This past week I was able to participate in a training session with Dr. Preston Sprinkle who serves as the director of The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender. It was outstanding!
Since then, I have felt strongly impressed to encourage all of our SMC leaders to attend the Leaders Forum to be held in Grand Rapids on May 3rd at Calvary Church. This is a time where we will focus on equipping Christian leaders to engage the LGBTQ conversation with theological faithfulness and courageous love. This event is open to all Christian leaders (pastors, staff, lay leaders, etc). The cost to attend is $95 per individual or $85 for groups of four or more and the registration link is provided below. If you would like to attend but are unable to fully fund the cost, the SMC will be happy to help underwrite the registration cost—just let me know directly. A car will be leaving at 6:30am from the Conference office that morning. If you would like to carpool from there, let me know as well.
Over this past year, we have been working diligently on equipping the leaders of the SMC with an understanding of how to develop a healthy culture in our churches. Likewise, the LGBTQ conversation going on all around us requires that we create a consistent culture of understanding, language and engagement with people who are not necessarily in alignment with our viewpoint. Our silence cannot be an option—neither can we carelessly message our positions. We must equip ourselves to redemptively engage the larger conversation that is taking place all around us.
Assistant Superintendent Michael and I feel that this is such an urgent priority and unique opportunity that we are cancelling our next LDI which was to be held on April 26th at the Spring Arbor Church so as to free up time for involvement in this regional leader’s forum.
-Superintendent Bruce Rhodes