The Reformation Project



Conference Workshops

Workshops have been organized by content type to help you select the most applicable workshops for your context. Stick with one type or move between them to acquire the tools you need to be equipped for change.

Download the conference schedule with workshop times and rooms here.

Activism and Organizing Workshops

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Inclusion Case Study: First Covenant Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Dr. Dan Collison has been Lead Pastor of First Covenant Church, Minneapolis, since 2009. In this workshop, he will share the nine-year journey of a historic downtown congregation as it moved through a complete revitalization process that included a tumultuous and yet joyful process of becoming a fully inclusive congregation in the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. This workshop is ideal for pastors and church leaders as it includes a congregational inclusion mapping exercise.

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Minority Stress: Self-care and support while pursuing redemptive work

This workshop is for advocates, grassroots organizers, and LGBTQ+ folks who are interested in working as bridge builders in faith communities. This type of redemptive work can be draining and painful, but we move forward in hope and faith that our voices matter. Inclusion matters. Join us for a training about the neurobiology of minority stress, identifying warning signs of burnout, and mental health resources specific to pursuing this kind of work. We will work together to identify resources and skills to sustain health and longevity within LGBTQ+ advocacy work.

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Low Ego, High Impact: An Ethic for Christ Centered Organizing and Activism

The ego of the leader can make or break a movement. This workshop is designed to help you grow and develop as a healthy, holistic leader for the work of effective and transformative, biblically rooted activism and community organizing. With a look at biblical texts, stories from the front lines of activist work, and interactive exercises, you will walk away with the tools you need to lead and collaborate robustly and transformatively in the collective movement for justice and change.

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We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Local: The Greatest Change for Community Occurs at the Local Level

LGBTQ+ activism and organizing is difficult to do for many due to the fact that policies throughout American history were designed to closet the LGBTQ+ identity. In this workshop, Inoru Wade will illustrate the results of grassroots visibility activism in the context of Kansas City and show how simple collaboration among community partners with similarly aligned missions and values can bring inclusivity throughout the community.

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TRP Organizing 101

Many Christians promoting LGBTQ inclusion in their church spend countless hours building meaningful relationships believing that their conversations within of themselves lead to policy change. While this can happen in select congregations as an exception, by and large this effort continually proves to be disappointing and unsuccessful. This workshop is intended to introduce attendees to the basic principles of community organizing and why the discipline is one of the most critical missing links in what it takes to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Led by Myles Markham and Shae Washington of The Reformation Project, part I of the workshop will present conceptual information on organizing and part II will be focused on skills & tools.

Family and Community Workshops

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Understanding Human Sexuality through History & Bible Translations

Led by Kathy Baldock, Executive Director of Canyonwalker Connections and TRP Board Chair, this workshop investigates the social and sexual roles of men and women focusing on the radical shift in roles and understanding of sexuality occurring between 1860 and the 1920s. Baldock shares her findings from original research beginning with the 1946 RSV translation where the word “homosexual” was introduced for the first time in the Bible—in any language. Newly added research includes TLB, NIV and ESV translation notes. Using an easy-to-understand timeline approach, attendees look at key Bible passages, their meanings in ancient times, how they have been translated over time, and particularly over the past 75 years.

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Multi-tasking: How to Care for Yourself While Helping Your Family Process Your Queer Identity

Conversations about our sexual and gender identities with our non-affirming family are some of the most painful ones a person can have. And while it is not our job as LGBTQ+ people to help our families in their process, many times we are the only ones around to even begin the process with them. Candice Czubernat, founder and counselor at The Christian Closet, will lead this workshop on preparing your heart for those conversations, how to know if and when you’re ready, and the best practices when engaging with your family.


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When They Won’t Listen: Secrets to Having Difficult Conversations with Non-Affirming Christians

You know what you believe, but how do you talk to non-affirming parents, pastors, or friends who don’t want to listen? In this workshop, Justin Lee, author of Torn and Talking Across the Divide, discusses common barriers you’re likely to encounter and shares effective strategies for overcoming them—based on research, biblical principles, and his 20 years of experience having these difficult conversations. Learn practical skills you can use the next time someone wants to argue with you about what the Bible really says, changing hearts and minds without letting it turn into an argument.

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Thoughts from the Therapist’s Notepad: Mental Health and the Queer Community

Addressing mental health needs is something that requires a great deal of sensitivity and training. However, clergy, teachers, lay leaders, and chosen family are oftentimes on the front lines of dealing with individuals in crisis. As a licensed psychotherapist, ordained minister, and queer person, Rev. Jonathan Vanderbeck has spent a great deal of time working with mental health needs. This workshop, designed for clergy, faith leaders, and individuals working with LGBTQIA+ people, will give you a framework to help provide immediate care, address unique sensitivities, and understand some of the particular mental health struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Centering the LGBTQIA+ Margins Workshops

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Ace-traordinary Love: Asexual and Aromantic Identities and the Image of God

Led by four TRP leadership cohort alum, this workshop is designed for everyone, from participants who have never before heard the words “asexual” or “aromantic” to those who identify as ace/aro themselves. After introducing some terminology essential to conversations about asexual/aromantic identities, our panel of presenters will invite workshop participants to join in group conversation and learn alongside us. There will be opportunities to reflect, discuss, share experiences, and ask questions. Together, we will explore the intersection of ace/aro identities with Christian faith and consider ways to best support the asexual/aromantic individuals — who may face misunderstanding and marginalization even within LGBTQ+ spaces — in our communities.

