that this says a good deal about who will like or dislike the collection and why.
You can read other works by Jessica for free on her Blog Site. Check her other Short Stories and Poetry HERE.
Blog Posts, Reviews and More
Jessica's blog posts often focus on literary, film and music criticism, but she has been known to include works of non and historical fiction as well. Recent releases on her blog include a ranking of all of David Bowie's studio albums and an analysis of two films' representation of the afterlife.
You can check out her recent blog posts HERE!
Check out this Blog Post on her Favorite Books and Stories HERE
See Jessica's pick for Favorite Album HERE
"FREAKS, WEIRDOS AND GAYS"
Jessica launched Lucky Fox Commons, which advertises itself as "a writing collective by and for the freaks, weirdos and gays of Arizona".
The collective is a plethora of mostly soon-to-be-published authors and poets. They are passionate about their work and want to make it easily accessible and affordable to the public. Each author specializes in their own genre that they plan on contributing to.
Follow Jessica Minster on her Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/LuckyFoxCommons
SAGECollab aims to inspire and support organizations involved with aging programs and advocacy for older LGBTQ+ communities. SAGE specifically supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)elders, transgender and non-binary elders, and rural elders.
Organizations that join SAGECollab receive technical assistance from SAGE and peer support across the country. They can design programs and initiatives tailored to meet the unique needs of their communities while gaining access to SAGE resources, trainings, and connections to other partners across the country.
SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+)older people.
Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders. They provide education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging.
The also provide cultural competency training through SAGECare.
SAGE Connect is a program to match volunteer callers with LGBTQ+ Elders for casual friendly conversations! Matches connect once per week for six weeks over phone or video. SAGE Connect is
Prism's LGBTQ+ Senior Support Group meets every 1st and 3rd Monday at 11:00 via Zoom. We'll be discussing all the wonderful programs we now have access to with our SAGE Collab! Join us! You can contact Molly at email@example.com and we'll get you linked up!
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov) benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, health care and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member ofthe household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-incomeinternet program;
- Participates in one of these assistance programs:
-Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, includingat U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provisionschools.
- Federal Housing Assistance, including:
- Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
- Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/Section 202/ Section 811
- Public Housing
- Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- VeteransPension or Survivor Benefits or Lifeline;
Persons who live on Qualifying Tribal lands and participate in the following assistance plans:
Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Tribal Head Start (income based)
There are two steps to enroll:
1) Go to GetInternet.gov to submit an application or print out a mail-in application
2) Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill.
Eligible households must BOTH apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan
Pack up your favorite Picnic items and bring something to share- because Prism is bringing back the Potluck!
Check out our Inclusive Vendor Resource Fair! We have twenty amazing organizations ready to share their support and celebrate Pride with you!
Northland Cares will be there doing Free HIV Testing!
Dress up your pet in fabulous Pride finery for the First Annual Prism Pride Pet Contest!
* If your pet is shy, feline, aquatic or reptile well then send a Pride Pic to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll pick an Online Winner!
Take a walk...win a cookie....or a dozen! The First Annual Prism Cake Walk!
Granite Creek Park is located at 554 Sixth Street. The entrance is off of 6th Street- NO Entrance from Montezuma.
Watch for the Prism Banner at the Entrance on 6th Street! Here's a map:
We'll have water bottles, corn hole, frisbee's and maybe even a Vollyball Match!
Have Questions? Want to Volunteer? Contact Molly at email@example.com!
Prism Network is joining with our many Community Partners in opposition to the ordinance proposed by the Prescott City Council that would amend Title 5, Chapter 5-9 of the Prescott City Code to make a camping ban more enforceable.
In 2018, the 9th Circuit Court issued a ruling in Martin v Boise, which held that it is unconstitutional to enforce city ordinances that prohibit sleeping or camping on public property against homeless individuals who have no other place to sleep, when no alternative shelter is available. The court equated this to cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Ammendment. And yet this is exactly what the City Council of Prescott proposes to do.
