Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion – Help or Harm: How Churches and Families Can Choose to Respond

Hesed Project CRC invites you to register to attend another panel conversation.  

 Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 7.p.m.

This online event will feature three superb panelists. They will be discussing how churches and families either help or do harm in their efforts to minister with or provide pastoral care to LGBTQ+ persons. Sign up to attend this online panel discussion to discover alternatives and pose questions about the typical “hate the sin / love the sinner” approaches.

Panelists include clinical pychologist, Emily Helder, scholar and activist, Ian Van Haren and Reformation Project’s programming coordinator and biblical scholar, Katherine Johnson. Read more about the panelists, below. You will attend the panel anonymously as a webinar guest, so questions must be submitted in advance, and you must register to receive the link. Register and submit your questions for the panelist using this form. 

Help or Harm: How Churches and Families Can Choose to Respond 


Dr. Emily Helder (she/her) is a clinical psychologist and professor, and her research focuses on adverse childhood experiences and later impacts on mental health and relationships. She grew up in the CRC and is an elder at Grace Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ian Van Haren is a PhD candidate in sociology at McGill University. His research and teaching focus on refugee protection, international migration, demography, social policy, and the actions of civil society in supporting individuals seeking protection in new countries. Ian is also the chair of the board of directors of Citizens for Public Justice, a progressive Christian public policy advocacy organization.

Katherine Johnson is the programming coordinator at The Reformation Project. She is passionate about helping people to encounter Scripture in ways that foster a life-giving relationship with God and personal growth in Christlike love. She is convinced that the full inclusion of LGBTQ believers in the life of the church would lead to greater flourishing not only for LGBTQ Christians but also for the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven”.