We offer experienced faith leaders available to speak, answer questions, lead workshops, or moderate discussions on LGBTQ acceptance and welcome. Contact any of our speakers and leaders directly as listed below.

Chaplain/Pastor Pamelajune (Pj) Banks-Anderson, D.Min

Contact info: Phone 937-220-2273

Email: drpjanderson@aol.com

Pamelajune (Pj) Banks-Anderson, D.Min. is the founder of Space for Grace Fellowship Ministries: A radically inclusive initiative focusing on spiritual health and wellness of Transgender Siblings, Transgender Veterans, and Transgender Service Members. While serving in the US Navy Chaplain Corps, she participated in dismantling Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and counseled hundreds of same gender loving service men and women who discovered she was a Chaplain to be trusted.

“As we continue to work for social justice and equality for all, my goal is to create safe spaces, programs, initiatives, and places where Transgender Lesbians, Gay, and By-sexual (TLGB) individuals, couples, and families may examine their faith, share their family stories, and be affirmed for who they are as full and included members of the Divine Family.”

Pastor Pj, as she is affectionately called, is The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM, founded by Bishop Yvette A. Flunder), National Chaplain. Foundationally related to this opportunity to serve, her ministries offer A Model for Recovery from Oppressive and Exclusive Theologies and Religions Workshop (WHERE THE EDGE GATHERS: Building a Community of Inclusion is the curriculum written by Yvette A. Flunder); SOUL II SOUL CONNECTIONS: An Awakening of Presence Workshop; 30-minute power point LIVING LIFE ON PURPOSE with Q&A; and WORD WITH JAZZ for Meditation and Mindfulness.

Dr. Anderson is a Certified Peer Support Specialists preparing to become a Certified Soul Coach and a LIFE Affirming Palliative Care Giver and Grief Counselor. She authored and published many books including PRAY-ERS PRAYING PRAYERS, NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP: On Death and Dying/Loss and Grieving, and SOUL FIBER: For Spiritual Regularity. She is syndicated, writing weekly articles titled SOUL FIBER for several newspapers.

Pastor/Chaplain Pj is the founder of the International Day of Remembrance for Transgender Siblings, Transgender Veterans, and Transgender Service Members on Veterans Day. Join us November 11th Annually. For updates: www.UDeserveLifesBest.com, www.spaceforgrace.org, and on Facebook at Grace Matters, GraceforTransCommunity, LifeinSpirit Community, and Space For Grace Fellowship United Church of Christ. Wherever you are on life’s journey – You Belong. Welcome to the Family.

Patrick M. Horton, MA Ed

Contact info:

Email: pathorton69@gmail.com

Pat received his Sexuality Education and Counseling training at Oakland University, as part of his MA degree in Youth and Adult Guidance and Counseling (1978). Pat received advanced Sexuality SAR (Sexual Attitude Reassessment) training from F. Paul Pearsal, PhD (Deceased), Director of the Problems of Daily Living Clinic at Sinai Hospital and Continuing Education Director-The Kinsey Institute for Sexuality Research.

As an Adjunct Instructor at North Central Michigan College (1996-2000), Pat taught Human Sexuality and General Psychology courses. Pat is certified to teach the faith- based sexuality curriculum, “Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and Our Faith” focused on developmental years from 7th Grade through End of Life. Since his retirement, Pat consults on Human Sexuality and Grief Process as well as hosting an Internet Radio Program “The Sexual Literacy Project”, Tuesdays 8:30 PM (www.W4DIVAS.Com).

George Jonté-Crane

Contact info: Phone: 313-269-8701.

Email: geopau226@yahoo.com

With over twenty years as an organizer and activist for peace with justice and LGBT issues, George is Chair of Peace with Justice for the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a board member of the faith initiative at Affirmations, Ferndale, MI and a Member of the National Board of the Peace with Justice Coalition, General Board of Church & Society, United Methodist Church. He is currently a candidate for the National Board of P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.) George speaks about affirmation and acceptance in congregations, marriage equality, adoption and immigration reform for same sex couples, and about ordination for gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who have answered the call to ministry.

Ryan and Linda Haywood

Contact info: Phone: 734485-1160

Email: birdaa@comcast.net ryanh@comcast.net

Linda and Ryan founded Rainbow Crossing at the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor in 2005. Since spearheading this effort to welcome LGBTQA persons into full participation in the life of the church, they have spoken about the process and about how allies can aid in making progress happen. Among other places, they have spoken at:

- The annual Reconciling Ministries Network convocation held at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.;

- Various United Methodist churches throughout Michigan, Ohio and Indiana;

- The annual ministry fair of the Episcopal Archdiocese of Detroit;

- Private homes holding meetings for the purpose of making progress happen.

