Parity presents our next Be the HOPE conference / retreat:


March 22-24, 2018
McCormick Theological Seminary

 A conference / retreat to celebrate and share the gifts of LGBTQ people of faith

Parity invites seminarians, clergy, academics, LGBTQ people of faith, allies and the LGBTQ Faith Curious to this conference with optional retreat which will:

Empower emerging and seated LGBTQ and allied faith leaders through cutting edge instruction in timely topics to enrich their ministry;

Connect faith leaders and allies with local and national leaders and organizations for increased impact, mutual support, collaboration and LGBTQ faith community strengthening;

Highlight LGBTQ faith leaders and their work to instruct and inspire attendees and allies with the latest, visionary theories, discoveries and strategies.

As a result of attending the Be The HOPE retreat, participants will:

Have new knowledge of current queer faith topics including:

  • “Queer” as a lens and catalyst for faith;
  • LGBTQ Intersections and why understanding them is foundational; 
  • Transgender issues in faith, spirituality and religion;

Gain techniques and skills to:

  • Expand and deepen personal and community ministry practices;
  • Address personal and community challenges;
  • Increase the impact of LGBTQ ministry and social justice efforts
  • Have made new connections and relationships with local and national
    individuals and groups for sustained communication and collaboration.

Attendees may choose a conference only option or a full retreat option.

  • The conference only option ($125) includes all workshops and session, plus Thursday evening refreshments, Friday breakfast, lunch and snacks, and Saturday breakfast and snacks.
  • The full retreat option ($400) includes all of the above plus lodging, an individual meeting with retreat leader and group activities Thursday evening, Friday morning and evening, and Saturday morning, with optional continuing mentoring and community support.

Parity helps attendees fundraise to cover the cost of attendance, and if needed, transportation.  Our goal is to support each and every person to attend our retreats and conferences--it wouldn't be the same without you!

Be the Hope Roadmap (subject to change):
We will be announcing local and national speakers to lead the workshops and facilitate discussions - stay tuned!

Thursday:  Hello, Chicago!  6:30 - 8:00  (Program 7:00 - 7:45)
Reception to meet each other and representatives from local LGBTQ faith
and allied organizations.  

Program:  Welcome from Parity, brief welcome from local groups and special guests,
local guest speaker.

Friday:  Foundations, Successes, Challenges and Special Speaker

8:00 - 8:30 ~ Breakfast
8:30 - 9:30 Intersections: The foundation for our queer lives of faith
9:30 - 9:45 Break
9:45 - 10:45 Transgender Issues: In faith and the world
10:45 - 11:00 Break  
11:00 - 11:30 Workgroups: Naming our successes
11:30 - 12:00 Facilitated group discussion
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 Featured Keynote (TBA)
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 -  4:15 Workgroups:  Challenges, personal and community
4:15 - 5:00 Facilitated group discussion
Break and then meet for dinner and pub theology

Saturday:  Religion, Faith and Spirituality, Queered:  The new frontier

8:00 - 8:45 breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 The new frontier
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 -11:00 Facilitated group discussion:  Living boldly as a queer person of faith.
11:15 to 12:00 Closing Worship

Retreat component:
Lodging, an individual meeting with retreat leader and group activities

Thursday evening (after) reception:  Getting to know you group activity 90 minutes
Friday 7:00 - 8:00 am Prayer walk / queer theology discussion
Friday evening (after pub theology) - group reflection
Saturday 7:00 - 8:00 am Prayer walk / queer theology discussion
Saturday after worship - final group, good-byes