Auburn Seminary and Our Bible App are launching an online Being in Relationship chat room where Christians wrestling with their theological convictions can honestly and compassionately talk about how to better support LGBTQIA+ people in our families, our churches, and society.

Now is an opportunity for anyone working toward integrating LGBTQIA+ folks into church life to learn about the challenges that LGBTQIA+ Christians face, discuss and learn from their own challenges—theological and practical—and build an online community with others navigating this often challenging terrain.

These conversations are currently being rescheduled but will resume in late Summer 2020.

Fill out the form to receive information about engaging with us in the next community chat!

We produced a messaging guide to talk with Black and White theologically conservative Christians about the place of Lesbian and Gay people in our families, our Churches, and society.

Who should attend?

This program has been created for you if you have not been affirming or accepting of LGBTQ+ people. You recognize that LGBTQ+ people attend your church, your school and are even a part of your family. As a result, you would like to learn how to better understand, serve and be in community with them.

How do we participate?

Once you fill out the form you will receive an email containing the speaker schedule on Zoom and the group meeting times in Our Bible App.

What is the schedule?

Four seminars will be delivered between May and July by a diverse panel of thought leaders. Each seminar will include a 2 week period where attendees can choose to meet in Our Bible App in a private chat room to discuss homework assigned by the speakers. See a list of topics, dates and speakers below.

Navigating Difficult Conversations

May 14th,  4:00 pm ET

Cedric Harmon

Speaker, writer, standing for human rights based in profound faith Executive Director of Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice. Cedric works directly with Black religious leaders and other people of faith to engage diverse topics at the intersection of religion, faith, and human sexuality.

Melvin Bray

Melvin Bray is principal consultant for collabyrinth. He is incredibly skillful at helping communities get where they are trying to go. Melvin brings to bear a unique curator, connector and collaborator skill-set that is indispensable in almost any innovative endeavor. As one collaborative partner put it, “when melvin’s around, good things happen.”

Call to Action: Join us on May 21st and 28th in Our Bible App for a private chat where we will discuss homework assigned by the speakers.

Sex, Shame, and Our Stories

Linda Kay Klein

Linda Kay Klein is founder and president of the nonprofit, Break Free Together, and a personal coach dedicated to helping people release shame and claim their whole selves. This work was born out of her 15 years of research on religious trauma around sex and gender, documented in her award-winning book, Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free. Linda’s work has been featured by CBS, NBC, NPR (her interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross having been named one of the top ten of the year), and over 150 other outlets, and she has been highlighted on the TEDx stage, and at The Apollo’s Women of the World Festival, the 92Y SHE Summit, and over 100 other venues. She also consults for organizations and individuals committed to doing good. Linda holds an interdisciplinary Masters degree from NYU and is a trained Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education facilitator. She lives in New York City with her family. For more information, please visit LindaKayKlein.com.

Matthias Roberts

Matthias Roberts is author of Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms (Fortress, 2020) and host of Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being which was named as one of the “12 Best LGBTQ+ Podcasts of 2020” by O: The Oprah Magazine and the #1 Podcast to Listen to on National Coming Out Day by Radio.com. He holds two master’s degrees, one in theology and culture and one in counseling psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. In his psychotherapy practice, Matthias specializes in helping LGBTQ+ teens and adults live confident and fulfilling lives. He writes and speaks nationwide about the intersections between gender, sexuality, mental health, and theology.

Call to Action: Join us on June 11th and 18th in Our Bible App for a private chat where we will discuss homework assigned by the speakers.

Faith & Harm

Malachi Garza

Malachi Garza is the Director of the Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) a national network of over 200 organizations working to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal and juvenile justice systems and build localized community alternatives to these systems. Malachi is the current co-chair the youth and community organizing table of Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Malachi also serves on the Board of Directors of the School of Unity and Liberation (S.O.U.L.), the Transgender and Intersexed Justice Project (TGIJP) and the Brown Boi Project. Malachi serves Southerners On New Ground, through a board appointment as a National Strategist. Malachi co-founded the Brown Boi Project in 2009 and received the 2015 VotoLatino Innovators Award. Malachi has been working 24/7 to build a liberation focused movement for the past 17 years and believes that we will win.

The Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman

Liz Edman is an Episcopal priest and political strategist. She is the author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity (Beacon Press, 2016). Liz has lived and worked on the front lines of some of the most pressing issues where religion meets sexuality, serving as an inner city hospital chaplain to people with HIV/AIDS from 1989 to 1995 and helping craft political and communications strategies for marriage equality efforts. In 2017, she partnered with Parity to create Glitter+Ash Wednesday, a project to increase the visibility of progressive, queer-positive Christians and to explore Christian liturgy through a queer lens.

Her writing has been featured in Salon.com, The Advocate, LGBT Nation, and Religion News Service. She has been interviewed for feature and news articles in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Sun-Times, and Religion Dispatches. She lives in New York.

Call to Action: Join us on July 2nd and 9th in Our Bible App for a private chat where we will discuss homework assigned by the speakers.

The TQ in LGBTQ (Non-binary)

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza

Transqueer Activist

Latinx Scholar

Public Theologian

Author of Activist Theology

Co-host of Activist Theology Podcast

Austen Hartke

Austen Hartke is the author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, a book on theology and personal narratives published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018. He is also the founder and director of Transmission Ministry Collective, an online community dedicated to the spiritual care, faith formation, and leadership potential of transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, and gender-expansive Christians. From 2015 to 2018 Austen created one hundred videos for the Transgender and Christian YouTube series, which sought to share parts of the Bible that relate to gender identity and the lives of transgender individuals. He is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, and is the winner of the 2014 John Milton Prize in Old Testament Writing from the same institution. He has spoken at conferences all over the country, including events for The Reformation Project, Gender Spectrum, Evolving Faith, Q Christian Fellowship, the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, and the Why Christian Conference. Austen is a 2019 Bush Foundation Fellow, and is currently researching the use of online ministry as support for gender-expansive Christians. As a transgender person of faith, Austen’s greatest passion is helping other trans and gender-expansive people see themselves in scripture.

 

Call to Action: Join us on July 23rd and 30th in Our Bible App for a private chat where we will discuss homework assigned by the speakers.

 

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