Guided by the light and love of Christ, GCN is transforming attitudes toward LGBTQ people across denominations and cultures.
The GCN Conference attracts keynote speakers and performers from a variety of perspectives, known nationally and internationally for their faith work. Past speakers include Bishop Gene Robinson, Philip Yancey, Rachel Held Evans, Vicky Beeching, Jeff Chu, Peter Gomes, Tony Campolo, and more.
This year we are pleased to welcome Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rev. Dr. Yvette A. Flunder, Rev. Asher O’Callaghan, and Julie Rodgers.
Nadia is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs: Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (2013) and Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (2015). She is an ordained Lutheran pastor (ELCA) and still works as the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. Nadia travels domestically and internationally as a speaker and has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, On Being with Krista Tippett, Fresh Air, CNN and in the Washington Post, Bitch magazine, The Daily Beast, More magazine and The Atlantic. International media coverage includes BBC World Service and The Guardian and magazine features in Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. Nadia lives in Denver with her family and her Great Dane, Zacchaeus.
Yvette is an unapologetic disciple and proponent of the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ, who has raised her voice for justice from the church house to the White House and steps of the Supreme Court. She is a graduate of the Certificate of Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at Pacific School of Religion, and she received her Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA. A native San Franciscan and third-generation preacher with roots in the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Flunder - ordained in both the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church – has successfully united the message of the gospel with social justice ministry and action for over 30 years. This call to blend proclamation, worship, service and advocacy on behalf of the most marginalized in church and society gave birth to City of Refuge UCC which Bishop Flunder founded in 1991. Responding to the needs of the AIDS epidemic, Bishop Flunder and her staff opened Hazard-Ashley House and Walker House in Oakland and Restoration House in San Francisco through the Ark of Refuge, Inc., a non-profit agency which provided housing, direct services, education and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area, throughout the USA and in three countries in Africa. In December of 2014, Bishop Flunder served as the keynote speaker for the White House observation of the 26th Anniversary of World AIDS Day.
Asher is currently serving as Program Director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a non-profit which believes that the public witness of LGBTQ+ leaders transforms the church and enriches the world. There he works to create community, accompany, and engage in ministry with queer Lutheran leaders across the country. Previously, he served as Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, a small mountain-town congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) located in Idaho Springs, Colorado. He’s bisexual and transgender. After a fundamentalist upbringing, Asher thought he was done with organized religion. He fancied himself spiritual but not religious. But then he stumbled into a church called House For All Sinners and Saints in Denver where God screwed up all his plans. There he heard an invitation he couldn’t help but go share. From Christ’s open Table he heard: “Behold who you are. Become what you receive.” It changed everything. He earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary and has become the first openly transgender person to be ordained through the regular process of the ELCA.
Julie is a writer, speaker, and a leader in the movement working toward full inclusion for LGBTQ people in the church. She has served as an advisor to religious leaders, college administrators, and LGBTQ students at Christian colleges. She was the first openly gay Christian hired at a conservative Christian university when she served as an Associate Chaplain at Wheaton College, and she's been an advisor to Christian colleges during a time of tremendous cultural transition. Through her work as a writer and speaker, Julie also played a key role in shutting down Exodus International. Julie's writing and her story have been featured in TIME, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. Her advocacy is rooted in her passion for Jesus, and her hope is that the church will become a place where LGBTQ people feel wanted. You can follow her work on her website at Julie-rodgers.com or on Twitter at @Julie_rodgers.