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The “Born” Identity: Finding the Identity that God is Calling You to Be

Shen Heckel, a TRP leadership cohort alum and theatre artist, says, "God gave me the gift of a female body but the identity of a man." Come listen to his testimony of how he discovered his own identity and how he hopes to share, comfort, and spread understanding to others that struggle with their own (or others') identities. This workshop is intended to refocus us around how we are all God's children made in God's likeness. It will also be a hands-on/up-on-your-feet experience.

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Transgender and Christian at the Intersection of Politics, Religion, and Science

Transgender rights and protection is the central discussion taking place in our schools, churches, legislatures, and courts. In this workshop, Ceri Anne Lewis, a TRP leadership cohort alum and transgender Christian woman, will address various religious texts concerning transgender people, alongside the physical and neurological implications, and how this is pushing the political agenda of the Christian right. The discussion will be presented against the backdrop of personal experience of a Christian transgender woman from a family of fundamental Christians.

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Mixed Feelings: A Tapestry of Stories Beyond Ethnic, Orientation, and Gender Boundaries

We’re just a little bit caught in the middle. Six people who are at the intersection of multiple marginalized middle identities will share their experiences with finding themselves outside of binary-based boundaries for gender, race, sexual orientation and location. In a world that demands clearly defined descriptions of who we are, we’ll explore what it means for us to be ourselves, be understood, and be part of communities.

Racial Justice Workshops

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Color Me Queer: Exploring Non-White Histories of Sexuality & Gender Pluralism / Why "Queerness is a White Thing" is a Historical Myth

Is queerness a “recent invention” of white Americans or Europeans? This workshop, led by Church Clarity co-founder Sarah Ngu and faith organizer Dr. Keisha McKenzie, will provide evidence that demonstrates how gender and sexual pluralism has existed for ages throughout the world in non-Western contexts, and that, in fact, it has been the rise of white modernity and colonialism that has enforced a gender and sexual binary in the name of “Christian civilization.” What are the implications of this for how we relate to our faith, our “race,” our heritage and our gender and sexual identities?

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Chisme: Reclaiming Femme Language for Liberation

Chisme is an act of defiance that disrupts a culture that invisibilized the narratives of historically marginalized communities. It is a global concept and a universal form of communication. Through this workshop led by Christopher Cuevas, we will explore how we can use this tool as not just one of resistance, but one of community empowerment and as a strategy of cultural liberation.

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Post Pulse Shooting: A Call to Ministry for Communities of Color

The Pulse Massacre of June 12, 2016, was one of the deadliest shootings in US history. Specifically targeted in this shooting were people of color who created a safe space to celebrate their culture and the freedom to express themselves within the LGBTQ community. Pulse Night Club on a Saturday night represented an important safe space for Orlando's Latinx community, as it was the only LGBTQ space that played their music and personified Latinx Culture on a Saturday night. We know now that the shooter's intent of killing was toward Latino men, specifically Puerto Rican gay men. Caught in the crossfire of bullets were communities of color that mainly consisted of Latinx and Black LGBTQ persons. Many members of Orlando's Latinx and Black communities feel that their voices have not been heard in the aftermath of the massacre. This workshop, led by Joy MCC associate pastor and TRP keynote speaker Rev. Stanley Ramos, will bring light to this issue and provide a discussion that can help participants develop ministry toward both groups.

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LGBTIQ Christians in Central America: Realities, Struggles and Advancements from the Heart of the Continent

Led by TRP leadership cohort alum Carla Sofía Vargas Sandoval, this workshop will present the contexts, challenges, and advancements of LGBTIQ inclusion in Central America and the struggle of the first LGBTIQ Christian welcoming and affirming initiative in the region.

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White Folks, Let’s Get Real About Anti-Racism

If you are a white queer or ally who wants to be anti-racist, we need you to come and join this conversation! Wherever you are in owning your racial identity as white folks, TRP leadership cohort alum Jason and Sunnie would like to invite you to a strategic dialogue on how to continue—or maybe even begin—to be anti-racist. This workshop will highlight the ways racism is embedded systemically and interpersonally into our daily lives. In order to be anti-racist, white folks need to be able to see, name, and combat the racism within ourselves and our circles of influence.

Theology Workshops

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Q&A with Dr. Jim Brownson

Come ask follow-up questions of New Testament professor Dr. Jim Brownson about his plenary talk, his book Bible, Gender, Sexuality, and his work engaging non-affirming Christians in robust theological dialogue about LGBTQ inclusion.

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New Perspectives on an Old Debate: The Bible and Same-Sex Relationships

The debate on same-sex relationships has largely reached an impasse. On the one hand, progressives point to the socio-historical context of the Bible to rightly name the exploitative nature of same-sex relations in the first century. On the other, traditionalists base their arguments on Genesis and complementarity of the sexes. This workshop led by author Karen Keen will discuss an oft-overlooked factor: how the biblical authors themselves appropriated ethics from scriptural texts. We will also look at progressive perspectives on complementarity and concepts of the fall.

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The Biblical Case for LGBTQ Inclusion

In this workshop, TRP executive director Matthew Vines will present the biblical case for LGBTQ inclusion, focusing in particular on the six main passages in the Old Testament and the New Testament that refer to same-sex relations. This workshop is ideal for those who are new to this conversation or want a refresher on TRP's basic biblical case for inclusion.