The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian grassroots organization that works to promote inclusion of LGBT people by reforming church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Our vision is of a global church that fully affirms LGBT people.
Each year, we host a three-day conference designed to introduce as many people to biblically-based cases for affirming and integrating LGBT people into all aspects of church life. Complete with general sessions from leaders in the field to workshops led by amazing practitioners, these conferences are intended to offer something to everyone: LGBT Christians as well as straight friends and allies, ranging from those well-read on the topic to pastors, lay people, and others who are just starting to explore. These conferences will also provide significant opportunities for participants to network and strategize with others in a similar Christian context.
Past keynote speakers include Dr. David Gushee, the Rev. Allyson Robinson, Julie Rodgers, Vicky Beeching, Nicole Garcia, Christopher Coleman, the Rev. Winnie Varghese, the Rev. Candace Hardnett, Linda and Rob Robertson, and more. Theologians who've taught at our conferences include Dr. Jim Brownson, Dr. Cheryl Anderson, and Dr. Megan DeFranza. This year, TRP will be hosting our national conference at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois, from October 26-28. Registration is now open.
Leadership Development Cohorts
Along with our national conference, TRP's staple program each year is our leadership development cohort for LGBT Christians and allies. Each December, we select 35 applicants to participate in the program from January through early April. Once the program begins, our class of reformers undergoes a three-month period of intensive study about Scripture and LGBT inclusion, community organizing, and the intersections between racial justice and LGBT equality. During this time, our reformers raise funds to offset the cost of the cohort, and they then gather in person for a four-day cohort summit, where they complete their training with leading theologians and the TRP staff, and where many form bonds that will last for a lifetime.
After the cohort summit ends, our reformers head back to their hometowns with a clear vision for the changes they'd like to make in their churches, denominations, and Christian institutions. TRP's staff then works to guide and support them in their efforts going forward. Our 2017 leadership development cohort was held in Los Angeles, California, from April 5-8, and applications for our 2018 cohort will go online by early October.
Elevating the Dialogue Events
Our newest program is an event series called Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion in the Church. We hosted our first Elevating the Dialogue event at Renovation Church in Atlanta in August 2016, which drew more than 350 attendees. You can see a video of that event here. Elevating the Dialogue events are distinct from most of TRP's programming because they are held in churches that are not LGBT-affirming but that want to create more space for the dialogue. We work closely with pastors of varying viewpoints in order to model a loving, respectful conversation about LGBTQ inclusion that respects the legitimacy of LGBTQ Christians' faith and our desire to remain a thriving part of the body of the Christ.
Our next Elevating the Dialogue event will be held on Thursday, May 18, from 7-9pm at Northland, A Church Distributed in Orlando Florida. You can RVSP to attend here. It's open to all, and if you don't live in the area, you'll be able to tune in via a livestream online.