Peterson Toscano — a playwright, actor, blogger, stand-up comedian and gay activist — is coming to Akron and Cleveland on Monday and Tuesday for two performances.
Toscano, of Sunbury, Pa., spent nearly two decades and more than $30,000 undergoing “ex-gay treatment” and conversion therapy before coming out as a gay man.
He uses comedy and storytelling to address social justice issues, including sexism, racism, violence and those concerning the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Since 2003, Toscano has traveled in North America, Europe and Africa to speak and perform plays that he has written.
The theatrical performance activist will perform Transfigurations — Transgressing Gender in the Bible at 7 p.m. Monday at Fairlawn West United Church of Christ, 2095 W. Market St., Akron.
The play weaves the experiences of transgender people that Toscano has interviewed with biblical stories from Hebrew and Christian scriptures of people that he describes as gender-variant.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Toscano will present Jesus Had Two Daddies in Cathedral Hall at Trinity Commons, 2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. The one- person play uses comedy to bring new insights to ancient biblical passages.
Toscano’s local visit is sponsored by the Cleveland Friends Meeting. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker).
Donations of $10 are requested to help cover Toscano’s expenses. For more information, call 330-814-2401 or email NLReeves@yahoo.com.
In other religion news:
Canton Christian Women’s Connection — at the Fairways at Arrowhead, 1500 Rogwin Circle SW, Plain Township. 11:30 a.m. May 16. The monthly luncheon will be held. Theme is Life Is a Quilt: Putting Together the Pieces. Speaker will be Joanne Smisko who will share how to put the pieces of a quilt, or a life, back together. Music will be provided by LaDonna Rogers and Joy Hebb. For required reservations, or complimentary nursery, call Sherry at 330-837-6552 or email email@example.com by May 12. Cost is $13 and includes lunch.
Christ Community Fellowship Church — 10900 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg. 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Free community dinner. Held on first and third Tuesdays of the month. Food donations and volunteers welcome. Free-will offering will support missions of the church. Free family movie night on May 11. At 6:15 p.m., a free Chick-fil-A sandwich, chips, dessert and beverage will be served. Movie starts at 7 p.m. and includes fresh popcorn. Candy for sale. Proceeds benefit children’s ministry. 330-405-2817.
Christ Is The Answer Ministries — 379 E. South St., Akron. 4 p.m. Sunday. The Rev. Charlotte Wade of United Baptist Church will be the featured speaker during a special celebratory worship service. 330-376-1869.
Covenant Worship Center — 2535 Romig Road, Akron. 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Evangelist Carmella Hill, Ohio District Council youth president, will speak.
First Church of Brethren — 1812 Marigold Ave., Akron. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today. Spaghetti dinner. Adults $6, ages 12 and under $4.
Hartville Marketplace — 1289 Edison St. NW, Lake Township. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Estella Williams, an author from Palm Bay, Fla., will be available to sign copies of her book, From Both Sides of the Chair. 888-361-9473.
The House of Prayer For All People — 3 p.m. May 26. Zion Women Ministries will hold its third annual iPress Walk-A-Thon at Lane Field, 1055 East Ave., Akron. It is a three-mile walk with a portion of the proceeds to benefit breast cancer awareness. Registration is $25 (tax deductible) and includes a T-shirt and grab bag. Donations welcome. Contact Carleesha Moore at 330-780-4848 or Edna Moore at 330-212-9120.
Manchester United Methodist Church — 5625 Manchester Road, New Franklin. 7:30 to 11 a.m. May 11. Boy Scout Troop 118 presents its semiannual all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, hash browns, sausage gravy and biscuits, coffee and juice. Adults $6.50, seniors and age 12 and under $5.50. 330-882-4818.
Mogadore Christian Church — 106 S. Cleveland Ave., Mogadore. 5 p.m. today. Casual/contemporary worship service on the first Saturday of each month in the social hall. Light meal, praise music and a message- related discussion and study time. Singers and musicians welcome. Child care provided. 330-628-3344.
