Guest Speaker This Sunday – Jeff Lutes

Trinity is excited to have Jeff Lutes with us this Sunday!  Jeff Lutes is a psychotherapist, writer, and public speaker who others often describe as calm, warm, knowledgeable, funny, and genuine. In a style that is both informative and compassionate, Jeff has shown hundreds of couples how to improve communication, intimacy, and meaningful lifelong connection.

Jeff has maintained a private practice counseling individuals and couples in Austin, Texas since 1988 and has written numerous newspaper articles and blogs on relationships and parenting. He has trained with some of the nation’s top relationship experts, including Dr. John Gottman, Dr. Harville Hendrix, and Dr. Pat Love. He has supervised over one hundred counselors and directed psychological services for hospitals, treatment centers, and outpatient mental health facilities during his career. He is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF), the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR), and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

From January 2006 through November 2009, Jeff served as the Executive Director of Soulforce – the national social justice organization committed to ending the religion-based oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. He served on the board of directors from 2003 through 2009. During his tenure at Soulforce he organized large direct actions outside James Dobson’s Focus on the Family headquarters as seen in the award winning film For The Bible Tells Me So as well as the documentary, Sole Journey. Using the principles of nonviolence, Jeff created dialogue with major religious leaders such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Bill Hybels, and Bishop T.D. Jakes in his ongoing effort to increase understanding about sexual orientation and gender identity among people of faith. He helped launch the Soulforce young adult program and the first three Equality Rides, and organized two national conferences to educate the public about the harm caused by so-called “ex-gay” ministries and “reparative” therapies. He is the author of the booklet “What the Science Says- and Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality: Research-based answers to ten of the most commonly asked questions about lesbian women, gay men, and their families.”

His first children’s book has been published by Creative House Kids Press in October, 2011. Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family is a magical tale about diversity, adoption, deaf culture, and non-traditional families. For more information go to http://www.okinthepanda.com.

Jeff and his partner, Gary Stein, met in 1997 and are the proud fathers of three children they adopted as a couple. Gary and two of the children are deaf. American Sign Language is the primary mode of communication in their home.

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About Trinity UMC

Trinity United Methodist Church is not a church that has all the answers, but we do know the source of our hope, healing, and love. Your continued participation is welcome as we seek to serve God through each other, our community, and our world. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would simply like to talk. Trinity United Methodist Church is a dynamic community of people, who through their trust in God's faithfulness, strive to provide an inclusive, joyful, loving, and caring environment. In this community, people can find spiritual nurture and growth, mutual support of individual needs, and a sense of family. Reaching out through vital and creative worship, people-centered programs, and social and environmental stewardship, this congregation serves the local and global communities.

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