Allison Lenocker, Executive Director of the Center for Courage and Justice (CCJ) operates one of the Counties crucial shelters for those experiencing homelessness. She writes this in her rebuttal to the proposed ordinance:
Read the full rebuttal here.
"Homelessness is a complex issue, and banning camping in the city is not a solution. Instead it will marginalize the homeless population, deny them basic human rights and exacerbate their struggles."
Per the 2022 Point in Time Count, nearly 30% of individuals experiencing homelessness in Arizona were first-time homeless. Of those, 41% in Yavapai County were reported as first time homeless. These numbers make it clear that homelessness can happen to anyone. It is not a lifestyle or a choice.
Read the entire 2022 Arizona Point in Time Count Here.
Homelessness can happen to anyone. It is not a lifestyle or a choice.
The proposed ordinance contains quotes and statements that imply inaccurate assumptions and use negative conations towards individuals experiencing homelessness including the implication that homelessness equates to a higher rate of Covid and other medical issues. But these statements are misleading.
The ordinance notes that Yavapai County has had 59,137 confirmed cases. While the actual data and counts are not in yet, the expected unsheltered count in January 2023 was only 113 individuals. See the COVID-19 Data Dashboard results here.
Even if every single one of those 113 tested positive for COVID19 it would only be 0.00191% of the total positive COVID-19 Count. Not the significant increase as the Council would suggest.
The severe shortage of affordable housing options in Prescott is a significant challenge for individuals and families in Prescott who are struggling to find safe, stable and attainable housing options. It should also be noted that there are no family shelters currently located in Prescott or Yavapai County and very few transitional housing units for families. This has resulted in long wait lists.
Prescott Unified School District had 238 students experiencing homelessness during the 2019-2020 academic year according to the National Center for Homeless Education. A significant number of these students are living in vehicles or tents along with their parent(s) due to the unavailability of affordable housing.
Instead of criminalizing homelessness, we should all be working together to create a more compassionate and inclusive solution that that values all of it's citizens and seeks to promote dignity and kindness.
The following are examples of what Homeless Advocates and supporting community organizations recommend.
1. Camping is allowed in designated areas of certain parks and preserves, provided that the individual obtains a permit and complies with the rules and regulations established by the city.
2. Camping on certain public property, including certain parks and open spaces, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., provided that the individual is not obstructing sidewalks or causing other obstructions.
3. Camping is permitted on certain public property ,including certain parks and open spaces, provided that the individual is not obstructing sidewalks or causing other obstructions.
4. Camping is permitted in certain public areas, such as designated camping zones in certain parks and open spaces, subject to specific rules and regulations. For example, individuals cannot camp in certain high-traffic areas.
5. Camping is permitted on certain public property, including certain parks and open spaces, between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., provided that the individual is not engaging in criminal activity, blocking sidewalks, or causing other obstructions.
Arizona Department of Housing. (2021). 2021 Arizona Housing Needs Assessment. Retrieved from
Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. (2022). 2022 Arizona Point-in-Time Homeless Count; Survey. Retrieved
Arizona Department of Health Services. (n.d.). COVID-19 Data Dashboard. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from
National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE). (2020).Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program
Data Collection Summary: School Year 2019-2020. Retrieved from https://nche.ed.gov/wp-
The Yavapai Community Health Department recently published the 2022 Yavapai LGBTQ+ Healthcare Access Survey. This survey provides much needed data on the health disparities experiences by the LGBTQ+ Community here in rural Yavapai County. Access the full Survey Results Here
According to the results:
62% of all respondents said that they agree or some what agree that they have been refused care due to LGBTQ+ identity.
Prism Network is partnering with the Yavapai Community Health Department to create a coalition that will improve access to inclusive healthcare and create an LGBTQ+ inclusive Health Care List.
We are looking to build a coalition of community partners and medical providers working together to better serve the health and wellness needs of the LGBTQ+ Community in Yavapai County.
