“One of River’s greatest skills is their deep compassion for all those around them. There’s never an expectation that one must be perfect or get it right all the time, only gentle invitation to be open to trying. Conversations with River transform my worldview into greater expansiveness, and being in River’s presence is like a balm of calm, peace, and love to my soul.”
-Rev. Jessica H., Illinois
“I highly recommend River as an educator, peer support, and conversation partner. Their willingness to share both academic and reflective work has definitely deepened my thinking on a number of subjects, especially in areas of gender, spirituality, and the importance of ritual at both a personal and communal level. River has been a marvelous peer support as we have discussed both practical and spiritual implications of sexuality and asexuality, as well as non-binary gender and other gender non-conforming expressions of human life. In addition to reflective conversations, I have enjoyed participating in a bible study group with River and have appreciated the nuance and care They brings to those sessions. I am grateful to have made a connection with Them and for Their generous gifts of time and wisdom.”
-Rev. John L., OEF (They/Them)
“River is delightful. Their workshops regarding gender and sexuality include a lot of information, but they are not merely intellectual. Instead, River invites people into self exploration, which has provided me with many practical applications as well as personal epiphanies. I brought my daughter (age 9 at the time) to their workshop, and River genuinely engaged her questions and contributions with honesty and patience. If you are a person who wants to learn more about gender and sexuality, both in the abstract and in the personal, River has a gift for engaging with people of good faith at all levels of the discussion.”
-Elle D., Illinois
“River’s help/support/consultation as I craft sermons is invaluable. Their deep understanding of the Bible and biblical Hebrew strengthens my own engagement with the text. River is intentional about understanding the context for the sermon, even if it’s familiar. Their feedback strengthens my sermon and holds me accountable to anti-oppression and intersectional commitments, helping me think through and address problematic parts so that my sermon is the best it can be.
In addition, River Needham’s training had a tangible impact on our Board. I personally learned a lot, especially about the identities River covered that I don’t hold and some of the complexities of oppression that are tangled up with how our culture treats them. I also noticed an increase in people gendering me correctly and holding each other accountable to gender others correctly after the training. It was such a relief to not have to be the only one correcting my pronouns anymore and to be doing it with much less frequency!
River’s training helped us to be more informed as a Board, created space for us to reflect on the information, especially as it relates to our work, and gave us tools to help us continue to deepen our anti-oppression commitments.”
-Rev. Emily E., Iowa
“I am continually blessed by River’s work. Their writing for scholarly and lay environments always challenges, informs and inspires me-I am left with questions I never thought of before, growing to do, and an assurance of my place in the universe. Their trainings are likewise full of information, affirmation, and invitation to grow and learn. In addition, River’s demeanor is always calming, loving, and open to meeting people exactly where they are and accompanying them on the way to who they are becoming. I very highly recommend all their services.”
-Jessica D., Pennsylvania
“I first got to know River through their involvement in the Decorah, Iowa Women’s March. River spoke with spiritual wisdom, authority, clarity and grace, lovingly challenging the crowd to expand our vision of the march to include rights for trans* people and sex workers. River teaches by encouragement: I am grateful for the encouragement and education–particularly in the embodiment of femme authority–that I’ve received from River. “
-Rev Anne E., Iowa