From September 18-21, 2013, The Reformation Project hosted our first leadership conference for 50 Christians who support the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the church. The conference was held at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.
Prior to the conference, we sent preparatory materials to those we selected to be a part of our inaugural class of reformers. These included several hundred pages of academic reading materials about the Bible and homosexuality as well as two full-length books on the subject. Preparing for the conference was equivalent to taking a semester-long undergraduate or seminary course.
The inaugural conference consisted of three full days of sessions on the following subjects:
- The history of homosexuality in the biblical world
- Genesis 19 (Sodom and Gomorrah)
- Leviticus 18 and 20
- Romans 1
- 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1
- The theology of marriage and celibacy
- Transgender Christians
- Leadership, organizing, and public speaking skills
The goal of the conference was to raise up more informed, articulate, and effective spokespersons for our theological position in discussions and debates with other Christians about LGBT issues. We succeeded!
We are currently planning 3 conferences in 2014. If the aforementioned type of study, reading, and discussion is not your strong suit, don’t worry. The 2014 conferences will be open registration and will not require the same degree of intense preparation.