Breakout B:

Friday, January 11th 3:00PM - 4:00PM


Sex And The Effects of Shame in a Relationship

sESSION LEADERS: Dave & Constantino Khalaf

TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Session Description: As a married gay couple and authors of a book on Christian marriage, the Khalafs get many questions about sex: “Do you feel guilty having sex?” “Does physical intimacy deepen your love for each other and God?” “Has marriage cured the shame you feel around sex?” This breakout session explores these questions and the reasons why healthy relationships help counter the effects of internalized shame caused by queerphobia and miseducation in the church.

Biography: David and Constantino Khalaf are the authors of Modern Kinship: A Queer Guide to Christian Marriage (Westminster John Knox Press, January 2019). They have been writing together since their engagement to provide a model and guide for other LGBTQ Christians pursuing lifelong partnerships. They also write for the Gottman Institute, a leader in relationship counseling and advice. Their faith brought the Khalafs together, and it remains the cornerstone of their marriage.

Books: “Modern Kinship: A Queer Guide to Christian Marriage” (Westminster John Knox Press, January 2019)


The Power of Oneness

sESSION LEADER: Dontea’u Jae’El

TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Session Description: "I pray they may all be one," as Jesus prayed in John 17:21, “The Power of Oneness” is about building bridges instead of barriers. In this workshop we will explore the scriptural builder tools of love, community, generosity, worship, and grace that keep our bridges intact. Through song, lecture, and corporate discussion and participation this session aims to take the attendee on a journey of “love your neighbor as yourself” starting with “who is my neighbor” and arriving at the realization that “I am my neighbor and my neighbor is me”.

Biography: Pastor Dontea’u Jae’El was born in Beckley, West Virginia and embraced faith at age four. Their early ministry work included: junior armor bearer, usher, and choir member, At age ten, Dontea’u transitioned from Youth Psalmist to Youth Evangelist Missionary and spent the next seven years preaching and teaching throughout the east coast. Dontea’u’s pulpit ministry was halted in November 2008 when they were giving an ultimatum from church leaders. Not willing to live a lie, Dontea’u quietly stepped away from church ministry.They remained silent in the church until their return to the pulpit six years later in November 2014.

Today, Dontea’u spends their time between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. They released their first book, “True Colors: Retrieving My Rainbow”, in July 2017 and established Affirmed Life Temple in May 2018. Dontea’u’s voice has been heard worldwide, and they are still a sought after preacher, teacher, and poet.


Queerness Ain’t White:

Non-White Histories of Precolonial Gender and Sexual Pluralism


TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Session Description: Is queerness a “recent invention” of white Westerners? Nah. This workshop will provide evidence demonstrating a rich history of gender and sexual pluralism in the Americas, Africa, and Asia — with a specific focus on Southeast Asia. The workshop will also explore how the rise of modernity and European colonialism has enforced or promoted gender and sexual binaries in the name of

“Christian civilization.” What are the implications, especially for people who identify as queer, non-white and Christian, for how we relate to our faith, our “race,” our heritage, our gender and sexual identities?

Biography: Sarah Ngu (pronouns flexible) is a co-founder of Church Clarity, a database that holds churches accountable for disclosing their LGBTQ+ and Women in Leadership policies. Born in Malaysia, Sarah is a graduate of Columbia University, lives in New York City, and hosts the podcast, Religious Socialism.


Theologizing Your Personal Experience

SESSION LEADER: Crystal Cheatham

TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Session Description: In this session we will discuss the power of the personal story. We will first outline the hurt and damages done to LGBTQ+ people when we are forced to rely on Christian and spiritual content that is non-inclusive, anti-women, pro-purity culture and exclusive of interfaiths. We will discuss personal story and how it can break the chains of the Christian colonizer and heal personal hurt. Finally we will focus on reclaiming the bible, spirituality and meditation through a devotional writing exercise in small groups. Authors will be encouraged to share their work and co-publish it on the Our Bible App as a group devotional. This workshop is interfaith.

Biography: Crystal Cheatham is a masters level creative writer, 3 time recording artist and the creator of Our Bible App. As a queer Christian activist she has toured with Soulforce and written for many publications on the intersections between faith and sexuality and currently hosts a podcasts called Lord Have Mercy on God, sex and the bible. It is a culmination of these past experiences that brings her to see the importance of media, the written work and theologizing our personal experiences.

