Rethinking Forum 2023
21st Annual Rethinking Forum: July 14-16, 2023
Pre-Conference – International Student Ministry: Thursday, July 13th, 2023
What is the Rethinking Forum?
The Rethinking Forum is an annual gathering of likeminded Alongsiders, presented by MARG, and the only event of its kind in North America. You will have the chance to meet fellow practitioners and hear from leading voices in the field who come alongside Hindu people. Come learn, share, network, and grow.
Our theme for Rethinking Forum 2023 is “Ways I’ve Changed as an Alongsider”.
Last year’s Rethinking Forum, hosted at the same location as this year’s gathering, featured presentations, discussions, and break-out activities for the 100 guests in attendance. The host location was widely praised for the event space and meals provided on location and the housing available for out of town guests.
This year’s conference will continue RF’s tradition of highlighting both the frontier edge of scholarship and the time-tested practical wisdom of fellow Alongsiders. We are also hosting a dedicated international student ministry (ISM) Pre-Conference before this year’s RF! And for RF 2023, our goal is increased collaboration. More interactions with others (for both in-person and digital attendees), more mutual sharing, and more encouragement. This conference is run by Alongsiders and for Alongsiders. We think you’re going to love it!
Registration is now open! Please sign up below for one of the overnight guest, commuter, or digital attendance options. We look forward to seeing you this summer! If you’re still deciding about whether or not to register, the best way to keep informed with further details about the conference is by subscribing to get email updates from the MARG Network. Click here.
Who is it for?
Rethinking Forum 2023 (RF ’23) is designed for people who share both a love for Jesus and a love for Hindu people. We call these kinds of people “Alongsiders”, people who want to help Hindus explore what devotion to Jesus means. There are a wide variety of opinions within the network regarding appropriate convictions and practices, and we embrace the diversity.
This article, What is an Alongsider?, identifies both character qualities and activities we strive to model.
Testimonials about past Rethinking Forums:
“The information and testimonies shared at the Rethinking Forum really opened my eyes to my Hindu friend’s culture and family. I now have a better understanding, respect, and desire to come alongside my Indian friends in appropriate ways and share God’s love with them authentically.”
“This was a really eye-opening time to see different ways to love our Hindu friends… We are pretty new to all this and I feel like we gained years of hard-earned wisdom from those who have been walking this road longer than us, and we are excited to use what we learned in our context.”
“You’ll be challenged and encouraged as you learn more about becoming an alongsider, developing healthy relationships and sharing your faith!”
“RF events are very helpful… Highly recommended.”
“Just meeting RF people we did not know before was a blessing. This is an incredibly important place for encouraging alongsiders, helping sharpen their understanding, and networking between those involved.”
“I love the stimulating discussions of relevant issues that sharpen our thinking and raise our sensitivity and compassion.”
Rethinking Forum Agenda
RF ’23 starts at 9am on Friday, July 14th and ends at 11am on Sunday, July 16th. Friday and Saturday are the main days of the conference, with a variety of talks, panel discussions, and breakout groups planned.
Highlighted topics of RF ’23 include (and more to come):
- Panel Discussions and Leading Speakers on Alongsiding with:
- International Students
- Hindu communities
- How I’ve Changed as an Indian Believer
- Four New Perspectives from the New Testament
- How I’ve Changed Sharing the Gospel Over Three Decades
- Changes from the Pulpit – Adaptations by an Indian Pastor
- Artistic Involvement as an Alongsider
- Experience in Starting a Worshipping Community
- Media, Resources, and Growth Opportunities
Of special importance this year are expanded times of dedicated and focused networking and group interaction. Breakout sessions will be focused on these topics:
- Language communities (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali, etc)
- Religious communities
- Geographic focus
- Demographic affinity
In addition to the regular conference proceedings, we will have a variety of evening activities for in-person attendees.
- The 2nd Annual Indian Film Festival – Nightly film screenings.
- The 1st Ever Town Hall Evening – Details coming. This optional time is currently under design.
International Student Ministry Pre-Conference
This year we are focusing on the topic of international student ministry (ISM) and those who serve this group of students with a dedicated day of programming, topics, and much group collaboration. Experienced speakers from a variety of organizations will present, and there will be a lot of time for sharing best practices amongst the group. The Pre-Conference starts at 9am and ends at 5:30pm on Thursday, July 13th. Lunch and supper will be provided for those who attend.
