Last week I met a group of reformers in Chicago that has given me new energy and vision for the inclusive justice work I want to do. Our journey as The Reformation Project’s 2018 Leadership Development Cohort began in January with three months of studying about biblical interpretation, LGBTQ inclusion, racial justice, community organizing and fundraising. We participated in weekly online discussions and video chats. We ran a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs of the cohort. We shared our passion, vision and learning with many people in our lives and on social media. This experience culminated last week in a four-day summit during which we participated in workshops and discussions led by:
- biblical scholars Dr. James Brownson and Dr. Cheryl Anderson
- inclusive justice practitioners Kenji Kuramitsu, Pastor Jamie Frazier, Darren Calhoun, Rev. M Barclay, Dr. Erica Bauer
- contemplative activism advocate Teresa Pasquale Mateus, LCSW, RYT
- The Reformation Project staff members Sara Renn, Amelia Markham, Lauren Gray and Matthew Vines
I’ve had a few days to let my experience at the summit sink in, and now I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I want to thank everyone who has supported me along my journey with the Leadership Cohort. Your conversation, prayers, donations and encouragement have energized me to invest myself fully in the cohort and dream about how I might move forward LGBTQ inclusion in the Church. This new website is one aspect of the work I will be doing, and I hope it will generate productive conversation and invite others to partner with me in this work. If you have ideas for topics, questions you’d like to see explored, requests for information and/or resources, etc., please let me know.
As a conversation starter, I’d like to share a video I created and posted on Facebook about a month ago. What lyrics and/or images stand out to you? What feelings emerge as you watch? What questions come to mind? What stories in your life or the lives of your loved ones resonate with what you see here?