The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina is organizing two conferences about inclusion in the church.

The first is called “African Americans in the Church” and features presentations by Kendra Hamilton, director of South studies at Presbyterian College (and daughter of Lonnie Hamilton), and the Rev. Dr. Wilmot Merchant, a Liberian native who is rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in North Myrtle Beach.

St. Stephen’s is hosting the conference Saturday.

The event also will feature a dramatic reading from the Tom Tisdale’s play “Truth in Cold Blood,” about the murder of Bishop William Alexander Guerry at St. Philip’s Church in the 1920s, as well as a talk by Michael Kogan titled “The Church’s Role and Responsibility in Promoting Social Justice” which considers the role of religious leaders in civil rights movements past and present.

The choir from Voorhees College, a historically black college affiliated with The Episcopal Church located in Denmark, will provide music.

A second conference, called “LGBT in the Church,” is planned for March 21 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Anson Street in Charleston. This event will explore the intersection of scripture, society and religious institutions.

The keynote speaker is Dale Martin, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, who will address the positive relationship between scripture and advocacy for inclusion in two talks: “Does Scripture Actually Speak? Perspectives on Our Responsibilities in Interpreting Scripture” and “Scripture and Sexuality: Case Studies in Biblical Interpretation.”

Register for the conferences online at www.episcopal The cost is $20 for each conference, which includes lunch.

Q Commons, a Christian initiative that adopts the TED Talks format as well as TED’s hub-and-spoke model to discuss contemporary issues, will conduct a nationwide event with various local gathering points 7-9 p.m. Thursday.

Q Commons Charleston will convene at the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership on the Charleston Southern University campus, 9200 University Blvd.

The title of the event is “Learning to Celebrate the Multi-Ethnic Gospel,” and it includes national speakers (author Malcolm Gladwell, broadcaster Soledad O’Brien and TV producer Mark Burnett, via live-streaming video), two local speakers (Angie Rylands, state director for Lifeline Children’s Services, and Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce) and a local panel of church and community leaders, which includes Mike Seaver, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church; Bryan Marcus, director of operations for the Whitfield Center; Edward Francis, local Fatherhood coordinator for the Low Country Pregnancy Center; Craig Tuck, lead pastor of Centerpoint Church; and A.J. Rankin, pastor of North Charleston’s The Hive Church.

Tickets are $29, $24.50 for married couples, and can be purchased online at

Adam Parker