Griselda reflects on the GCN Conference

When He Hugged Me, I Just Fell Into His Arms « FreedHearts

Susan Cottrell is kind enough to post Criselda's reflection, the deep wound between her and her parents and how straight parents @ GCN reached out in a welcome way.


Stacey Chomiak reflects on the GCN conference

Experiencing GCN 2014 “Live it Out” « This is what I see.

I heard a lot about Stacey and Tam Chomiak during the conference but hadn't spent time with them.  They had a major impact with the animation they did for Rob and Linda Robertson's "Just Because He Breathes" and for their own breakout they conducted about recovering from brokenness in relationship.  What I like is that she takes you through her experience of the conference, the high points, and how it affected her.

Glad to hear another story of how *relationships* are fostered and strengthened through the ministry of GCN.



Susan Cottrell reflects on the GCN Conference

God’s Love Abundant at GCN Conference « FreedHearts

I worked with Susan during the service project and it was a joy to be around her even though we didn't get to know each other beyond acquaintance.  She's really written a book: "Mom, I'm Gay" about her experience with her daughter's revelation that she was lesbian.  I'm looking forward to reading the book when it comes out and it's great that she's a fellow Texan.


Christians aren’t being driven out of public life – they’re just losing their unfair advantages

Christians aren’t being driven out of public life – they’re just losing their unfair advantages

Robin Ince, a self-identified athiest in the UK, presents his perspective on the whinging of Christians (specifically citing Cristina Odone, a blogger at "The Telegraph") about their "oppression" in a society that is incrementally improving equality, especially as concerns marriage being extended to same-sex couples.   While I identify as a Christian, I think he makes good points as regards the expression of faith in the civil arena.

Money quotes:
"Just as some men bleat that they are the oppressed because of feminism, Odone confuses a loss of advantage with an act of oppression. This is the shock of those who are losing their divine right to dominate."

"As for practising her beliefs, Odone can do that, too. Same-sex marriage is not compulsory; it is very much an opt-in scenario. Cristina Odone will not be forced into a lesbian coupling, nor will she be forced to have an abortion – nor, should it become law, will she be made to embrace assisted dying, even if her death is agonising and the pain impossible to relieve."


Ty McCarthy Reflects on the GCN Conference

Ty McCarthy's reflections on the conference hit on so many things that I've found true and valuable over the years - the connections and sharing of stories being the chief among them.  I think he hit the nail on the head in this piece about what makes it so good.

Reflections on the 2014 GCN Conference | Ty McCarthy

Ric Alba

"I was ... involved in helping to alleviate the AIDS crisis, which had been caused in great part by society forcing gay people into closets.  [...] I can now let myself be known in ways I didn’t dare during the ‘80’s.  Everyone has the drive to be known and loved. [...] When you’re delivering to friends..., someone other than your true self, it’s nearly impossible to absorb the love people send you. It always feels like it was meant for someone else, and that you’re taking love under false pretenses."

An Interview with former Christian punk rocker Ric Alba - Red Letter Christians


God, Gays, and the Gilded Age: First Baptist Church of Dallas and the New Satanism

An article on First Baptist Dallas and the anti-gay animus (among other things) of their pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, who claims to speak for Jesus and, as a result, foments the most unlike-Jesus stuff in the culture.  Emily makes a provocative claim.

God, Gays, and the Gilded Age: First Baptist Church of Dallas and the New Satanism | translinguistic other

Money quote:
"No one’s point of view is objective, but over the years of pursuing an avid, albeit amateur interest in spirituality, I have arrived at a simple set of criteria I tend to rely upon when assessing the relative “goodness” of an organized religion.  For these purposes, I define “goodness” as the degree to which a religious body fosters those near-universal moral imperatives collectively described by a good many saints and scholars as the Perennial Philosophy, and my criteria are as follows:

1. Does this religion foster a sense of awe, wonder, and appreciation of the sheer amazingness of existence?

2. Does this religion foster a sense of interconnectedness and interdependence between all beings, both living and non-living?

3. Does this religion place a premium on love or compassion as its highest virtue?

For what it’s worth, the megachurch movement—as does the majority of evangelical American Christianity—fails the Perennial Philosophy test miserably.  Although the rhetoric of these denominations is cloaked in the idea of “community,” in practice they define their identity from an us-vs-them exclusion of outsiders (gays! liberals! non-Christians!)  Add to this the fact that the political ends they support often have the effect of encouraging environmental destruction and enforcing an economic system that helps the wealthiest among us accumulate more wealth at the expense of the poorest, both violations of criteria (2) and (3)."


Matthew Vines Announces 'God and the Gay Christian'

Matthew Vines Announces 'God and the Gay Christian;' Claims Book Will 'Radically Change' Talk on Being Gay in Church

Refuted?  Time will tell.  And citing Gagnon as any kind of reasonable authority.  Oh dear God - Christian Post, you're gonna get owned.

Lisa Salazar reflects on her conference experience

Lisa Salazar identifies as a Christian and started out life as biologically male.  She transitioned later in life and has written a book about her experience. This was Lisa's third conference.  We have a nodding acquaintance, passing each other like ships at sea intent on our relative purposes.  I'm grateful for the effort she makes to attend and willingness to share from her experience in the workshops she leads - no easy task for an introvert by nature.  Bless you Lisa and thanks for this reflection.

My Highs and Lows of Transgender Advocacy | IMPACTmagazine.us

Betsy Henning reflects on her conference experience

I met Betsy virtually after the conference though I do recall seeing her in passing.  With conference attendance reaching the 700 mark, it is really getting more difficult to spend quality time with old friends and continue to meet new (to me) folks.

REGENERATION: Processing...

Rachel Held Evans reflects on her conference experience

Good Fruit: Thoughts on the Gay Christian Network Conference

Shannon Ford, a friend from Mercy Street, came to the conference for this talk so I got to share it with her.  Rachel did well for a self-professed non-public speaker.  Her heart and thoughtfulness came through.

The thrust of her talk was that grace is inclusive ... it extends to me and also the Mark Driscoll's and Phil Robertsons of the world.  She doesn't like "ally" because that implies the side-taking in the culture wars.  She prefers "sibling" because it gets to our connectedness as family.  Good talk.  Short and Sweet with some powerful moments.

Being more reflective

I've been away from my blog for quite some time caught up and carried away in Facebook where I live and breathe.  But there's so much that I post there that I'd rather have squirreled away here for easier searching and finding.

My intention is to post here first about things that I read and experience that are more than in-the-moment, flash-in-the-pan tidbits. I might cross-post them then to Facebook or I might not.

My journey is also chronicled on my livejournal account.  Oddly, Livejournal has gained massive popularity in Russia.  Channeling Jane Leaves as Daphne: "I don't know why...."

I just got back from the Gay Christian Network Conference in Chicago.  I have somethings to process from that and my recent exit from the Ex-Ex-Gay Facebook group.  I think that I'll be doing that here as part of my exercise in being more intentional about reflections.

Blessings on the journey.