2017 Gay Christian Network Conference — Introduction

Posted on December 12, 2016 by Lē Isaac Weaver

GCN Stories Inspire

Again, in 2017, CFT will be partnering with the Gay Christian Network to present their WomenConnect women’s retreat at the 2017 Gay Christian Network Conference.  Several CFT members will participate.

The theme of the conference this year is “Stories Inspire.” This year’s location is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

CFT has had a presence at each GCN conference since the 2014 conference in Chicago. In Pittsburgh, over a thousand Christians who identify as either lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, intersex, queer, questioning, or supporting (allies) will be in attendance.

Read the 2014 conference coverage and interviews here.
Read the 2015 conference coverage and interviews here.
Read the 2016 conference coverage and interviews here.

All events are to take place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

This year’s GCN speakers include: Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams, former megachurch pastor turned transgender activist; Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, retired Episcopal bishop and international LGBTQ activist; Ling Lam, Ph.D., psychologist and leadership coach; and Jane Clementi, founder and Executive Director of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Darren Calhoun will serve as Worship Leader.

I will present a workshop, “When the Story’s Over: Holding onto God While Letting Go.” The story I wanted to work with this year has to do with how, for many of us who grew up in the church, the story of our faith was intricately interwoven with the story of our spiritual community. Too often, when we came out, that story ended. We felt lost and alone, unsure of how to live our faith without our community. In presenting this workshop, I invite attendees to join others who have “been there,” for a discussion of how to hold onto God, and create a new, even more beautiful story of faith.

Mother Eagle Award Logo

New this year is the Mother Eagle Award.  This annual award is jointly presented by GCN and CFT, intended to recognize and honor a woman who has been instrumental in the work toward LGBTQ equality in Christianity.

The name of the award comes from Deuteronomy 32:11:

“like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft…” (NIV)

The GCN WomenConnect retreat will be held on Thursday, January 5, from 2:30 – 7:00 pm.  The retreat happens immediately before the first general session and includes dinner.

The featured speaker at this year’s GCN WomenConnect retreat is Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D.  For many years, Rev. Edwards has been integral in the work toward LGBTQ equality in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  I’ll be posting some of her story in a three part interview this week.

The CFT members attending the GCN WomenConnect retreat and the GCN Conference with me this year include:  Susan Cottrell of FreedHearts Ministries, Criselda Marquez, Cloud Bartoli, Rev. Erica Lea, and Lisa Sperka.


Connect with Rev. Janet Edwards

Twitter (@RevJanetEdwards)
Website — RevJanetEdwards.com

Index of 2017 GCN Conference Content on Christian Feminism Today

Introduction to the #GCNConf Series
Introduction to GCN WomenConnect Featured Speaker Rev. Janet Edwards, Ph.D.
Interview with Rev. Janet Edwards, Part 1
Interview with Rev. Janet Edwards, Part 2
Interview with Rev. Jan Edwards, Part 3
Reflection by Jennifer Kane — “A Most Inspiring Story”
Reflection by Elyse Kitrakis — “The Inspiration to Move Forward”


Gay Christian Network Website
Conference Website

Social Media:

The conference hashtag is #GCNConf
The women’s retreat hashtag is #GCNWomenConnect
Conference Twitter Feed Follow @gcnconf
Gay Christian Network Conference Facebook Page
Gay Christian Network Conference Instagram Page


Lē Isaac Weaver
Lē Weaver identifies as a non-binary writer, musician, and feminist spiritual seeker. Their work draws attention to: the ongoing trauma experienced by women and LGBTQIA people in this “Christian” society; Christ/Sophia’s desire that each of us move deeper into our own practice of non-violence; and the desperate need to move away from an androcentric conception of God.


  1. I’m thinking about all of you who took part in WomenConnect today and will be representing CFT at this year’s GCN conference… Excited about the first Mother Eagle award!
    Praying for lots of good conversations and safe travel,


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