We are officially starting to reach out to organizations we think will be a great fit for for the Coalition. If you or your organization is interested please fill out the form linked below:
Interest form: https://forms.office.com/g/25mz8khTUs
Please contact Prismaz.net or PrideInOurHealth@yavapaiaz.gov if you have any questions.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The first PFLAG meeting was held on March 11, 1973 in New York City and was attended by about 20 people who wanted to support their gay children and family members. PFLAG's overall mission is to provide support, education and advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ Community, their parents, families, friends and allies.
Initially the acronym "PFLAG" stood for "parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays". They have expanded their umbrella over the years to include the broader spectrum of gender identity, including bisexual, transgender, asexual, gender fluid, and those who are questioning their sexual orientation.
Since that first meeting 50 years ago, PFLAG has grown to approximately 300,000 members and supporters with about 375 local chapters throughout the USA.
PFLAG SEDONA/VERDE VALLEY is one of those local chapters and was founded in July of 2011 by Susan Hughes. They are a safe, welcoming and affirming group that meets "because we love and care about members of this community". Check out their Website at PFLAGSedona.org
* To provide a support system for families and friends of LGBTQIA+ persons in their effort to understand, accept and support their loved ones with pride.
* To provide education for individuals and the community at large on the nature of being LGBTQIA+
* To support the full human and civil rights of LGBQTIA+ persons
* Speak out and act whenever necessary to defend and enhance those human and civil rights.
PFLAG Sedona/Verde Valley provides support in a confidential setting at our monthly meetings. One of their primary objectives is to maintain families in loving relationships. They challenge any concept of traditional family values that excludes LGBTQ+ loved ones and further aim to promote the understanding of LGBTQ+ people as healthy, normal, responsible, productive, loving and caring human beings.
They educate their community to promote greater acceptance and respect for LGBTQ+ persons.
They advocate in a grassroots fashion for equal rights—not special rights—for their relatives and friends.
During the pandemic, PFLAG Sedona/VV began meeting by Zoom which has allowed the group to remain a consistent support for Northern Arizona. This year they offer both and In Person and Zoom option!
PFLAG Sedona/Verde Valley meets every 2nd Tuesday of the Month at 6:30 pm
In Person- Sedona Library at 3250 White Bear Road in Sedona Click here for map
Join Zoom Meeting
Finding and Making the Good is an amazing organization of community leaders and volunteers that takes time out of their busy daily community work to "Celebrate the people in the Prescott/Quad Cities doing, living and creating positivity". "We are people celebrating people"
Finding & Making the Good recognizes individuals, non-profits and organizations for their contributions to the community. Recipients are nominated by community residents through their website at findingandmakingthegood.com.
Some of the most recent individuals include:
Rose Marie Andreozzi who has made & donated hundreds of backpacks to the Friends of the Library program raising thousands of dollars. Read about it here!
Kris Gruda, the main caretaker for United Animal Friends who "works from sun up to sun down every single day" caring for animals at the UAF Ranch. Read more.
Ed and Esther Brohner, who attend the Faith Based Meeting in PV and have adopted one of the HUSD Schools through their faith group. Learn more.
In 2021, Prism Network- formerly GYCC, was thrilled to receive the Finding and Making the Good Award for their Covid Support Box Program.
During the pandemic, Prism (GYCC) received urgent requests from Covid positive community members with moderate symptoms. Local hospitals were full at the time and people were being asked to isolate or quarantine at home. Prism's Covid Support Boxes contained 14 days of supplies, including oxygen and temperature montors, and were focused on helping Covid Positive people manage their symptoms safely at home. Learn more about the Covid Support Box Program Here
In February 2023, Molly Freibott who is currently the Executive Director of Prism Network, was delightfully ambushed and received the Award one more time. John Duncan, Director of Events for Prism Network and Allison Lenoker, Executive Director of CCJ (Center for Courage and Justice) lured Molly to Rafters Eleven Coffee Shop in Prescott Valley with the promise of coffee and goodies. Molly was overwhelmed to find that the Amazing Team at Finding and Making the Good had met to bring flowers, a wonderful Certificate, a Gift Card and a $250 donation to Prism Network.
Our most sincere thanks for this amazing honor and thank you Finding and Making the Good for all that you do!
