Angel Celeste Collie is a transmasculine person from Bunn, NC. He leads MCC’s Transgender Ministries, serves on the LGBT-Religious Archives Network Advisory Committee, The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Transgender Roundtable, the Freedom Center for Social Justice board, and and was on the 2006 and 2007 Soulforce Equality Rides. In addition, Angel was elected by his peers to serve on the Diversity Committee and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate at Yale Divinity School. Angel says it is his hope to advocate on behalf of transgender, gender-non-conforming, and gender variant people in communities of faith. He said, “I am a shy, inked-up dork who likes exploring the intersections of faith, gender, and sexuality.”
Rev. Miller Hoffman was ordained by MCCNY in 2004. He studied at Union Theological Seminary and was awarded the Roswell Dwight Hitchcock Prize in Church History. He has worked with LGBT civil rights, anti-violence, and queer youth organizations in NY and PA. Mind-body-spirit connections to social justice and the connectedness of all forms of physical, emotional, and spiritual violence deeply influence his theology and ministry. Miller lives in Carlisle, PA, with girlfriend Corrine Bertram. Rev. Miller and Rev. Emma Chatton of MCC NoVA presented a two-part webinar series on trans inclusion in church community and ministry which is available online:
Rev. Jake Kopmeier is the minister for social justice concerns and for transgender concerns at King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg, FL area. He is a founding member of Transgender FORGE and its director for youth and families. Prior to becoming active in MCC in Florida, Rev. Kopmeier was a clinical social worker helping in the LGBT community in the Washington, DC area.
Zach McCallum is a fabulous, queer, disabled transman who lives just outside San Francisco with one housemate, three algae-eating snails, ten tropical fish, and fourteen pet rats. He hails originally from both Michigan and Tennessee, but has lived in coastal California for over twenty years so no longer has any tolerance for temperatures above 80°F or below 30°F. To hear his Nashville accent, sit him down with another Southerner or eavesdrop when he’s on the phone to his sister. He spent a year studying geology in upstate New York, then bailed on the sciences and got a bachelors degree in Theatre from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He moved to San Francisco when he graduated, for “true love” (it didn’t last), and decided California was the place for him. At various times he’s earned a living (or in some cases more like a pittance) as a graphic artist and animator, a user experience designer, a stage manager, a theatrical director, a makeup artist, a phlebotomist, a janitor, and a writer. He is currently Managing Editor at Owldolatrous Press, a progressive web journal focusing on spiritual and humanist values, arts, and ideas for the LGBTQQIA community and their allies. In addition to making weekly publication happen, he writes essays about gender, culture, and spirituality. He also writes fiction (mostly gay romance, fantasy, and sci fi) and poetry about anything that catches his ADD eye. He’s the token Pagan member of Peninsula MCC in San Mateo, CA, where he’s been attending services (and singing in the choir) since January 2007 when he went to be polite to some friends who’d invited him, and found much more than he’d bargained for. His step-father is a former Presbyterian minister, his best ex-girlfriend is a Church of Canada minister, and a handful of his closest friends are either ministers, chaplains, or former seminary students, so he’s rather surrounded by the voice of the Divine in one way or another.
Rev. Aaron Miller (M.Div.’08 Yale Divinity School) is the Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford (CT) and a chaplain at Yale New Haven Hospital. Prior to being called to MCC Hartford, initially as the interim pastor, Aaron served as the Associate Minister for Pastoral Care at MCC New Haven where he was ordained and also a member for nearly 13 years. In addition to serving on this Advisory Council, Aaron is also a member of the Moderator’s Climate Care team. Aaron serves on the Board of Directors of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (CT) and is working with the CT Fair Housing Center in state matters of housing discrimination based on gender identity and expression. Aaron is a political and spiritual activist who is passionately committed to social justice issues and, in particular, the human and civil rights of trans*/gender non-conforming people, working with political incumbents toward full equality. Aaron is passionately committed to educating and advocating for the full inclusion of all genders and sexualities that we may all, individually and in community, experience and live out the unconditional love of God.
Rev. Maxwell Reay has been a member of Metropolitan Community Church since 1989. He was one of the founding pastors of Living Springs MCC in Bath, England. He was licensed as MCC clergy in 1993. Maxwell has worked and volunteered within the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender community for over 25 years. He is a qualified teacher, social worker and worked in the HIV voluntary sector for several years. Maxwell is an out gay trans man. He co chaired FTM London for 5 years and severed on the committee of Transmen Scotland for 3 years. He worked for LGBT Youth Scotland providing support to trans youth and trans educational sessions to other organisations. Maxwell is passionate about trans affirmation and visibility in church settings and has worked with several church communities in helping to improve trans inclusion. He helped to establish trans faith and spirituality groups in London and Edinburgh. Maxwell currently works full time as an NHS mental healthcare Chaplain in Edinburgh providing spiritual care to folks of any faith or no faith, in hospital and community settings. He offers monthly spiritual care sessions at the LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Edinburgh. He is also volunteer clergy with Augustine United Church in Edinburgh. Maxwell co-ordinates the LGBT ministry “Our Tribe” and the transgender ministry “Transcendence” which are both joint ministries with MCC and Augustine United Church.