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Historical Contextualization of the Biblical Passages Regarding Same-sex Behavior

session leaders: Ed Oxford & Kathy Baldock

TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:30pm


Session Description: Ed is that guy with the 400 year old Bibles. Come see what he has discovered by learning how starkly different non-English European theologians have translated the “gay verses” throughout history. This breakout is a must for anyone trying to work through queer theology - whether you are a pastor, or just get stuck in conversations with your friends and family. This session will give you tools for personal growth as well as information to help in difficult conversations. Ed will be giving up-to-date information regarding the incredible discoveries that he and Kathy Baldock have been uncovering in their archival research expeditions.

Biographies: Kathy Baldock is the author of "Walking the Bridgeless Canyon" and has been teaching and speaking on the topic of the history of cultural and religious discrimination against the LGBTQ community in America. Recently, along with Ed Oxford, she has been doing original research in translation notes of modern Bible versions, as well as digging in deeper to understand the slow progression of information about human sexuality, and how conservative Christians have addressed the topic of homosexuality since the 1950s.

Ed graduated from Talbot Seminary (Biola University) in La Mirada, California with a Masters of Divinity where he studied Greek and Hebrew in addition to many other theological topics. Ed has served with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) in Japan, and worked on staff at a Baptist Church in Southern California. He currently owns a financial company in the Los Angeles area but spends his free time working on a book he is co-authoring with Kathy Baldock based on their research in old archives regarding Bible translation.

Books: Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach between the Church and the LGBT Community (Canyonwalker Press)


In Divisive Times, What Does It Look Like To Love Our Neighbor?

SESSION LEADERS: Susan & Robert Cottrell

TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Session Description: Our great command as Christians is to love God and love others. Most Christians believe they do that. But what does love really look like? Especially in such a divisive time. If so much harm can be done in the name of love, if love can manifest in so many different ways, how can we know what real love looks like? Come with us on a journey to discover what Jesus really meant by love and how we, in our differing opinions, can love side by side."

Biography: Susan Cottrell was featured on ABC's 20/20, Nightline & Good Morning America, and on The Advocate’s viral videos. She is a speaker who was featured on the TED stage at TEDxMileHigh, a public theologian, and consultant. She has a Masters in Theological Studies, and served as the VP of PFLAG Austin. Her books “Mom, I’m Gay”—Loving Your LGBTQ Child & Strengthening Your Faith; True Colors - Celebrating the Truth & Beauty of the Real You; and Radically Included - The Biblical Case for Radical Love & Inclusion are critically acclaimed.

Robert Cottrell, an author & acclaimed speaker, has 30+ years experience in nonprofit work, and spent decades helping restore hope to the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses. A singer, songwriter & worship leader, he shared the stage with George Jones, Oak Ridge Boys and others. Rob is the co-founder of FreedHearts. He has a tender heart, especially for Dads. Rob & Susan have been married 31 years & have 5 kids - 2 are in the LGBTQI community.

Books: "Mom, I'm Gay" (Westminster John Knox Press) - True Colors (through FreedHearts) - Radically Included (through FreedHearts) - Radically Included (Through FreedHearts). Note: We WILL be selling all of these at our exhibit table, but it would be great to have them at the conference bookstore as well. Contact us and we can work out details on ALL titles.

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Should Intersex be included under the LGBTQ umbrella?


TIME: fRIDAY, 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Session Description: Should Intersex be included under the LGBTQ umbrella? Come listen to a panel of intersex Christians and/or parents on their perspectives on this question and their experiences as intersex Christians in churches, with medical "care", and in the world.

Biography: Megan K. DeFranza (PhD) will moderate the panel discussion. Dr. DeFranza recently produced the documentary "Stories of Intersex and Faith" with Lianne Simon and Paul Van Ness. She is an author and speaker advocating for the inclusion of intersex people in the world and church. She has been serving on the board of Q Christian since October of 2017.

Books: "Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female and Intersex in the Image of God" (Eerdmans Publishing) and a contributing author to "Two Views on Homosexuality, the Bible and the Church" (Zonderan) among other publications.