TO LEARN MORE CLICK HERE!
EVERY SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT 2:00
124 South Granite, Prescott
EVERY MONDAY NIGHT AT 6:30 PM
127 Plaza Drive, Prescott
EVERY SATURDAY AT 4:00PM
239 North Marina Street, Prescott
Once Per Month
Tuesday December 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm at the Sedona LIbrary OR by ZOOM
This month's speaker will be Alexandra Dellerson. Alexandra has lived in Sedona for five years and moved from New York City to be closer to family. Alexandra is a certified life coach and works with clients on cultivating a more friendly and hospitable headspace. Her area of expertise is survivors of sexual trauma.
HERE'S THE ZOOM LINK!
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://zoom.us/j/92237972093?pwd=TzJuVzFsck1xQk5vcjcyWDYzMWRzZz09
AARP Tax Aide in the Prescott Gateway Mall answers tax questions and offers FREE Tax Preparation and Help Filing
The Senior Peer Program strives to improve the well being of seniors by providing social connections with their peers!
Polara Health also has Senior Peer Program Support Groups
Think of it like a minibus that comes when you want, where you want! GO TO THE YAVALINE WEBSITE HERE!
Prism is partnering with the Alzheimer's Association. We are part of the Desert Southwest Chapter.
The Hotline is your one stop shop for resources, questions and support!
CALL ANYTIME AT 1-800-272-3900
AARP provides a wealth of resources and support!
An Ombudsmen advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities and similar adult care facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents and to bring about change at the local, state and national levels that will improve residents' care and quality of life.
John "Cody" McKey is YOUR Regional Ombudsman Supervisior! You can contact him at 928-251-0780 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To report abuse, neglect and/or exploitation you can call Adult Protective Services at 877-767-2385 or go their website HERE.
The Launch Pad Teen Center is an all-inclusive, youth driven and focused space. They have been providing programming that is culturally relevant to teens in Yavapai County since opening in 2013. Having moved twice, they are now settled in their newly complete home base: a 5,400 square foot warehouse on 6th Street in Prescott! Their fearless and vivacious leader, Executive Director and Founder Courtney Osterfelt, has been a powerful force for good in Yavapai County for many years and has received many well deserved community awards.
The Launch Pad Center is a Youth Driven Space (YDS). This means they believe in centering youth voice and agency in all levels of programming and decision making. The YDS philosophy is based on a program called the Neutral Teen Center in Ann Arbor Michigan.
The Launch Pad's Youth Driven Space uses out-of-school-time programs where teens use the actual operation of the organization to build skills, increase participation and develop appropriate skill building in older teens. Learn more about YDS Here
A great example of the Youth Driven Space philosophy is The Launch Pad's Moon Cafe which is open to all teens as well as the public.
Paid teen apprentices are trained to make everything from smoothies to fancy coffee Drinks. Local teens and community members can grab a sandwhich, snack or beverage and hang out in their amazing lounge area. Teens run the Cafe and learn the skills of running a small business and managing a team.
The Launch Pad recognizes that teen and adolescent development depends on variety and even novelty. Their weekly out-of-school programs include everything from Music to Dungeon's and Dragons Role Playing Clubs. A new Calendar is released at the start of every month. Check out the programming here.
The Best for Teens Group is a community collaboration among teens, parents, community members, nonprofits and service agencies. The group is inviting local agencies to participate and add their names to the list of collaborators.
The Best for Teens Community Meeting is a great opportunity to get information out across the community and connect with other organizations looking to support local teens. Attendance at the meeting means coming to the table for conversations about what is going on in the community for teens, what needs there are and what resources are available.
So far the list includes: YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Prism Network, The Launch Pad Teen Center, Yavapai CASA for Kids ,PUSD, Family Involvement Center, Juvenile Detention, Child and Family Support Services, Youth Advocacy Program, Polara Health, One N Ten, Community Counts, Northstar, Verde Valley JPO,YC Community Health Services, Verde Tech High School, Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition, Esquire Sports, Spectrum Healthcare, City of Prescott Teen Task Force, MatForce, local community members, parents and teens.
