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Trans*/Gender Non-conforming People Advisory Council

Angel Celeste Collie

Angel Celeste Collie

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. Norma Gann

Rev. Norma Gann

Rev. Norma Gann graduated from Brite Divinity School (Fort Worth, Texas) with a Master of Divinity degree. She also completed a one year hospital chaplain residency. She is currently serving as Pastor of Congregational Care at MCC of Greater Dallas, Carrollton, Texas.  Rev. Gann is on the leadership Team for Gender Journey, a ministry at MCC of Greater Dallas aimed at providing educational and social events, spiritual guidance, ritual and support for Trans/Gender Variant people and their family and friends. She also speaks on panels in the community to educate and inform others about our Trans/Gender Variant family. She identifies as a Two Spirit Native American and is proud to be called an equal rights activist. Rev. Gann has participated in many Pride events, candlelight vigils, AIDS Interfaith Network events, and other equality events in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and HRC’s Clergy Call 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Rev. Miller Hoffman

Rev. Miller Hoffman

Rev. Miller Hoffman has been an active member of our denomination for fourteen years and served on the deaconate and as Adult Education Coordinator of MCC New York before beginning clergy formation and candidacy.  Rev. Miller studied at Union Theological Seminary and was awarded the Roswell Dwight Hitchcock Prize in Church History for the thesis, “Every Woman Who Will Make Herself Male: Genderqueer Expression in the Early Church.” This thesis was deposited in the Burke Theological Library in 2004.  Rev. Miller has worked for LGBT civil rights as a paralegal with Lambda Legal Defense; for anti-violence justice and meditative practice as a tai chi teacher and member of the Board of Directors at the Brooklyn-based Center for Anti-Violence Education, one of the first all-women organizations to include trans women and, later, all trans-identified people; as a counselor and advocate for domestic violence and rape survivors with organizations in New York and Pennsylvania, including work with a state-wide LGBTQ domestic violence network and with one of the few domestic violence organizations in the country to provide services, including shelter, to gay men and trans survivors; as a mentor to local queer and trans youth; and as the pastor of MCC congregations in Binghamton, NY, and now Boyds, MD. Mind-body-spirit connections to social justice and the connectedness of all forms of physical, emotional, and spiritual violence deeply influence Miller’s theology and ministry.  Miller lives in Carlisle, PA, with girlfriend Corrine Bertram and volunteers with local community coalitions to promote visibility and respect for and to celebrate the lives of LGBTQ folks.

Rev. Jake Kopmeier

Rev. Jake Kopmeier

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

Zach McCallum

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

Rev. Aaron Miller

Rev. Aaron Miller earned his Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2008 and was subsequently ordained by the Metropolitan Community Churches.  Prior to being installed as the Interim Pastor at MCC Hartford (CT) in fall 2011, Aaron served as the Associate Minister for Pastoral Care at MCC New Haven.  He is a chaplain at Yale New Haven Hospital and a member of the Connecticut Clergy for Full Equality (an interfaith collaboration of progressive faith leaders throughout the state), and a founding member of the True Colors Spiritual Institute that provides diversity workshops focused on sexual and gender minorities. Separately, Aaron also provides training regarding Gender Identity and Gender Expression in a variety of settings, such as churches, hospitals, health care facilities, colleges, and for Boards of Directors.  Aaron is also a political activist who works for LGBTQ justice and equality, with political incumbents.  As a transgender clergy person, Aaron is passionately committed to transgender human and civil rights in particular and, as important, creating safe and welcoming spaces in our congregations with full inclusion as members of the body of Christ.