They would be happy to come to your church, sharing their message of hope and their methods of helping change agents actually to get things moving forward.

Their usual presentation takes about an hour, including time for questions and answers … but they can and will tailor their talk to meet your needs, including chairing day-long workshops and planning sessions.

Tom and Linda Nelson

Contact info: Phone: 248-489-1505/231-398-3340.

Email: lindakarle@earthlink.net tajnelson@earthlink.net

Tom and Linda Nelson are Catholic representatives on the Board of Inclusive Justice who both have gay sons. They have won awards for their work of over twenty-five years educating the public on the lives of LGBT people and their families. They have served for many years on the Board of Fortunate Families, (a national Catholic ministry to parents of LGBT children), as co-Presidents of PFLAG Detroit, and currently, as chairs of PFLAG Manistee and the local Fortunate Families Detroit chapter.

Tom is an award winning author whose recent book, An Ordinary Catholic, describes the faith journey he experienced when he discovered he had a gay son. Tom and Linda’s frequent public speaking engagements are broad, ranging from religious communities to university settings, with their topics often focusing on their individual life-transforming journeys as parents of gay children, their ministry in Fortunate Families, and the process of religious communities becoming inclusive and welcoming of LGBT people.

Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek

Contact info: Phone: 517-750-4294

Email: julie.nemecek@comcast.net

Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek is both an ordained Baptist minister and one of Michigan's leading voices on transgender issues. Her work with faith groups includes pulpit supply and informational sessions on transgender people. She has also worked with many churches on becoming an open and affirming church; inclusive of LGBTQ people.

Rev. Beth Rakestraw

Contact info: Phone: 810-813-1580

Email: revrake@sbcglobal.net

Rev. Beth Rakestraw, B.S., M.Div., has been Pastor of Divine Peace Metropolitan Community Church of Waterford, Michigan since November of 2008. Pastor Beth has a passion for preaching and teaching the Bible and for creating worship that challenges and inspires, empowering all Christians, but especially LGBTA Christians, to claim the full riches of the call to faithful Christian discipleship. She desires to build a community that is both transformed and transforming of individual lives as well as the world at large.

Pastor Beth has lobbied state legislators in Lansing as well as federal legislators in Washington DC for civil rights for LGBT people. Pastor Beth has appeared publicly as an out lesbian pastor and Christian in classroom settings, public forums and debates, and print and television media. She is available to speak to groups about her personal experience of being a lesbian, gender non-conforming, progressive Christian/pastor, Christianity/The Bible and Homosexuality, and Religious Exemptions Laws: First Do No Harm.

Rev. Joe Summers

Contact info: Phone: 734-846-3578

Email: jsummers@umich.edu

The Rev. Joe Summers has been the pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, in Pittsfield Township for over twenty-six years. He is on the board of Oasis Ministry, Michigan and is the organizer and leader of many Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor activities that are too numerous to list. His topics are varied. A typical presentation:

"Now the Eyes of my Eyes Can See, Now the Ears of My Ears Are Opened: A Bible Study on Jesus, the Good News and The Purity Code"

A text without a context is a pre-text. So many Christians cannot hear the Good News of the New Testament in all its fullness, because of failing to understand the context of the purity code at the time of Jesus. Understanding Jesus' opposition to the purity code helps to reveal the nature of God's radically inclusive love and generosity and Jesus' passion in challenging injustice, oppression and discriminatory structures and practices. This Bible study is intended to give its participants some basic tools to be able to talk about these issues. I typically do it in one and half to two hours, but it can be done in as little as an hour.

Jim Toy, MSW

Contact info: Phone: 734-930-0056, Ext: 211

Email: ayetfm@umich.edu

Jim is a gay male Asian-American clinical social worker skilled in counseling, education, civil rights advocacy, community organization, organizational training and consultation. He is Co-Founder (1971) and the retired Co-Coordinator (1971-1994), Spectrum Center (University of Michigan), and also Diversity Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity (University of Michigan). He was the Co-Founder (2000), Oasis TBLG Outreach Ministry (Episcopal Diocese of Michigan), and is the current Board Secretary. His areas of expertise include: Interactive Workshops: "Peacemaking Dialogue", A Component of Conflict Resolution; Bullying: Causes, Perpetration, Intervention. Prevention; Human Sexuality: Sex, Sexual Identity, Gender, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sexual Orientation, Sexual Orientation Identity; The Intersection of Oppressions: Discrimination, Harassment, Assault on the Basis of Human Diversity; Advocacy for Human and Civil Rights.