SPEAKERS & Friday night entertainment
General Session #1: friday, jANUARY 11TH
Ray Low graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He is a gay Christian and identifies as being personally called to celibacy. Ray is currently serving as a pastor in New York City, and works as a community outreach director for inner city youth.
In his free time he volunteers with organizations that help to bridge divides between churches and the LGBTQ+ community through better pastoral care, missional engagement, and advocacy work against bullying and victimization.
General Session #1: fRIDAY, jANUARY 11TH
Karen P. Oliveto was consecrated as a bishop of The United Methodist Church on July 16, 2016 in Scottsdale, Ariz., and assigned for the 2016-2020 quadrennium to the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area, which includes the Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone Annual (regional) Conferences. It includes 400 congregations in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and a small section of Idaho.
Bishop Oliveto was elected to the episcopacy after serving as the first woman pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. She is the first woman to serve as senior pastor of one of The United Methodist Church’s 100 largest congregations and has the distinction of being the first openly lesbian bishop in The United Methodist Church.
She is currently an adjunct professor at Iliff School of Theology and is the author of “Talking About Homosexuality” (Fortress Press: 2004), “Our Strangely Warmed Hearts” (Abingdon: 2018) and “Together At The Table” (Westminster John Knox: 2018).
15th Anniversary Celebration: Friday, jANUARY 11TH
Victory Fund and Victory Institute President & CEO Annise Parker was the first openly LGBTQ+ mayor of a major American city. In 2010, Time magazine named Mayor Parker one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Mayor Parker was a member of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and chaired the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee. Before becoming Mayor, she was a business executive and co-owned Inklings, a lesbian/feminist bookstore. Mayor Parker and her wife, Kathy Hubbard, have been together for more than 28 years and are advocates for adoption, with three daughters, a son and a grandson.
General Session #2: saturday, jANUARY 12TH
Jennifer Knapp is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, author, and advocate. Her impressive history includes selling over one million albums with her first three releases Kansas (debut 1998, Gold-certified), Lay It Down (2000), and The Way I Am (2001). She has earned four Dove Awards and two Grammy nominations.
As the first major artist known by the Christian music world to speak openly about LGBTQ+ identity, her unique position has created opportunities for dialogue at churches and universities through her organization Inside Out Faith and on the TEDx stage at University of Nevada. A true Renaissance woman, Knapp recently completed a master’s degree in theological studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School.
General Session #3: sunday, jANUARY 13TH
Nicole M. Garcia (she/her/hers) is an out and proud transgender Latina of faith. Nicole is the Director of Congregational Care at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Boulder, CO and is a Candidate Preparing for Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Nicole has a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Colorado Denver and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. Nicole is a therapist and clinical supervisor with the Umbrella Collective.
Nicole was featured Sojourners magazine: 2018’s 10 Christian Women to Watch and a speaker at the Why Christian conference at Duke University Chapel in March 2018. In July 2018, Nicole delivered the keynote speech at St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral Light Up the Cathedral Interfaith Service as a part of San Diego Pride. Nicole was also the Faith Grand Marshal at the 2018 Pride parade.
Friday night entertainment
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon is a singer-songwriter based in Baltimore, Maryland. He first started writing songs in Lynchburg VA, eventually performing them at the Lynchstock Music Festival. Harmon’s self-titled EP, released this year though Virginia-based record label Harding Street Assembly Lab, is a folk-jazz fusion project recorded in his old living room with producer Chris Schlarb.
Jeremiah has been recruited to tryout for the upcoming season of American Idol. We will find out with the rest of America in late January how far he made it in the audition process. As a member of our Q Christian family, let's support his beautiful music regardless!
Michael and Lisa Gungor are curators of the Grammy-nominated musical collective simply known as Gungor. The duo uses their skills as accomplished song writers and multi-instrumentalists to tell honest and forthright stories - some personal and some allegorical. Together they've tapped their considerable musical reserves to blur genres and break expectations creating a unique magnetic expression.
Gungor is in the midst of their most ambitious endeavor to date called One Wild Life, which is comprised of three full-length albums - Soul, Spirit and Body. On August 7, 2015, they kicked off the album trilogy with One Wild Life: Soul, which debuted as the #15 album on the iTunes Alternative chart. “One Wild Life: Spirit," released on March 25, 2016. The final piece of the album trilogy concludes with One Wild Life: Body, which released on September 30, 2016. While each record carries with it its own distinct vibe, the album series presents a body of work that celebrates the adventure and challenges faced by Michael and Lisa Gungor since the release of their album I Am Mountain in 2013.