The Team recognizes how busy everyone is and is now meeting just once per quarter! Join the team for a teen led community conversation about what is going well for teens in Yavapai County and what we need to improve.
The next meeting is January 17th, 2023 at The Launch Pad or by Zoom
For more information contact Joy Goff email@example.com.
The Launch Pad partners with One n Ten to bring meaningful and fun LGBTQ+ specific programming every week. The goal is to enhance teens lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices.
One•n•ten is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization based in Phoenix dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. We provide youth with tools to improve self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Check out the weekly programming in advance: https://onenten.org/satellite-locations/
For more information about The Launch Pad Teen Center Click Here
You can also call at 928-227-0758
The Launch Pad is located at 424 6th Street Prescott
Hours of Operation are: Mon & Tues 2:30pm-7pmWeds, Th, & Fri 2:30pm-9pmSaturday 5pm-9pm
By Molly Freibott
That was the subject line of the email I received from one of my favorite human beings and champion of inclusion- Reverend Patty Willis. We had just attended an Interfaith Group and I announced that Faith Bridge was looking to update our list of Inclusive Faith Organizations. Often after I announce this a hush falls across the room. I am sometimes left smiling into a room filled with very uncomfortable faith leaders hoping the announcement won't lead to an uncomfortable conversation;)
Prism's Faith Bridge Program began in 2017 when we started the 501c3. The mission is to address the very urgent need to provide inclusive and safe faith connections for the LGBTQ+ Community and allies. Prism's Team has worked to build an Inclusive Faith List that includes organizations across the spectrum including Jewish Synagogues, Baha'i Communities and Sufi Circles. Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist has continually been at the top of our list!
Before I even left the meeting that day I received an email from Reverend Patty reassuring me of what we already knew- that GPUU was as always- Inclusive and Affirming!
Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation is a Beacon of Hope, Inclusivity and Diversity in our Rural Northern Arizona Community.
Based on seven pillar principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote, UU Congregations draw on a variety of religious sources. To learn more about the Prescott Unitarian Universalist Congregation Click Here.
Their Mission Statement reads that they are a compassionate spiritual community that:
Nourishes the personal and spiritual growth of all ages
Shares our gifts
Promotes justice for all
Serves the world we live in
The Congregation is led by Reverend Patty Willis, author of the illustrated novel , The Village Above the Stars. She is a traveler, an avid advocate of migrants and social justice and leads the congregation in peace making and reconciliation. Learn more about Reverend Patty's Story Here
I found out about the Changemaker Workshops after a long afternoon at the Yavapai County Community Crisis Team (YC-CCRT) . I sat with first responders, police officers, detectives and community advocates brainstorming about how we could reach out to a very polarized community and have difficult conversations around some very pressing situations.
I came home to this flyer for a Changemaker Workshop- it was just what we were looking for!
Anna Flurry is Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist's Social Justice Coordinator and host of this excellent program. I was so excited just to hear that a Faith Organization had a Social Justice Coordinator, let alone a whole program for facilitating change in these difficult times!
I tried to think of how to describe this powerhouse of energy, passion and advocacy but I think it's better to use her own words.
"I am devoted to the power of love and connection, and I believe that activism built from a strong core of love, connection, and imagination allows us to grow new worlds rooted in our collective hopes and dreams for a liberated present. I envision my role as social justice coordinator as an opportunity to share the skills that I have learned, connect people and organizations with each other to better meet the needs of our communities, and support Prescott actions that will lead to lasting change." Anna Flurry
Learn more about Anna Flurry Here
My first session was "How can I make sure my event is accessible to everyone" which has been high on my list of importance for years. I was so impressed! I have an ASL Interpreter help me sometimes at workshops and we were both just trying to keep up with all the excellent information coming our way. We had to meet twice afterward just to discuss the material and to look up the new vocabulary words we learned in the ASL Dictionary!
This session was packed with information and resources and I immediately knew I had to share it with everyone working hard for change and growth in our community. I was able to use and apply some of the new perspectives and suggestions right away and refer back to the notes as a resource often.