Rev. Maxwell Reay

Rev. Maxwell Reay

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 Sanberg

Stacy Sanberg

Stacy Sanberg attended MCC in Topeka until the summer of 2011 and now is active at Spirit of Hope MCC in Kansas City. Both congregations have been so supportive of her growth. He 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 his life, he considered himself to be a flawed male, to have something wrong with him that he just couldn’t get rid of. She would try to fight it, but would also take opportunities to express her “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. His life was shaken a decade ago by a divorce. Over the past 9 plus years Stacy has been on a journey to claim that part of her being which was suppressed, denied, and hidden for 50 years. What seemed like a curse before, he now sees as a gift of God that continues to enrich her life, as Stacy seeks authenticity. Stacy prefers the term “dual gender” to describe his gender identity. Along this journey, Stacy has come to realize that advocating and educating on gender identity issues are tasks she is called to do to give back for all she has received. Stacy has made several presentations related to gender identity and have participated in a variety of activities helping to raise awareness of gender identity as a component of each person’s sexual and self identity.

Steve Sills

Steve Sills

Steve Sills is a member of Cornerstone MCC in Mobile, Alabama.  She and her life-partner Kay Hedgepeth recently celebrated their 20th anniversary.  They share their home with five adorable fur babies, Princess Diva Roxanne, Samson, Steve, Amos Moses and Pistol Dillon.  Steve has just celebrated her 25th anniversary as an Environmental Specialist at UOP, A Honeywell Company.  She is working toward her M Div. at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana and expects to graduate in 2014!  Steve is a graduate of the MCC Leadership Mentoring Retreat and looks forward to serving the transgender and gender non-conforming peoples among us.

Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack

Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack

Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack is ordained clergy with Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and founder and lead organizer of 4Lyfe Ministries, a collective of activist theologians, ministers, vocalists, preachers, prayer partners and teachers from all walks of faith and life.  The primary focus of 4Lyfe Ministries is to usher in pastoral and educational moments that take the form of workshops, retreats, and worship gatherings for communities of faith who wish to address issues of cultural competency, sexuality and gender identity/expression in particular, in more loving and life-giving ways.  As part of this work, he serves as the Director of Spiritual Outreach for the Trans People of Color Coalition, the only national organization that seeks to promote the social and economic equality of all transgender and gender non-conforming people.  In his spare time, he also produces and performs in showcases that raise awareness about and much needed funds for Trans siblings seeking gender confirmation surgeries.  Before settling in Boston, he completed his clergy candidacy and served as the Director of Worship and Congregational Care at Vision of Hope MCC in Mountville, PA and a Youth Minister and Staff Counselor at Sylvia’s Place, a shelter for homeless Queer-identified youth as part of his student clergy work at MCC New York.  Prior to answering his call to ordained ministry, Rev. Mykal also spent several years in public service, as an attorney for both the ACLU LGBT & HIV/AIDS Rights Projects and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and as an investigator for the Lancaster County Human Rights Commission.

Julie Walsh

Julie Walsh

Julie Walsh grew up in St. Louis and from an early age attended MCC with her mother and mother’s partner. While obtaining a degree in all-area Music Education from Butler University in Indianapolis, she began a ten-year tenure as the Minister of Worship at LifeJourney Church. During that time, Julie also provided music and worship leadership at district, regional, and general conferences. Julie remains active at the church as a musician and a writer for Be Still and Know… the online devotional ministry of the church, and appears as a contributing author in Quench!: Refreshing Devotionals by Gay, Trans, and Affirming Christians. Julie is the founder, author, and consultant for TransFormation Ministry, a resource for the gender diverse community and their families. She is also in the development phase of GenderNexus, an organization with a mission to empower people who are gender diverse to lead authentically healthy and holistic lives by connecting them with services to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. In the meantime, Julie serves as a guest speaker and consultant about trans* issues at universities, churches, community establishments, trans* conferences, and with LGBT+ leaders in South Africa and Kenya. Julie is wrapping up her Master’s of Social Work degree with a dual concentration in leadership and mental health/addictions at Indiana University. She is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues and Women’s Issues (APA Divisions 44 and 35), Soulforce, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI). She and her husband, Brent, reside in Pendleton, Indiana.

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