Yes, good things can happen in Rhode Island! This past weekend, we had about 150 pastors, church leaders, and workers who attended the Bible, Gender, and Sexuality Conference here in our state. This type of conference was a first for us in Rhode Island, and we covered a broad array of issues that people find difficult to talk about. The reoccurring theme of this conference was compassion without compromise.
Throughout the conference, we heard people comment on the great quality of each speaker, the robust content of their messages, and their helpful resource materials. The conference was organized by the Ministry Training Network of New England. Because of your prayers and support, Family Policy Alliance was able to make significant contributions by way of speakers and materials. Each person in attendance received a complimentary copy of our ‘Parents Resource Guide.’ It’s available for you to download here free of charge.
Dr. J. Alan Branch, a seminary professor and author, opened the conference on Friday with a challenging message that sex and gender were meant to be celebrated because God created us in his own image. Sin has marred that image, but through Christ they can be redeemed. On Saturday, nationally known pediatrician, Dr. Michelle Cretella, addressed the medical, physical, and social consequences that people are experiencing when they deviate from God’s intended norms for sexuality. Her research shows that trauma is often the underlying issue. With counseling we can help people embrace their bodies, their true identities, and help save their lives from destruction.
Brenna Simonds, Director of ‘Alive in Christ,’ leads 2 Christ-centered support groups that are helping Christian men and women find freedom in their struggle with same-sex attraction. She gave a moving and personal testimony of her journey to wholeness. Her breakout session titled, “Same-Sex Attraction and the Church: Compassion without Compromise,” was well-attended and well-received.
My biggest take-away from the conference came from Dr. Branch. At times, I feel overwhelmed by the opposition to our faith and values, but Dr. Branch proved that the challenges we are facing today are nothing new. The early church faced them to an even greater degree and the church emerged victorious. The Lord’s return is imminent, and we need to take His promise to heart, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
This Conference brought many diverse members in the body of Christ together. It’s evidence that good things are coming out of our treasured state. Please consider supporting our efforts by making a monthly donation so we can keep those good things coming.
For Faith and Family,
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island