To kick-off the Reformation Project, we invested our resources in providing in-depth leadership training to 50 committed Christians who support the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the church.
After raising $104,000 through a crowd-funding campaign to cover all conference expenses, we solicited applications & were challenged to select only 50 out of more than a hundred applications. This inaugural group of reformers included both LGBT people and straight allies, as well as people from many different ethnic and denominational backgrounds. They came from as nearby as Kansas & Alabama, and as far as Nigeria (via England) and Korea.
Over the summer, the reformers read over 1,500 pages of academic material on biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, historical and cultural context of Scripture and material specifically addressing same-sex acts and gender identity.
The reformers then received 4 days of intensive training in September, at Asbury UMC in Prairie Village, Kansas. This included training on:
- 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
Many Reformers have since led Bible Studies in their churches on how to biblically affirm same-sex relationship. Others have met with their pastors, elder boards or denominational leaders. Three are now heading up the steering committees of our upcoming regional conferences in Washington, DC, Atlanta & Kansas City.
All of them have agreed to be available as a local resource for anyone interested in learning more about the topic.