December 11, 2015 at 5:18 pm EST | by Peter Rosenstein
Comings & Goings
Richard Tafel, gay news, Washington Blade

Richard Tafel (Photo courtesy Tafel)

The Comings and Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at comingsandgoings@washblade.com.

Congratulations are in order for Rich Tafel. Many know Rich from his politics but what isn’t as well known is that following graduation from Harvard Divinity School, he served as Assistant to the Minister of Harvard’s Memorial Church under the leadership of the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. Later he was ordained as a Swedenborgian minister and currently represents the denomination on the governing board of the National Council of Churches. For the past decade he has served as chair of Wayfarers Chapel in Los Angeles, a national monument to Emanuel Swedenborg.

Rich has been a leader in the arena of social justice in public policy. As founder of Log Cabin Republicans, Tafel was one of the earliest advocates for marriage equality. In 2003, he created his own strategy company offering leadership coaching on important issues such as AIDS programs for Africa and civil rights programs in Latin America.

It was recently announced by the Church of the Holy City in Washington, D.C., the National Swedenborgian Church, “that the Reverend Richard L. Tafel will become our minister on December 6, 2015.”

According to the press release “the Swedenborgian faith is uniquely inclusive believing that we should live a life of love and seek to fulfill our greatest purpose with a vision of an infinitely loving God, whose warmth and light can deepen our inner life and give direction to our spiritual journey. The iconic English Gothic structure at 1611 16th St., N.W., was dedicated in 1896, with members of the Dupont family among the original founders.”

Tafel has summed up this opportunity saying, “Church has gotten a bad reputation among the rising generation and often for good reason. We hope to build something new — a welcoming community of people inspired by their faith who are active in making much needed change in our world. We want to be a home for a next generation of spiritual entrepreneurs.” Tafel also announced “The church will be hosting Christmas Eve service with families that are mixed marriage Christian and Jewish,” and he will have rabbis officiating with him. Rich will continue his strategy work as well.

Another member of our community, Carlos Maza, just accepted a new position at Media Matters for America. The announcement was made by Media Matters Research Director Matt Gertz who said, “For the past three years, Carlos Maza has done an incredible job building Media Matters’ LGBT program into one of the signature pieces of our research department. In his new role as Multimedia Research Fellow, Carlos will take the lead in conceiving, producing, and starring in a series of new video products that will promote and further Media Matters’ existing work to build our brand. These will include everything from quick video primers on emerging controversies to lengthy breakdowns of existing research products to profiles of perpetrators of misinformation.

“Carlos will continue as LGBT Program Director while we search for a dynamic replacement to sustain and build on the great work he has done. Over the next several months, he will help us hire and train a new LGBT Program Director and continue to work closely with Media Matters’ existing LGBT Research Associate.”

Media Matters for America is a progressive, D.C-based, nonprofit research and information center dedicated to monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Information on the LGBT program director’s position can be found at mediamatters.org.

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