The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian grassroots organization that works to promote inclusion of LGBTQ people by reforming church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Since 2014, The Reformation Project has welcomed more than 1,500 people to our conferences on LGBTQ inclusion across the country. This year’s conference in Chicago hosted another 450 people!
Their vision of a global church that fully affirms LGBTQ people is a beautiful thing. The focus on racial justice as a necessary component of the intersectional struggle for inclusion is very important. The liberative tone of the whole conference was refreshing. There were informative plenary sessions given by Matthew Vines, a panel with Rev. Dr. Neichelle Guidry, Alicia Crosby, and Rev. Dr. Ji-Sun Kim, as well as Austen Hartke. The balance struck between what I traditionally have thought of as activist language of justice and biblical literacy was inspirational.
I was blessed to serve as the Conference Artist-in-Residence! This community embraced me and honored my gifts to the community. It was a truly uplifting and empowering experience. I painted two live worship pieces. This act is one of worship for me; it’s one part performative, one part inspiration. I love to introduce creative worship in this way- but the goal is for people to see that this creativity lies within us all!!
I was so nervous getting up in this beautiful sanctuary of the Fourth Presbyterian Church – I was so anxious to paint in this space – I was hesitant with only 30 minutes to create a 30″x 40″ canvas. But then the spirit fills me and I begin. I pray that people recognize the work as not the product of my hands but birthed of the spirit in this worship space.
During the sessions at the Reformation Project I graphic recorded on a small scale (most of the time graphic recording is done on large paper in front of the workshop). I was happy to record either way! Including these different ways of experiencing worship and alternate methods of processing information also contributed to an inclusive environment.
I will definitely be going back next year! I hope to serve in this capacity again, as well as incorporate some spiritual practices!
Here are some pictures!!