Pre-Conference Forums

United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion

Join us for “A Place at the Table,” a spiritual renewal retreat facilitated by Austen Harke, author of the new book “Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians” from 10AM to 4PM.

A few of the activities taking place during our time together:

  • A presentation and discussion of gender diversity in the Bible
  • A workshop in which we’ll practice writing about and sharing our personal stories
  • A community building project where we’ll be putting together a “safety net” of resources to call on in hard times
  • Two different small-group Bible study periods for reflection and centering
  • A workshop on building resilience and assertiveness, using resources from “The Queer and Transgender Resilience Workbook” by Anneliese Singh
  • Group art project on communal healing, using inspiration from the Psalms
  • A closing time of meditation and centering prayer, and anointing for the work ahead

Lunch is provided. Goodwill donations to help cover lunch are welcome!

If your flight is coming in late – don’t worry! You’re welcome anytime in the day, even after lunch! Please register regardless.

Capacity for this group will be capped at twenty-five participants with priority given to trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming participants. Allies and loved ones are welcome in this space! All participants should make to register in the form below regardless of whether or not you have registered for the entire Convocation. This registration must be done separately.

Austen Hartke is the author of “Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians,” out now from Westminster John Knox Press, and the creator of the YouTube series “Transgender and Christian.” Austen is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, and is the winner of the 2014 John Milton Prize in Old Testament Writing from the same institution. As a transgender person of faith, Austen’s greatest passion is helping other trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse people see themselves in scripture.

Click here to learn more about UMATI.

Parents Reconciling Network

As parents and family of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) loved ones, the chance to gather together can be deeply valuable, creating the opportunity to connect with people bearing similar stories and learn from those whose stories differ.

TheParents Reconciling Network (an extension of the Reconciling Ministries Network) will offer a parents forum on Thursday, July 26 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the site of the Reconciling Ministries Network Convocation (the Hilton St. Louis Airport).

The program for the day will include opportunities for networking, getting to know other parents, presentations and discussion. The morning program will include a presentation on a recent study by Auburn Seminary that looked at successful models for moving conflicted Christians from a place of standing against LGBT equality to standing for it both in the church and in the state. The Rev. Melissa Spence, Pastor for Missional Engagement, at First United Methodist Church in San Diego, CA will lead us in examining the implications of that study.

The afternoon session will feature a panel of persons who will offer us insights and guidance into the lives of transgender families. We will have several persons who will give us first-hand accounts and learnings from their journey as transgender persons or family members of trans children.

We’ll gather from 9:30 to 3:30PM. $40 includes lunch and can be paid by check or cash. Please make sure to note your dietary or accessibility needs in the registration form on this page.

For questions, contact Rev. Jim Waugh at

United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus

If you are a member of the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (UMCQCC), please check back soon for more info about this gathering.

If you are queer or trans and ordained or in the ordination process in The United Methodist Church and want to learn how to get involved or if you are a supporter, learn more by clicking here.

Pre-Conference Forum days offer individual groups time apart to have conversations specifically related to their interests. Please click on the toggles above to learn more about what each group is offering and for whom the gatherings are intended.

Wednesday, July 25th – United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus
Thursday, July 26th – Parents Reconciling Network / United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion

Please note that regular registration does not include Pre-Conference Forums. If you plan on attending one of the gatherings above, please make sure to register below so we can have an accurate count and ensure all accommodations have been made.

Pre-Conference gatherings, with the exception of UMATI, are $40 and participants are asked to pay in cash at the door. 

Pre-Conference Forum

  • What pronoun is accurate for you? He/him She/hers They/them Ze/Zir Other?
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