|Ohio Wesleyan to host 2-day event on divisive sexual orientation topic|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Friday, 11 October 2013 08:24|
DELAWARE - Officials at Ohio Wesleyan University Chaplain's Office are organizing a two-day conference on a topic which can often divide religious officials and church members - Biblical teachings and church roles for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender.
Entitled, "Love Across The Spectrum: LGBT Christians Speak Out," the conference is slated for Nov. 8-9.
Organizers plan the conference to address such topics as defining sexuality, morality, and marriage; examining the Bible's teachings for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and understanding same-sex parents in church and culture.
Keynote speakers for the event will include Justin Lee, founder and executive director of The Gay Christian Network, and Jennifer Knapp, a Grammy nominated, Dove Award-winning singer.
Lee grew up as a conservative Southern Baptist, preaching against gay acceptance until questions about his own sexuality changed everything he thought he knew. He is the author of "When I come out as gay and Christian, maybe your nephew or best friend will have someone to look to as a role model, to know that he doesn't have to leave his faith behind because of what he's experiencing," Lee writes in his blog at http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com.
Knapp was a premier artist in Christian Contemporary Music before choosing to confront long-held speculation about her sexuality with a very public "coming out" in 2010. Today, she presents "Inside Out Faith," sharing her spiritual journey through story, music, and conversation. Read more at www.jenniferknapp.com.
Additional speakers will include Pádraig Ó Tuama and the Rev. Amy E. DeLong.
Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and peace worker from Ireland. He specializes in helping groups navigate difficult conversations and has helped groups discuss violent conflict as well as political, ideological, and theological disagreements. Read his blog at http://intheshelterofeachother.tumblr.com.
DeLong is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and executive director of Kairos CoMotion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to progressive theological education and advocacy. She witnesses passionately for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life and ministry of the church. Read more at www.kairoscomotion.org.
In addition to hearing these speakers, participants in the conference will be invited to join in workshop discussions on topics including:
• We've Always Been Redefining Sexuality, Morality, and Marriage
• LGBTs and The Bible
• Faith, Family, and Freedom: Same-Sex Parents in Church and Culture
• Where is My Home? Love and Acceptance in Church Communities
• Of Sacred Worth: Ally Parents and LGBT Kids
Event registration is under way now through Nov. 1. Cost is $45 for students and $70 for the general public.
Learn more or register at http://lats.owu.edu.
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