Transgender Day of Remembrance Interfaith Vigil Live Stream 2021

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Air date: 
Sat, 11/20/2021 - 5:00pm to 6:15pm

Gather with the community in-person at or virtually for an interfaith service featuring local spiritual leaders, music, and a candle-lighting ceremony for the fallen. This Trans Day of Remembrance observance is open to the entire community and is being hosted by transgender and interfaith allies.

More information and virtual registration link can be found here.


Program Schedule:


Service Prelude - Cello             Anna Fritz

Introductions and Welcome     Rev Ethan Gregory, First United Methodist Church  
                                                      Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater, Portland Open Beit Midrash

Land Acknowledgement         Carter Smith, Intern Minister, First Unitarian Church

Music                                          Cathy Danielson "Yahweh I Know You Are Near"

Blessing/Testimony                  Rev Tom Disrud, First Unitarian Church

Blessing/Testimony                  Hillary Howes, Catholic Church

Music                                          Dawn-Hunter Strobel "It is Well With My Soul"

Blessing/Testimony                  Chelsea Penning, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Keynote Speaker                      Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater, Portland Open Beit Midrash

Candle Lighting
 Reading of the Names            Rabbi Ariel Stone, Congregation Shir Tikvah
                                                    Jean Bryant,
                                                    Anna Fritz, Cello

Music                                         Nicolette Schweizer "Amazing Grace"

Blessing/Testimony                  Cassidy Brown, Portland Reclaiming Tradition

Speaker                                      City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty

Blessing/Testimony                  Shamay Groman, Pagan

Music                                          Nicolette Schweizer "Harmonies Inside"

Closing                                      Rev Ethan Gregory, First United Methodist Church


Anna Fritz - Anna Fritz is a cellist, folksinger, activist, and Quaker with a music ministry. She writes songs that are used as political anthems and intimate prayers, touching on themes of colonization, climate, racial justice, gender, and connection with the Living World. Tonight she is performing original music she composed for theater productions in Oregon prisons. Her music can be found online at

Rev Ethan Gregory - Rev. Ethan Gregory is the associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Portland. Ethan is relatively new to the PNW, having moved her from Texas in the summer of 2020. As a gay UM clergy person, he is delighted to serve in a community that has been LGBTQ-affirmiing for almost as long as he’s been alive. Pronouns: He/Him.

Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater  -  Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater is the founding rabbi of the Portland Open Beit Midrash. She is a transgender woman whose rabbinic work celebrates the margins of Judaism and the marginalized people who inhabit those spaces. Her work focuses on affirming trans identities and experiences through innovative yet traditional Jewish law, liturgy, and ritual. In addition to her rabbinic work, she is a software engineer and advocate for greater inclusion of women, people of color, transgender individuals, and other people from nontraditional backgrounds in the tech world.

Carter Smith - Carter Smith is the Intern Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Portland. Her ministry focuses on building communities where all souls are welcome as blessings, and where we can together move toward a more liberated world.

Rev Tom Disrud - Rev. Thomas Disrud (he/him) is associate minister of the First Unitarian Church of Portland. He was called in 1995 and was the congregation’s first openly gay minister.

Hilary Howes - Hilary Howes, who transitioned in 1995, is the founder of a Roman Catholic apostolate to support the dignity and inclusion of transgender laity, President of Greenbelt Pride, and board Member of Gender Rights Maryland. She is published in More than a Monologue Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church- Volume I: Voices of Our Times. Professionally she designs events in Washington DC and is best known as an author, speaker, and creative in the event, exhibit, and color industries.

Dawn-Hunter Strobel is a singer and performer.  He studied theater and performing arts at Willamette University.

Chelsea Penning - Chelsea Penning (she/her/hers) is an organizer with the Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She has been a Buddhist for ten years and practices Engaged Buddhism and Radical Dharma, following teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, and Lama Rod Owens.

Rabbi Ariel Stone -  Rabbi Ariel Stone serves as spiritual guide for Shir Tikvah, Portland’s only Eastside Jewish congregation, where she leads an exploration of the queering of Torah Study. She is also Convener of Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance and co-founder of TischPDX, incubator for 21st century Jewish leadership.

Jean Bryant  - Jean Bryant is a cohost of the program Transpositive on KBOO Community Radio.  A long time trans rights community activist, Jean has been involved in many aspects of organizing and support for the Transgender and Non-Binary Community in Vancouver and Portland.  

Nicolette Schweizer - Nicolette is a nonbinary musician and a transgender activist who hosts Transpositive on KBOO radio. Ey uses ey/em or they/them pronouns

Cassidy Brown - Cassidy Brown (all pronouns) is a queer witch and a priestess in the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft, which blends ecofeminist spirituality with political activism. They facilitate pagan services for people in prison and in the community through Portland Reclaiming, which can be found on Facebook or by emailing

City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty -  Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty oversees Portland Fire & Rescue, Portland Bureau of Transportation, and the Office of Community & Civic Life. Committed to representing all Portlanders with transparency, accountability, and equality.

Shamay Groman - Gay Pagan Representative and Transgender Ally. Guardian and High Priest for the the Fire Rose, a local based Coven of witches.  He/Him Pronouns.

Special Thanks to:

Mervin J. Kurniawan

Steve Cromer

Ellen Simmons

Emma Lugo

Jean Bryant

Nicolette Schweizer

Rabbi Ariel Stone

Rev Ethan Gregory

Cassidy Brown

Rev Thomas Disrud

Congrégation Shir Tikvah

Multnomah Friends Quaker Meeting

First United Methodist Church

First Unitarian Portland

Portland Peace Team

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