New Exodus Christian Fellowship Church — at Guy’s Party Center, 500 E. Waterloo Road, Akron. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11. The sixth annual Celebration of Women Luncheon, sponsored by Laborers of Love Women Ministry. Theme is Women of Divine Boldness. Guest speaker is Debra Glenn of Macedonia Baptist Church. Elgertha “Pat” Woodall-Bell will be honored for her community service. Tickets $25 and must be purchased by Monday. No tickets sold at the door. Call 234-678-9823.
Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church — 844 Garth Ave., Akron. 6 p.m. Friday. A Mother-Daughter Banquet will be held. Guest speaker is Karen A. Ellerson, retired director of student services at Akron Public Schools. Theme is Covenant of Love Between a Mother and a Daughter. Adults $10, ages 10 and under $5. 330-762-4997.
South Arlington United Methodist Church — 790 S. Arlington St. Akron. 8:30 to 11 a.m. today. Breakfast fundraiser. Variety of items available. Homemade cinnamon rolls. On Friday from 9 to 11 a.m., there will be an open public food pantry. 330-724-1334.
Tallmadge Lutheran Church — 759 East Ave., Tallmadge. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter when Jesus reascended to heaven, will be celebrated with a shared service. It will include members and clergy from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Hudson; St. John Lutheran Church, Akron; Zion Lutheran Church, Akron; Faith Lutheran Church, Kent; and Lutheran Campus Ministry, Kent. The chancel and handbell choirs from Gloria Dei will present anthems, as will Tallmadge Lutheran’s chancel choir. A reception will follow. The public is invited. 330-633-4775.
Mount Olive Baptist Church — 1180 Slosson Ave., Akron. 5 p.m. May 11. Akron Interdenominational Church Ushers 37th annual Brown/Ballard Scholarship musical play I Can’t Fly With One Wing will be presented. Donation $6. For ticket information, call 330-351-2325.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron — 3300 Morewood Road, Fairlawn. 7 p.m. Thursday. The women’s association celebrates mothers with a presentation of Queen Bee Production’s Mother Wove the Morning, written by Carol Lynn Pearson. It reflects an uncensored view of the experiences of women through history, casting light on little taught realities of endurance and triumph. Local actors Deb Lemire, Lynette Brown and Christine Gault play 16 different women through the ages. $10 suggested donation at the door. Refreshments served. Child care provided. 330-836-2206.
Westminster Presbyterian Church — 1250 W. Exchange St., Akron. 5 p.m. May 12. Final concert of the free 5-at-5 concert series entitled Mother’s Day Opera/Broadway Gala. Arias from musicals performed by singers and soloists. Child care available. 330-836-2226.
Blessed Trinity Parish — 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Father Norm Douglas, co-founder of Heart to Heart Communications, will be the speaker for the next Come and See meeting in McKeever Hall. His topic will be Staying Emotionally and Spiritually Healthy. Small discussion groups will follow addressing a variety of topics. Refreshments will be served. No cost, reservations not required. For more information, call Linda Herold at 330-376-5144.
City of Refuge Worship Center — 209 S. Walnut St., Ravenna. 7 p.m. Monday. First of a series of Celebrate Recovery Workshops, which will continue on Monday nights. Designed to encourage and strengthen those who have suffered addictions that caused loss in their lives. All are welcome. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, there will be a Battlefield of the Mind Series. For information, call 330-289-0713.
Massillon Public Library — 208 Lincoln Way E., Massillon. 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 11. Dr. John Geib will present Angels, addressing the history and origin of angels, as well as their role and purpose in the lives of humans. Geib is a teacher at Malone University and dean of the Logos Institute. He is author of Beyond Belief and was featured on the A&E biography Satan: Prince of Darkness. A question-and-answer session will follow. Program is free and intended for young adults. Registration required, space is limited. Call Deb Speller at 330-832-9831, ext. 312, or go to www.massillonlibrary.org.
The deadline for Religion Notes is noon Tuesday. Items must be in writing. Please fax information to 330-996-3033, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to Religion, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309.