Q Christian Parent Summit
April 26-28, 2019 - Marriott Buckhead - Atlanta, Georgia
As Christian parents or grandparents, many of us have experienced some form of crisis around a loved one coming out. Questions, doubts, and concerns fuel our anxiety. Well-meaning family & friends often cause more confusion than comfort. All of this can be overwhelming. This is when we need the support and company of other Christian parents who “get us” and who understand the rocky places we are navigating with our loved ones and our faith convictions. Friends who have gone before and walked in our shoes. Parents who are learning how to love their children well and are happy to share the journey with us...This is the Q Christian Parent Summit!
The Q Christian Parent Summit seeks to encourage, equip, and connect parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer children. We strive to support & unify families through unconditional love in a Christ-honoring way.
We're still not over how incredible the Parent Summit was this spring–dozens of parents of LGBTQ+ children attended this event, many of whom left expressing gratitude for how encouraged they had been. We're already excited for next year's gathering!
Parent Summit Schedule
7:00 PM - Reception
8:00 PM - General Session
Worship Leader: Rachel Francis
8:30 PM - Parent Testimony/Icebreakers/Table Discussions
Testimonials by Abby & Danny Cortez, Greg & Lynn McDonald
8:00 AM - Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM - Worship: Rachel Francis
General Session: Keynote (9:30‐10:30)
Keynote Presentation: “In Divisive Times, What Does It Look Like to Love Our Neighbor?” - Susan & Robert Cottrell
10:45 AM - Round Table Groups
11:45 AM - Lunch
2:00 PM - General Session: LGBTQ+ Panel
2‐3:30 PM - Round Table Groups
3:45-5 PM - Breakout Sessions
Reclaiming Your Faith: The Common Biblical Thread of Inclusion (Susan Cottrell)
What Does the Bible Say about Faith and LGBTQ Inclusion? (Danny Cortez)
LGBTQ+ 101 (Greg & Lynn McDonald)
7:30 PM LGBTQ+ Marriage Testimony Panel
BT & Brett Harman
Erin & Amanda Campbell
9:00 AM - Continental Breakfast
10:00 AM - Worship
Worship Leader: Rachel Francis
Sermon BT Harman
11:30 AM - Closing Remarks
In Divisive Times, What Does It Look Like to Love Our Neighbor?
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 our children well.
saturday Breakout Sessions
What Does the Bible Say about Faith and LGBTQ+ Inclusion?
There has been a growing debate amongst followers of Jesus regarding same-sex relationships and gender identity. In the middle of this conversation is how Scripture is to be interpreted and applied. This session will focus on not only what the Bible has to say about this topic, but more importantly, how Jesus read and applied Scripture. There will also be time devoted to Q&A.
Reclaiming Your Faith: The Common Biblical Thread of Inclusion
Great for more seasoned parents. If you have been on this journey long, your faith may look different than it did at the beginning. We may even doubt whether or not we are still following Jesus. This workshop gives us a fresh look at the parables and interactions of Jesus to discover the common thread of radical, lavish, unconditional inclusion and love. It helps us restore and reclaim our faith, and take our Jesus back!
Learning the news that your child is LGBTQ+ can leave many Christian parents feeling as though their world has been turned upside down. This session is designed for parents who are new on this journey. Greg and Lynn will provide a safe space for you to let your guard down, share your deepest fears, and ask the questions that keep you awake at night. You will learn time tested principles, patterns and practical ways to embrace this journey that God has trusted you with. They will also examine the pitfalls so many parents stumble into and discuss healthy ways to move from a place of fear to embracing your new normal. McDonald’s have walked with countless Christian parents, coaching and counseling them based on learnings from their own story, along with key learnings gleaned from the families they have worked with. There will also be time devoted to Q&A.
Presenter & Breakout Biographies
Danny & Abby Cortez
Abby and Danny Cortez have been married for 26 years and have 4 children. In 2013, their third son came out as gay which propelled the Southern Baptist church Danny was pastoring in to engage in conversations around inclusion. The church eventually transformed into a community that became inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. Danny recently founded and is the director of the non profit, Estuary Space. Abby is a registered nurse who works as a Clinical Documentation Specialist. They are both active with Q Christian Fellowship and NQAPIA. Danny is also involved in leadership with the Union of Affirming Christians and PFLAG and is a board member of Q Christian Fellowship.
Susan & Robert Cottrell
A prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQ+ children, Susan was featured on ABC's 20/20, Nightline, and Good Morning America; on NBC News’ Out; and on The Advocate Magazine’s “National Coming Out Day,” “Mother's Day,” and other viral videos—as "our favorite affirming matriarch." She has also been featured on The Advocate’s Out in Left Field with Dana Goldberg, and is a devotional contributor on the Our Bible app. She is an international speaker who was featured on the TED stage at TEDxMileHigh in Denver, a public theologian, an acclaimed author, and a consultant. Through her nonprofit organization, FreedHearts, Susan champions the LGBTQ+ community and families with her authenticity and tender-hearted zeal. She and her husband Rob have been married for more than 30 years and have five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQ+ community.
Robert has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit management. He played a vital role in Live Aid/Band Aid projects in the mid-1980s, and spent decades helping restore hope in the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. He is also a singer, songwriter, worship leader, and musician, and has shared the stage with George Jones, the Oak Ridge Boys, Loretta Lynn, and many others. He has a tender, compassionate heart—especially for dads of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.
Greg & Lynn McDonald
Greg and Lynn McDonald are cofounders of Embracing the Journey Inc., and authors of the book by the same name called Embracing the Journey, A Christian parent’s blueprint to loving your LGBTQ child. Greg has enjoyed a career that spans 30+ years as an industry leader in the private sector. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Orphan Helpers and has served on numerous fortune 500 and nonprofit advisory boards and committees. When their now-adult children were young, Lynn was a full-time homemaker. Additionally, she has served as a volunteer crisis pregnancy counselor and on Young Life committees in Michigan and Central America. Today Greg and Lynn pursue their passion of helping LGBTQ families become reconciled with each other and move one step closer to Jesus. They are the proud parents of Greg Jr. and Connie, dad and mom-in-law to Matt, and happy grandparents of three grandchildren.
In 2016, B.T. publicly came out as gay and told his story through a blog called, "Blue Babies Pink, A Southern Coming Out Story in 44 Episodes.” In 2017 he launched BBP as a podcast, More than 1,000,000 episodes have been downloaded since. B.T. is also the creator of the powerful “Lifeboats” video and Harbor, an online support program for Christian parents of LGBTQ kids.
B.T.’s other passions include storytelling, leadership, good design, antiques, Seth Godin, SEC football, European travel, Roman history, archaeology, and Chick-fil-A. He lives in Atlanta’s historic Cabbagetown neighborhood with his husband, Brett, and their cat, Walnut. To learn more about B.T and his work, visit btharman.com.