Stacy Sandberg attended MCC in Topeka until the summer of 2011 and Spirit of Hope MCC in Kansas City for the next 2 years. Stacy is currently a member of New Spirit MCC in Cincinnati and active at Eternal Joy MCC in Dayton. All MCC congregations have been so supportive of Stacy’s growth. Stacy wants to help make MCC a denomination that continues to accept, affirm, and celebrate the wonderful variety of God’s creations. For the first 50 plus years of their life, Stacy considered themselves to be a flawed male, to have something wrong with them that just couldn’t be gotten rid of. They would try to fight it, but would also take opportunities to express their “femaleness” in what seemed like the only way possible – wearing women’s clothing in secret. Stacy felt a sense of relief and excitement during those times, and then guilt afterwards for having given in to the temptation. Their life was shaken a decade ago by a divorce. Over the past 10 plus years Stacy has been on a journey to claim that part of their being which was suppressed, denied, and hidden for 50 years. What seemed like a curse during that time now sees like a gift from God that continues to enrich their life, as Stacy seeks authenticity. Stacy prefers the term “dual gender” to describe their gender identity. Along this journey, Stacy has come to realize that advocating and educating on gender identity issues are tasks they are called to do to give back for all the blessing they have received. Stacy has made several presentations related to gender identity and has participated in a variety of activities helping to raise awareness of gender identity as a component of each person’s sexual and self identity. Stacy is married to Rev. Joy Simpson, pastor of both New Spirit and Eternal Joy MCCs in southwest Ohio.
Sara Sills is a member of Cornerstone MCC in Mobile, Alabama. She and her life-partner Kay Hedgepeth were married on February 28 after successfully challenging the State of Alabama’s discriminatory stand against marriage equality. They share their home with five adorable fur babies, Princess Diva Roxanne, Samson, Steve, Amos Moses and Pistol Dillon. In May, Sara will receiver her M Div. at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana and will seek MCC ordination this summer. She is a graduate of the MCC Leadership Mentoring Retreat and looks forward to continuing to serve the transgender and gender non-conforming peoples among us.
Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack is the founder and lead organizer of 4LYFE, an ecumenical, consultative ministry of Metropolitan Community Churches that develops anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks for church life and provides pastoral and educational resources to address sexual orientation and gender identity issues in faith communities across a broad spectrum, inviting everyone to Live Your Faith Everyday. He also serves The Sanctuary Boston as their Director of Worship and First Parish Cambridge as their Community Life Coordinator, supporting their efforts to become a multiracial, multifaith, justice-making community.
As part of his ministry, Mykal sits on the Advisory Group of the Center for African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice, the Trans*/GNC Advisory Council of Metropolitan Community Churches, and the steering team of the Trans People of Color Coalition, the only national organization that seeks to promote the social and economic equality of all black and brown transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Before ministry called him, Mykal spent several years in public service, clerking for the Honorable Marilyn D. Go at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and serving as an attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV/AIDS Rights Projects. He currently blogs on mendingdrybones.com and is a featured blogger on Believe Out Loud, an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.
Julie Walsh is an educator, advocate, and community organizer who has served as an LGBT+ consultant and trainer throughout the US, Kenya, and South Africa. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in All-Area Music Education from Butler University and a Master of Social Work Degree with a dual concentration in leadership and mental health/addictions from Indiana University. She is the Founder and Executive Director of GenderNexus, an emerging organization for the gender diverse community in Indianapolis.
Julie currently works as a Care Coordinator at The Damien Center, and previously worked as a community organizer, counselor, and group facilitator at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center in New York City; the Mentor Coordinator at the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy, the Minister of Worship Arts at LifeJourney Church in Indianapolis; a teacher for the Indiana Department of Correction, Indianapolis Public Schools, and Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School; and as a guest lecturer in social work and sexuality classes at Ball State University and Indiana University. Julie also appears as a contributing author in Quench!: Refreshing Devotionals by Gay, Trans, and Affirming Christians.
Julie serves on the Board of Directors of The Indiana Transgender Wellness Alliance, the Indiana LGBT Committee of The National Association of Social Workers , the Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming Advisory Council of Metropolitan Community Churches, the Board of Directors of The Indiana University School of Social Work Alumni Association, and is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues (APA Division 44), Soulforce, Phi Alpha Honor Society, and Sigma Alpha Iota.