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 Community of Belonging: Sexuality & Gender Beyond Personal Identity

February 22, 2024  |  9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Calvary Lutheran Church

7520 Golden Valley, Golden Valley,  MN  55427

Can we as a church have a new conversation about sexuality and gender? Can we follow the truth of Christ without leaving stragglers to fend for themselves in search of identity and belonging? To discover the truths about sexuality and gender and to heal our communities, we need to rediscover the longings for connection with God and each other that are embedded not just in our souls, but in our very bodies. 

At this one-day conference, topics will cover a span of what sexuality and gender mean in the life of the church, including the theological and communal significance of the body, the flourishing of women in church and society, Christian belonging for singles and sexual minorities, as well as a diverse set of practical workshops by local-leaders on topics like desire, purity, community, and kinship. 

We hope to reimagine and revive the Church’s witness as a healthy and flourishing family that looks increasingly like Jesus!  

Register Now!   

Today through December 31, 2023  $95

January 1, 2024 – February 15, 2024 $109

Bring your team!  Buy 3 Get 1 Free



Dr. Greg Coles|  Senior Research Fellow for The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender

Greg is the author of Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity (IVP, 2017) and No Longer Strangers: Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation (IVP, 2021). He holds a PhD in English from Penn State and works as a writer, speaker, and worship leader. His fiction and expository writing have been published by Penguin Random House and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; his academic research on rhetorical theory (how language works in society) has appeared in College English and Rhetorica and in an edited collection from Cambridge University Press. You can find most of his creative activities curated at


Leah Libresco Sargeant|  Author/Freelance Writer/Speaker

Leah is the author of Arriving at Amen and Building the Benedict Option. She is a convert from atheism to Catholicism who has worked as a policy analyst, a data journalist, and a curriculum developer at an organization teaching “defensive driving for your brain.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Plough, Comment, First Things, America, and other outlets. She runs Other Feminisms, a substack community focused on the dignity of dependence.



Dr. Joel Lawrence|  President of the Center for Pastor Theologians

Joel (PhD, Cambridge University) is the President of the Center for Pastor Theologians. Prior to this role, Joel served as the Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church in St Paul, MN, Teaching Pastor at Calvary Church in White Bear, MN, and as Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Bethel Seminary in St Paul, Minnesota. Joel holds degrees from Texas A&M University (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM.), and Cambridge University (MPhil. and PhD.). He is the author of Bonhoeffer: A Guide for the Perplexed (T&T Clark, 2010) and co-editor of Confronting Racial Injustice: Theory and Praxis for the Church (Cascade, 2022) and Reconstructing Evangelicalism (Cascade, forthcoming, 2024). In addition, Joel has an active ministry speaking in churches, seminaries, and conferences worldwide.

Joel and his wife Myndi live in St Paul, MN, and have four children: Bethany, Anna, Katherine, and Micah.

Covenantal and Committed Kinship Beyond Marriage: Covenant Siblinghood, Committed Friendship, & Spiritual Friendship
TJ Espinoza, Communion & Shalom
How can we understand the ancient and contemporary examples of covenant brotherhood, covenant sisterhood, and committed friendship in light of the Christian story? What insights can we learn from relationships in Christian tradition, like David and Jonathan, about love and commitment? And, what does this mean for our own conversations around covenant brotherhood/sisterhood, celibate communities/partnerships, and committed friendships? This presentation will explore the anthropological and historical evidence we have regarding covenant brotherhood, covenant sisterhood, and committed friendships throughout the global Christian tradition. Through exploring such past and present relationships, this session will provide a broad summary of the topic as well as explore what questions churches can be asking around these types of kinship.

Building Households of Belonging as Brothers and Sisters
David Frank & Elena Fultz, Seed House Community

Join David & Elena for a practical workshop on the theology of households and how to help start/build/strengthen them. As we think through the relationship between community and households, expect to gain a vision for creating Christ-centered households that cultivate mutual belonging and shared spiritual life. We (David and Elena) started Seed House, an intentional Christian community house, to foster community living in East Phillips, Minneapolis, and we are eager to share how God has used it in the lives of straight and non-straight men and women, and what components have been critical in sustaining shared life together. By God’s grace, we hope to see a deepening of relational and spiritual health in our churches through a renewal of households.

Facilitating Environments of Repentance in the Church
Paul Klassen, Broken Strength Ministries

God has called His church to make disciples in this world and has called us to not love the world.  In a culture and world where sexual images and messages seem to dominate the landscape, how can the church attack the gates of hell while not falling prey to worldly sexual desires?  This workshop will look at the biblical call of ongoing repentance, develop discussion around current practices, and suggest practical ways to promote it in the area of sexual integrity.

 Longing, Integrity, Community and Choice
Anna Carter, Eden Invitation
In this workshop, Anna explores the methods and foundations that are key for the discipleship of Christians with LGBTQ+ experiences.  We will look at what it is like to go beyond the LGBT paradigm to encounter the human person in all they are-experientially and ontologically.
I registered for the event, and now I am unable to attend, can I get a refund?  Can I give my ticket to a co-worker or friend?

For cancellation requests at least thirty (30) calendar days before the registered event, you will receive a FULL refund. NO REFUNDS are available on cancellations less than thirty (30) days before the event.  If you would like your registration transferred to someone else, please contact Becky at

What should I bring?

We encourage you to bring a notebook, pen, and a colleague.

Do I have to register now or can I do it at the door?

You must register in advance.

Will Lunch be provided?
Snacks, coffee & lunch will be provided on both days.  You will be able to let us know of your dietary restrictions at the time of registration.  Please be aware that while we will do our best to provide snacks & meals that are gluten sensitive if you have other allergies, please feel free to bring your food.

Will childcare be provided?

No, unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate childcare for this event.  


If you would like to learn more about how you can become a sponsor for this event, please email Schelli Cronk at


February 22
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Calvary Lutheran Church
7520 Golden Valley Rd
Golden Valley, MN 55427 United States
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