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Hundreds to gather at ‘Restore 2023’ for insight and healing from church hurt

Wade Mullen speaks at a earlier Restore Convention. Restore 2023: A Convention Restoring Religion in God and the Church—will convene Oct. 13-14 at Judson College in Elgin, Ailing.

Two-day convention on Oct. 13-14 that includes Mary DeMuth, Lori Anne Thompson, Wade Mullen, Julie Roys and extra anticipated to draw individuals from throughout U.S., Canada.

People who find themselves damaged, hurting, and confused want a protected place to course of what’s occurred to them . . . and pastors and Christian leaders want to hear to (them) and learn the way not to repeat the hurt.”

— Julie Roys

ELGIN, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, September 18, 2023/ — Hundreds of abuse survivors, advocates, allies, and church leaders will gather within the Chicago space subsequent month for a novel, two-day occasion designed to present insight and healing from church hurt.

The convention—referred to as Restore 2023: A Convention Restoring Religion in God and the Church—will convene Oct. 13 and 14 at Judson College in Elgin, Ailing.

Now in its third yr, Restore was based by Christian investigative journalist, Julie Roys. Whereas the primary convention attracted a primarily native viewers, the convention has grown, and final yr gathered individuals from 44 states and two provinces of Canada.

The draw persistently has been group, connection, and consciousness.

“The expertise of trauma is universally isolating,” mentioned Restore speaker, Lori Anne Thompson, a survivor of grownup clergy sexual abuse. “It disconnects you from your self, your group, from your loved ones—and typically even from actuality.”

However she added, “The antidote to abuse and trauma is connection. . . . Final yr once I was (at Restore), I discovered that I linked with myself extra deeply. I understood the survivor group. And I palpably felt our resilience, our company tradition, our company sorrow, and our company power.”

Writer and abuse survivor Mary DeMuth, who spoke at final yr’s Restore and will communicate once more at this yr’s occasion, referred to as the convention “a spot that’s protected, a young place to heal.” She added, “This gathering is for all who’ve walked by means of the trauma of being harmed in church or by means of Christian leaders.”

Restore additionally equips Christian leaders and pastors to be brokers of healing and consolation, not hurt.

Others talking at this yr’s convention embody Laura Barringer, co-author of “A Church Referred to as TOV”; Lance Ford, creator of “UnLeader”—a e-book exposing evangelicals’ poisonous habit to management; and Wade Mullen, creator of “One thing’s Not Proper: Decoding the Hidden Techniques of Abuse—and Releasing Your self From Its Energy.” Dr. Lainna Callentine, an African-American and former advisor for Deal with the Household, will tackle problems with racism within the church.

Longtime Southern Baptist pastor Todd Benkert, who performed a key position in exposing abuse and cover-up in his denomination, referred to as the convention a novel alternative “to hear instantly from these most impacted by sexual abuse and clergy abuse—survivors.”

However Benkert warned: “Don’t come to Restore . . . in the event you’re trying for a fast repair to put the abuse problem behind (you), so (you) can get again to specializing in different issues. However if you would like to develop as a pastor on this space, and you’re keen to hear and hear, you gained’t discover a higher convention to do this.”

Additionally talking at Restore are Naghmeh Panahi and Mariam Ibraheem—two girls who survived violent persecution solely to be ostracized by Christians after exposing spousal abuse.

Carson Weitnauer, a former director at Ravi Zacharias Worldwide Ministries, might be talking, as effectively, and describing his private wrestle with religion and disillusionment.

Julie Roys, whose reporting has uncovered corruption and abuse in religion communities, might be emceeing the occasion, together with Mary DeMuth. Each DeMuth and Roys might be featured audio system, as effectively, and will tackle religious abuse, the pitfalls of advocacy, and causes not to stop the battle for fact and justice.

The convention features a particular Friday dinner, exploring “Why Christian Journalism Issues” with whistleblowers Jason and Lori Adams Brown. The couple will share how going on-the-record with The Roys Report made a distinction. There may also be a Q&A time with Roys.

All through the convention, singer/songwriter Josh Caterer, a former worship chief at Harvest Bible Chapel, will lead attendees in worship.

“Week after week, we report the reality about devastating abuse and scandals in evangelical and Protestant church buildings,” mentioned Roys. “People who find themselves damaged, hurting, and confused want a protected place to course of what’s occurred to them. And pastors and Christian leaders want to hear to these hurting of us, and study from skilled voices how not to repeat the identical sort of hurt.”

Based mostly on a agency perception in reside, in-person incarnational ministry, Restore is not going to have an online-attendance possibility. The occasion web site ( has particulars on the convention group fee, together with resorts close to the occasion venue with discounted blocks of rooms out there.

Be taught extra at To request an interview or study extra info, contact

Josh Shepherd
The Roys Report
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