Topics for the ISM Day include:
- Understanding Hindu Worldviews
- Best practices from Experienced ISM Practictioners
- A Spectrum of Approaches – Ways to Relate
- Who is an Alongsider
- Four ISM Pivots to Consider
- Lots of breakout groups, including:
- Challenges and Frustrations in ISM
- Regional breakouts (North Texas, Central Texas, the Southeast, Great Plains, Midwest, etc)
- College-specific meetings for those at prominent Texas universities
- Resources Available
This year, we will be at the International Linguistics Center (ILC) in Dallas, TX. The address is 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas, TX 75236. The International Linguistics Center is located in the southwest Dallas.
The ILC campus is an approximate 25 minute drive from both DFW and DAL airports.
The Indian community in DFW is primarily located in the suburbs of Irving, Plano, and Frisco, all located between 30-45 miles from the conference center. Many delicious Indian restaurants with various regional influences are available. Some we recommend:
Taj Chaat House, 1057 W. Rochelle Rd., Irving, TX
Saravana Bhavan, 8604 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX
Our Place Indian Restaurant, 8150 N. MacArthur Blvd. #150, Irving, TX
For security purposes on site, we will have a “by permission only” policy for taking photos, meaning you must have everyone’s permission in a photo before taking it.
We do not share registration details with any other group.
Childcare – We hope to offer childcare this year! More information to come.
Much of the conference communication both before and during RF ’23 will be done via our Slack account. If you are not already a member, you will be given details after registering. Utilizing the Slack account will give attendees the opportunity to stay connected even after RF ’23 ends.
You can choose from four registration options for Rethinking Forum 2023:
- Overnight – Private or Shared Room
Lunch and supper on all conference days will be provided for those who attend in-person. The meals together are a key time for building relationships and pursuing further conversations with those you meet at the conference, whether for the first time or after many years together.
All in-person RF ’23 registrations (overnight and commuter) include a free book, snacks, and lunch and supper on Friday and Saturday.
Overnight RF ’23 registrations include three nights of accommodation (Thursday, Friday, Saturday), dinner on Thursday night, and breakfast on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (8 meals total). Meals will include an entrée, several side dishes, and a drink. Concerning food sensitivities, no beef will be served during the conference, and vegetarian options will be available.
The international student ministry (ISM) Pre-Conference can be purchased both independently and as an add-on with any of the options, above. For those who attend both the ISM Pre-Conference and RF ’23, overnight housing will be available for Wednesday night, July 12th. The ISM Pre-Conference starts at 9am and ends at 5:30pm on Thursday, July 13th. Lunch and supper will be provided for those who attend in-person.
For multiple attendees in a group, each person should register and pay separately.
- RF ’23 only – 3 night accommodation (starting Thursday, July 13th and ending Sunday, July 16th)
- Optional ISM Pre-Conference 4th night accommodation (in total Wednesday, July 12 through Sunday, July 16th)
- Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on Friday and Saturday. Also Breakfast on Sunday. Dinner on the night of your arrival.
- RF ’23 check in can begin at 3pm on Thursday, July 13th.
- ISM Pre-Conference check in can begin 3pm on Wednesday, July 12th.
Each room has two twin beds with a private bathroom. You can select to have either a private room, or a shared room. If you know with whom you’d like to share a room, please mention it in the registration process.
- RF ’23 – Lunch and Dinner on both Friday and Saturday, July 14 & 15
- ISM Pre-Conference – Lunch and Dinner on Thursday, July 13
Sessions start at 9:00am each day. Supper will be served at approximately 5:30pm. You are welcome to stay afterwards as long as you’d like.
If you are not able to travel to Dallas, you can still participate in the conference. If you sign up for the digital package, you’ll be invited to a private online group where we will be live-streaming the presentations. You will have access to view the presentations and also add comments for discussions and questions. Digital registration is available for RF ’23, the ISM Pre-Conference, and a combination package that includes both.
In addition, you will also have access to the digital archives of the presentations after they are finished.
If you have any trouble processing the payment, or if you do not receive an email confirmation, please send an email to email@example.com.
About the Organizers
The MARG Network is dedicated to helping people in North America who desire to come alongside Hindu people as they explore what devotion to Jesus looks like. The Rethinking Forum dates to a collaborative meeting in 2001, with the first RF gathering happening on September 6-8, 2002. The Rethinking Forum has been the central meeting space for the sharing of ideas and experiences related to discipleship issues in Hindu contexts since its inception.