FAITH COMMUNITIES & MINORITIES STREAM

Sexual minorities have become a great concern of many religious communities around the world, including churches and Christian seminaries. The Association of Theological Education in Southeast Asia (ATESEA) in its accreditation guide mentions that attention towards LGBT issues is something that its member churches need to address.

However, the latest development on this issue shows that the views about sexual minorities are varied. Some churches – mostly in the West -- throw full supports towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, even to the point of marrying them and ordaining LGBT priests, while others accept them with certain conditions, and still others believe that it is against the Christian doctrines and ethical teaching to accept them. In Asia only a handful of churches are ready to show their support and inclusion towards LGBT people.

For more than twenty years Jakarta Theological Seminary in Indonesia has been sending some of its students to do their field work among sexual minorities. And during the last seven years it has been engaged more seriously in these issues by organizing conferences for its students and the churches on this issue. These activities become more significance, considering that Indonesians are very religious, and yet the two biggest religions in Indonesia – both Islam and Christianity – are generally opposed to the issue.

This conference is expected to challenge the participants, Christian churches, and people of different faith communities and religions to open themselves to the fact that LGBTIQs were born with their different sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and that therefore faith communities and the society at large are called to accept them.

Some topics that will be addressed include:

  • Transgenders, intersex and faith communities
  • Creation stories in different faith perspectives and LGBTIQ
  • New perspectives towards scriptures
  • Indigenous sexual minorities across Asia and faith
  • LGBTIQ in faith leadership

WHOLEHEARTEDLY STREAM

We often talk about loving God and others with all our hearts, souls and minds. But how does that actually translate in our lives and ministries? How do we create alignment between what we say and what we do? How can we better practise love, compassion, vulnerability and honesty as a community? How can we live and love with our whole hearts?

Join us for this stream as we explore topics such as:

  • What it means to love God and be loved by God
  • What it truly means to love yourself, and then others
  • Engaging vulnerably from a place of worthiness
  • Perfectionism vs Living Wholeheartedly
  • Blame vs Accountability
  • How to give and receive feedback in love
  • Practicing empathy and compassion
  • How to hold space for someone effectively
  • The importance of boundaries
  • The anatomy of trust
  • Building a foundation of trust and a circle of love

CHURCH LIFE & MINISTRY STREAM

The church has been called to be a witness, an instrument and a foretaste of God's love and the world that it is to come. This stream is for those interested in church leadership and ministry to come together to connect with others as we explore and discuss topics such as:

  • Creating an engaged church
  • Building a healthy community life
  • Managing church life and ministry
  • Developing thriving teams that last
  • Being the church in a digital age
  • Sexual ethics and accountability

Please note that the content for all streams will be confirmed closer to the date of the conference.