The Sider Center is looking for a dozen people to participate in the next dialogue around the issue of sexual diversity in the church. It will take place from May 5-7, 2016, in the Philadelphia, PA, area. We encourage you to submit an application for any dialogue at this time. There is a place on the application for you to indicate which dialogue you prefer.
The two main requirements for participation in this dialogue are an open heart and a committed faith in Christ. We need the group to be as diverse as it is small. Since this conversation will focus on how believers handle the issue of sexual diversity in the church, our shared faith in and reliance on Christ will bind us together and make our efforts more productive and long-lasting.
We encourage you to apply for participation if you are: gay, bisexual, heterosexual, or questioning; transgender, gender queer, or intersex; single, partnered, or married; holding what is sometimes referred to as a “Side A” position (those who support same-sex marriage and relationships) or a “Side B” position (those who promote celibacy for Christians with same-sex attractions), or not sure what you believe. We are especially looking for:
- LGBTQI Christians (both Side A and B) who have been hurt by the church but still love and long for a home in the church.
- Side B heterosexual Christians who feel the church is at risk because of the cultural shifts surrounding issues of sexual diversity.
- LGBTQI Christians who are wrestling with how to love Side B heterosexual Christians well.
- Side B heterosexual Christians who are wrestling with how to love LGBTQI people well.
- Christian parents of LGBTQI people.
- Any Christian who wants to understand how to live in unity and love with those who hold different theological understandings from their own (in other words, people who disagree with them), particularly in light of the topic of sexual diversity.
There is no fee to apply. Upon selection, participants will be asked to pay a $300 fee (this includes all meals and lodging during the dialogue). Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the event. (A limited number of scholarships are available; please note your interest when you submit your application and explain your need for a scholarship.)
If you are selected, we ask that you bring your authentic self to the event and come fully committed to the spirit and goals of the dialogue. You will be required to participate in some pre-dialogue reflection work that will help prepare you and others for our time together.
If you are interested in participating in this dialogue, you are a lover of Jesus, and you can embrace the goals stated above, please fill out the application form (see link below) and return it to Kristyn Komarnicki (via email by clicking on name at left, or by mail at PO Box 367, Wayne, PA 19087). Application deadline for the February 2016 dialogue is December 1, 2015.
Twelve participants will be selected from among the applications we receive, and all applicants will be notified of their status no later than December 15, 2015, so that selected applicants can make their travel plans.