Uncommon Grace, Otherworldly Hope with Jeff Chu
June 22 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
The stories of queer spirituality can both challenge our comfort and nurture our faith. Journalist and author Jeff Chu will share some of what he’s learned over years of meeting LGBTQ+ people both in the U.S. and abroad. We’ll experience stories of struggle, resilience, grief, and joy, all the while asking, “Where is God in this?”
Over his eclectic journalistic career, Jeff Chu has interviewed presidents and paupers, corporate execs and preachers, Britney Spears and Ben Kingsley. As a writer and editor for Time and Fast Company, he has compiled an award-winning portfolio including stories on hit-making Swedish songwriters (a piece for which he went clubbing in Stockholm); James Bond (for which he stood on a beach and watched Halle Berry emerge from the waves over and over); undercover missionaries in the Arab world (he traveled to North Africa and went to church); and the decline of Christianity in Europe (he prayed). His acclaimed book, Does Jesus Really Love Me?—which earned the cover of the New York Times Book Review—features his reporting on Christianity and sexuality across America. One of Jeff’s prized possessions is a print of a quote from former Senator John Warner, who once told Jeff: “You’re a good little interviewer!”
As a speaker, Jeff’s experience has been equally as compelling. He has stood before audiences in Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and an array of other denominational and non-denominational churches across the country. He has given lectures at major colleges, universities and seminaries, including (to name a few) Princeton, Yale, Fuller, Calvin, Syracuse, and Hope. He has also graced the stages of the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival in Washington and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored and Innovation by Design gatherings, as well as the Progressive Youth Ministry, Gay Christian Network, Why Christian?, and Room for All (Reformed Church in America) conferences.
Jeff grew up California and Florida. He went to high school in Miami, at Westminster Christian, where he sat behind Alex Rodriguez in Mr. Warner’s world history class. He’s a graduate of Princeton and the London School of Economics. And he will tell you that he is a writer today largely because of two people: Carmen Gonzalez, his second- and third-grade teacher at Black Pine Circle Day School in Berkeley, California, who first taught him about storytelling, and Charlotte Grimes, whose one-semester journalism seminar at Princeton—the only journalism course he ever took—taught him that he was not a terrible reporter and might even someday be a good one. Jeff has received fellowships from the Phillips Foundation, the French-American Foundation, and the International Reporting Project, and in 2012, was part of the Seminar on Debates in Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School.
Chu is the nephew and grandson of Baptist preachers, and currently serves as an elder at Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn, New York. He loves the San Francisco 49ers, the Book of Ecclesiastes, and clementine’s.