"How can I make sure my event is accessible to everyone?"
"How can I make a Difference when it feels like the whole world is falling apart?"
"How to get people to join the movement and Keep Coming Back: Organizing, Recruiting and Volunteer Culture"
"How to talk to People you REALLY don't agree with: When there's more at stake than winning an argument"
"How Do We Stop from Tearing Ourselves Apart? Resolving Conflict in our Communities with Curiosity and Nonviolence Part 1 of 2
It's like she's reading our minds...these are exactly the situations we all face every day! Molly Freibott
You can register for the next session HERE
For more information contact Anna Flurry at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Website at www.prescottuu.org
By Molly Freibott (she, her, ella)
Prism's Faith Bridge Program began in 2017 when we started the 501c3. The mission was to address the very urgent need to provide inclusive and safe faith connections for the LGBTQ+ Community and allies. When my husband and I started taking in LGBTQ+ teens that were abandoned by their families, I was devastated to realize that out of the hundreds of churches in Northern Arizona, there were only a few would welcome our LGBTQ+ family.
Prism's Team, then GYCC, worked to build an Inclusive Faith List that included organizations across the spectrum including Jewish Synagogues, Baha'i Communities and Sufi Circles. The Unitarian Universalist Congregations have also been accepting and welcoming, but finding churches identifying as "Christian" has been difficult. Many of the Churches that we originally had on our inclusive list had to be removed when the political climate began changing in 2017. The effects of the pandemic in 2020 and the political polarization that occurred has resulted in many of our previously "safe" churches having being removed from our list.
It has been my personal experience in working with the Community that those who come out as LGBTQIA+ often are able to survive the loss of family and friends, but rejection from a faith group or a spiritual leader who "represents God" is unfortunately the final straw that often leads to suicidal ideation. Molly Freibott
Imagine my excitement when I heard that not only was Emmanuel Lutheran of Prescott Valley inclusive and welcoming, but they had a whole TEAM dedicated to Inclusivity!
Check out the Emmanuel Lutheran Church's website here: elcpvaz.org
Emmanuel Lutheran Church PV is part of the Lutheran Organization called Reconciling in Christ. Since 1974,Reconciling in Christ has advocated for the full welcome, inclusion and equity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual/aromantic (LGBQTQIA+) Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church, congregations and community. Learn more about Reconciling in Christ Here
Gene Bruce Fougner (he, him) is the current facilitator of the Inclusivity Team at Emmanuel Lutheran and is responsible for conducting meetings, creating agendas and planning exercises or trainings around the goal of increasing inclusivity of all types.
Gene retired from an 18 year career with Educational Talent Search, a federal grant outreach program housed at Yavapai College. He worked with 700 middle school and high school students who were looking to find careers and colleges, predominantly from low income homes.
Gene says that one of the perks in a mid-sized rural church body is the opportunity to get involved. Gene’s job at Emmanuel Lutheran is to encourage talents to flourish. He directs the bell choir and is involved in instrumental music efforts but leaves plenty of time to grow vegetables, swim and bike with his husband of 40 years, and keep up with their 20-year-old son.
Pastor Trisha Lowe (she, her) and her husband Tim have remodeled an almost 50-year-old log house in Prescott Valley, and live the good life with their basset hound, Max. They have two adult sons, Ben and Andy who they wish would visit more often. I have the pleasure of serving along with Pastor Trisha. She serves on the Quad City Interfaith Council and the PV Interfaith Group. She is a pillar of the community and a loud voice for LGBTQ+ inclusion and support.
The Inclusivity Team's defined goals for "Facilitating Intentional Welcome" are:
1. Be a community beacon for the LGBTQIA+ needs
2. Empower our congregation to facilitate welcome to all including special needs, skin tone, and all human variation
3. Identify and name any limitations, phobias, etc. as they emerge for purpose of healing and care
Their literature states:
"Emmanuel Lutheran Church members want to welcome all people to fellowship, worship, and the life of the church and in so doing will embrace ideas of welcome quite naturally. Therefore, our approach can be gentle, frank, and educational with attainable goals encouraging rich life. The community may also need a more attentive approach of welcome from us in the face of emergency and extreme need."
