Trans Christians grounding our leadership in resistance, resilience, and radical peace

August 11-13th, 2017 in Chicago, IL

Registration closes July 31!

Rooted is a leadership development retreat for ecumenical trans and gender-expansive Christians meant to revive our souls while we draw on spiritual inspiration and practical tools to develop our leadership in the world. We hope to create a collaborative space steeped in spiritual practice, artistic expression, worship, and community building. We will celebrate ourselves, our stories, and our community.

Location & Accommodations

Rooted will be taking place in Chicago, IL where the summers can’t be beat! The newly constructed Hampton Inn on the far northside of Chicago will serve as the primary location for conference programs and events. Learn more about recommendations for accommodations and travel here.



Who is invited to this event? What will be the focus of the weekend? Are there scholarships available? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Check out our FAQ here.



Registration is open! Click here to sign-up for a weekend of building relationship and self-development with other trans and gender-expansive Christians.



Check-in for Rooted will open at 4PM on Friday, August 11th. Conference events will begin at 7PM and close at noon on Sunday, August 13th. More details on the weekend’s schedule will be made available soon.

ALLIES: Given the extremely rare opportunity for trans and gender-expansive people to gather together, this space is intended to be an intimate community gathering of spiritual renewal for those with shared experiences. We are so grateful for our allies and all their efforts to continue growing in education. If you would like to make a donation to support a trans person in need of financial assistance for this event, this would be a very faithful act of allyship. Contributions can be made on our registration page here. A donation option is available under “tickets.”

Please consider downloading and hanging this flyer in your faith community as well!


J Mase III is a Black/trans/queer poet and educator currently based in Seattle. Raised within a Christian & Muslim family, he has done faith work across the US, UK & Canada that focuses on queering scripture and anti-LGBTQ policies/practices.

His art and musings have been featured on Buzzfeed, the Root, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, Believe Out Loud and other online and print publications. He is founder of awQward, the first trans & queer people of color specific talent agency. He can be found on Facebook, twitter, Instagram and of course,! Hear some of Mase’s work here and here.

The Reverend Erin K. Swenson, Th.M., Ph.D., was ordained as Eric Karl Swenson in 1973 by the Presbytery of Atlanta, which was then a part of the southern Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Twenty-three years later in 1996, after completing a gender transition from male to female, that ordination was upheld by the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, PCUSA, making Erin the first known mainstream minister to transition from male to female while remaining in ordained office.

Erin continues to practice active ministry as a psychotherapist/marriage and family therapist at her office at Studioplex in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, working primarily with gender identity issues. She travels nationally and internationally presenting to conferences, churches, organizations, seminaries, and universities. Her Monday evening gender support group has been serving the Atlanta transgender community for over twenty years.

Music Director

Jacqueline Boyd is the founder of The Care Plan, a care navigation company which strives to be inclusive and affirming of LGBTQ+ communities.  She partners with individuals and families to creatively problem solve their health and aging challenges.  In her spare time Jacqueline is also a vocalist and choral conductor and enjoys building brave space through music.









Rooted will prioritize relationship building, art, collaboration, worship, and spiritual reflection as the focus of our three days together. We believe the Christian trans and gender expansive community need a place to gather for the sake of building meaningful connections with those who share some overlapping experiences even in our differences. We also believe, that together, there is a wealth of wisdom, spiritual insight, and beauty that we can harness for the purposes of our individual and collective leadership development.

In light of the current onslaught of bathroom bills, harmful religious rhetoric surrounding the trans community, and the ongoing violence against trans women of color in conjunction with aggressively racist and sexist policies and practices of our current political leaders, we recognize the need to intentionally spiritually ground our leadership in resilience, resistance, and radical peace. This is the goal of our time together as we find hope and sustainability in our collective capabilities as we seek to live out the gospel in a troubled world.

More detailed information about program specifics will be made available asap.


Friday, August 11, 2017

  • 4PM – 6PM  – Registration
  • 6:30PM – Welcome and opening service
  • 8PM – J Mase III – Slam poetry

10PM – Optional invitation to FKA trans & gnc dance party at Big Chicks

Saturday, August 12, 2017

  • 9AM – Morning devotional
  • 9:30AM – Workshops and individual spiritual practices
  • 11AM – Rev. Erin Swenson 
  • 12:00PM – Community reflection
  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 1:30 – J Mase II
  • 2:30 – Community reflection
  • 3pm – Workshops and individual spiritual practices
  • 5pm – Extended break 
  • 6pm – Dinner
  • 7:30PM – Rev. Erin Swenson

Sunday, Aug 13, 2017

  • 9AM – J Mase III
  • 10AM – Closing worship with Rev. Erin Swenson
    (Service will be finished by noon)




For more information or questions about the event contact
For media inquiries, contact Reconciling Ministries Network Director of Communications, Rev. M Barclay, at
Rooted is sponsored by Reconciling Ministries Network. Learn more about RMN at
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