Kristyn Komarnicki is ESA’s director of communications. Passionate about relational wholeness, she writes and speaks about both sexual justice and sexual exploitation; helping Christians understand pornography as hate speech that it is directly linked to human trafficking is a particular concern of hers. She also directs ESA’s Oriented to Love dialogues about sexual diversity in the church. These help Christians of different sexual, gender, and theological orientations come together to get to know, understand, and love each other, unified by the love of Christ. Darren Calhoun is a photographer and community activist based out of Chicago. Currently, Darren actively serves within the leadership of arts ministries at his church, the downtown campus of Willow Creek Community Church, and volunteers with organizations such as Breakthrough Urban Ministries and The Marin Foundation, where he contributed in the development of the “I’m Sorry” campaign at gay pride parades. He participates in grassroots efforts to reduce recidivism, truancy, violence, and unemployment on Chicago’s South and West Sides and has lead groups on anti-racism and racial reconciliation projects that help people from various backgrounds listen to and learn from one another.
Oriented to Love: Intentional dialogue about sexual/gender diversity in the faith community (fishbowl) — Darren Calhoun, Kristyn Komarnicki, Kenji Kuramitsu, Lindsey Nelson, Beth Malena-Carlson
Join us for a moderated fishbowl conversation with Jesus-followers of various sexual/gender orientations and theological convictions. What kinds of questions generate the best dialogue? How can people who disagree on what faithful sexuality is enjoy unity within the body of Christ? What does it look like to listen with love? How can we connect across deep differences without leaving our convictions at the door? We’ll take time for Q&A so that the whole group gets a chance to enter into the conversation.
Crossing the Divide: A Workshop About Communicating Safely Across Deep Disagreements
Real unity requires courageous vulnerability and generous listening. But how do we offer these things when we’ve been misunderstood, dismissed, even rejected in the past? In this workshop we’ll explore what it takes to build unity amidst disagreement. The purpose of this workshop is to help participants foster space in their deepest selves where compassion and safety coexist in a real way. Within this space, we have the emotional capacity to risk and an understanding of God’s presence that reframes what safety looks like. (Hint: it doesn’t look like never getting hurt.) Kristyn and Darren will draw on their own experiences of being in committed, intentional dialogue with others from various theological orientations. We will explore what happens when we enter into conversation, not so that we can convince each other of our various stances on an issue, but instead so we can listen to each other’s stories in order to begin to love each other – the kind of love that is only possible when we see the unique ways in which we each reflect the image of God.