I was thrilled to be invited to speak with the Inclusivity Team in October 2022 about inclusivity and specifically about the recent verbal attacks on the PV Library regarding their support of the LGBQT+ Community. It was so encouraging to speak to a roomful of individuals who were there with open minds, open hearts and a definite passion for letting everyone know they were welcome and supported at ELCPV.
We discussed how to address difficult conversations with people we don't agree with integrity and grace. This is a group of people willing to come to the table with those they don't agree with and to listen with open minds and a desire to understand. That being said, they were also very ready to stand up and defend the rights of all people to be included and represented in their community.
Prism Network has joined the Interfaith Group of Prescott Valley. At the October meeting we were shocked to hear the report by Lisa Krietenstein with the Family Resource Center with the Humboldt Unified School District (HUSD).
There are 114 students on the McKinney-Vento homeless program. Homelessness can be any temporary housing situation, like living in a car, a hotel, a homeless or domestic violence shelter, at a camp ground or even RV living. The main situation the Center sees is called 'doubled up' or a family living with another family due to a hardship.
Prism Network was able to raise just under $200.00 for new socks & underwear. We also were able to donate supplies from our Covid Support Box Program which thankfully has slowed down in the last six months.
Did you know that today's teens don't like to wear jackets? Grab a hoodie next time you are out and keep a teen warm.
Can you grab a pack of socks or underwear next time you are out?
Could your Faith Organization or Business collect a supplies to drop off?
Could you purchase a $10-$15 gift card this month so a teen can purchase undergarments?
How about writing a nice email to the Family Resource Center thanking them for all they do? Lisa.Krietenstein@humboldtunified.com
Gift Cards in $10-25 increments (Grocery, laundromat, gas, haircut)
Hoodies (L, XL, 2XL) Underwear & socks for K-12
Graph Paper, Colored Copy Paper (Any Color) Graph Paper, Index Cards
3 holed punches, desk top staplers, Binder clips- all sizes, Scissors-adult size
Tape- all kinds (scotch, packing tape, duct tape, masking tape)
Mechanical pencil lead refills- 0.7mm, 3 ring binders- 1-3 inch or zippered kind
Small toys and prizes
The meeting will be for LGBTQ+ Seniors, Care Takers, Family and Allies.
We will be having our first organizational meeting on Monday, November 7th at 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m by ZOOM.
Meetings are tentatively scheduled for the 1st and 3rd Monday's of the Month
Prism Network is working with a grant from AARP to offer FREE SafeTALK Suicide Prevention Trainings (Normally $25.00 per person).
SafeTALK is a 3-4 Hour Training that provides practical, immediately usable techniques to identify people with thoughts of suicide and connect them immediately to local accessible help. Each class provides a local, current resource list.
Students have a chance to practice in a relaxed, safe setting and become comfortable with the techniques.
Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help from others. SafeTALK teaches participants to recognize their invitations, engage the person with thoughts of suicide, and connect them with intervention resources to help them stay from suicide.
In this 3.5 Hour Training participants will learn to:
• Notice and respond to situation where suicide thoughts may be present
• Recognize that invitations for help are often overlooked.
• Move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide.
Molly Freibott is Executive Director at Prism Network and is Certified as a SafeTALK Trainer, ASIST Certified and trained in Mental Health First Aid.
We'd love to train your First Responders, Administrators, Educators, Staff and Community Volunteers. SafeTALK is accessible for anyone over the age of 15 and can be customized to your Organization
SafeTALK is an excellent Training for Faith Organizations, Youth Groups and Lay Volunteers.
Contact us to Register at INFO@PRISMAZ.NET OR AZFaithBridge@gmail.com
Your contribution will help to support our Mission to provide Emergency Resources, Housing, Food, Shelter and Suicide Prevention Training to Yavapai County’s LGBTQ+ and underserved populations.