Kelsey was the LYRIC Community Engagement Consultant for Allies in Faith at LYRIC. Launched in Fall 2013, Allies in Faith: an Interfaith Network for LGBTQQ Youth calls together leaders from diverse faith traditions to challenge their communities to create safe spaces for LGBTQQ youth to be a part of their congregations through intentional allyship by inspiring and fostering a network of faith-based communities that celebrate LGBTQQ youth, involving LGBTQQ youth in broader progressive religious movements, and advocating with LGBTQQ youth in pursuit of youth’s social justice goals.
As a consultant, Kelsey helped bring this work to life. He served as a strategic design thought-partner and supported LYRIC’s Allies in Faith Coordinator in developing and implementing long-term goals and short-term actions. Kelsey eloquently built relationships with open and affirming faith communities interested in joining Allies in Faith from within the communities he was already connected to, and beyond. He guided and participated in the Allies in Faith leadership team meetings, quarterly meetings, community potlucks, and more. He was instrumental in the planning and evaluation of the Allies in Faith Summertime Summit in August 2015 as well as in developing and implementing LYRIC’s staff training in Spirituality and Religion. Kelsey brings his dedication and heart to his work and blends it skillfully with his expertise in LGBTQQ spirituality and religion, as well as spiritual trauma.
-Jodi Schwartz, Executive Director, LYRIC
Natalia M. Vigil Communication and Development Manager, LYRIC
I have been impressed with Kelsey Pacha ever since he enrolled in one of my online courses back in 2012. It has been such a pleasure to watch his sense of vocational identity expand and his skills for both scholarly research and social justice-making blossom. Kelsey is a great “bridger of worlds,” bringing together key aspects of the academy with a commitment for the thriving of LGBTQ people and what spiritual practice has to do with all of it. Only rarely can someone bring all of those concerns together in the same room for a fruitful conversation and effective community building; Kelsey is one of those people who can. I’m eager to see where next Kelsey’s talent and gifts will make the world a better place!
-The Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture, Pacific School of Religion
It was a privilege to work with Kelsey Pacha on spirituality programming at Rainbow Community Center in 2015. Kelsey is very resourceful, mindful of people’s needs, culturally humble and open-minded. He is especially gifted in helping people to feel comfortable and safe when sensitive issues are part of the discussion. Kelsey empowers his clients, encourages self-actualization and promotes spirituality as one of the most important components of human nature. Kelsey does not run away from challenges and difficult subjects, rather he models how to use healthy coping strategies and good communication skills to promote community harmony and reach consensus. I hope to be lucky to be able to collaborate with him again in the future!
-Marcos Apolonio, ACSW, OrdM
I have had the honor of working with Kelsey on developing the innovative Allies in Faith initiative for the LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ Youth. Kelsey was instrumental in gathering, assessing, and synthesizing necessary information and statistics to facilitate the understanding of the intersectional dynamics of LGBTQQ youth in San Francisco so that faith leaders might grasp the delicate nature and incredible need for spiritual guidance in the “San Francisco Bubble” toward a plan of allyship. In Summer 2015, Kelsey helped manage and develop an agenda to bring over 40+ San Francisco community faith leaders together for an immensely successful, first-of-its-kind summit to discuss the spiritual needs of LGBTQQ youth. All of this was done with great humility, sensitivity, and skilled active listening. Were I to be offered another opportunity to work with Kelsey again, I would reply with an unequivocal YES!
-Michael Cronin, Associate Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church, San Francisco