Beyond the Rainbow Flag: Walking the Walk of Radical Inclusion
An Afternoon of Conversation with
Brandan Robertson and Marpheen Chann
Saturday, October 15, 2022, 4:00pm
Hosted by Saint Ansgar Lutheran Church
515 Woodford Street, Portland
Ticket prices range from Free to $50 and advance registration is required. Proceeds will be used to help cover costs of the event. Once expenses are met, any additional funds raised will be donated to The Equality Community Center Capital Campaign.*
So… your website says you’re a welcoming community, a rainbow flag flies out front, you use gender-inclusive language, and you make sure you greet strangers who walk through your doors. But is all of that really enough?
Join author, activist, and public theologian Rev. Brandan Robertson (a.k.a. “The TikTok Preacher”) and Maine’s own Marpheen Chann (author of Moon in Full: A Modern Day Coming of Age Story) on Saturday, October 15, as they discuss Robertson’s vision of “True Inclusion,” that invites communities to move from mere welcome to radical embrace, to become places where people of every race, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability, ability, and socioeconomic status are included, seen, heard, and valued as worthy.
In this upcoming October 15 public conversation with Marpheen Chann in Portland, Robertson will describe action steps we all can take to reform our lives to be increasingly inclusive by embracing the full breadth of diversity represented in every single person.
As a leader within the Christian tradition, Robertson calls everyone who claims to follow in the way of Jesus to do just that: to recognize who we are, identify our privilege, and then willingly give up that privilege for the good of the silenced, marginalized and oppressed. This way of true inclusion, he believes, is the fundamental direction of the universe—echoing Rev. Dr. King’s belief that the long moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.
Recently named by Rolling Stone magazine to its “Hot List” of artists, creatives, and influencers, Robertson is a prolific writer working at the intersection of spirituality, sexuality, and social renewal. He currently serves as the Pastor of Metanoia Church, a digital progressive faith community, and is the host of The Big Questions podcast. The author of seven books on spirituality, justice and theology, including the INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist True Inclusion: Creating Communities of Radical Embrace, he also has bylines in Patheos, TIME Magazine, the Huffington Post, and the Washington Post, and has appeared on NPR, and at the White House, Westminster Abbey, and The Parliament of World Religions. Named by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the top faith leaders leading the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, Robertson has worked with politicians and social leaders around the world to end conversion therapy and promote the human rights of sexual and gender minorities, and at the national level, he works with respected organizations such as Faith In Public Life to organize people of faith on a wide array of social and political issues. Robertson received his Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and Theology from Moody Bible Institute, his Master of Theological Studies from Iliff School of Theology, and his Master of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration from Eastern Illinois University. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Religion from Drew University and resides in New York City.
Copies of his newest book, Dry Bones & Holy Wars (Orbis Books, 2022) will be available for sale, as will copies of Marpheen Chann’s book, Moon in Full: A Modern Day Coming of Age Story (Islandport Press, 2022).
Marpheen Chann, a gay, first-generation Asian American born in California to a Cambodian
refugee family and later adopted by an evangelical, white working-class family in Maine, is the
author of a memoir titled Moon In Full. In his writing and in his work in the nonprofit and
advocacy sector, he uses a mix of humor and storytelling to help people view topics such as
racism, xenophobia, and homophobia through an intersectional lens. He lives out his strong
commitment to public service as an elected At-Large Charter Commissioner for the City of
Portland, Maine, the President of the Cambodian Community Association of Maine, a member of the Maine Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and as a member of the Planning Board for the City of Portland and the Board of Directors of Portland’s new Equality Community Center. Marpheen holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law.
*The ECC in Portland houses LGBTQ+ and allied justice-seeking organizations together under one roof. It’s an incubator for ideas and creativity, for bold dreams and coffee-cup conversations, a seedbed for connections, coalitions, and camaraderie—all made possible when we unite different cultural and social organizations. The goal of the ECC Capital Campaign is acquisition of a mixed-use building adjacent to 15 Casco Street that would include housing options for LGBTQ+ older adults and vulnerable members of our community, with both reduced and market-rate rental units, retail space, and parking.