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Advisors

Gregg Drinkwater is a doctoral candidate in U.S. history and Jewish studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research focuses on sexuality, gender, and Judaism in the modern United States, specifically the role of gay and lesbian synagogues in transforming the American Jewish community in the 1970s and 1980s. Prior to his enrollment at the University of Colorado, Drinkwater worked for 10 years for two national Jewish organizations, first Jewish Mosaic and then Keshet, doing research, writing, training, and consulting in support of LGBTQ inclusion and social justice in the Jewish community in the United States and globally. He is the co-editor of the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible (NYU Press, 2009). He received his BS and MA degrees at the University of California, Berkeley.

Rabbi Lisa Edwards, now in her 25th year as Rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), House of New Life, the world’s first synagogue founded by queer Jews in 1972, continues to be a Jewish lesbian activist rabbi from the pulpit, on the page and on the Web, in the classroom, and in the streets.  Having decided this is long enough, Rabbi Edwards plans to retire at the end of July 2019.  Recent publications by Rabbi Edwards include an essay in the Rosh Hashanah volume of the Reform Movement’s new prayerbook for the High Holy Days, Mishkan Hanefesh, and a chapter on Reform Jewish life cycle ritual entitled, “Tradition! Transition!”  in A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path (both published by CCAR Press).  Rabbi Edwards and her wife, activist, archivist, and  BCC’s “Lezbtzn” Tracy Moore, have been together since 1985, marrying in a Jewish ceremony in 1995 and a legal California civil ceremony in 2008.

Rev. Darlene Garner is an African-American lesbian Christian woman with a National Baptist and Episcopal spiritual heritage. She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Churches in 1988 and served as Pastor of congregations in Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Cape Town (South Africa). From 1993 through 2017, she was one of the international denomination’s spiritual leaders and supported MCC’s ministry in various parts of the U.S., Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and Latin America. Before entering ministry, Garner served as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Sexual Minorities; a member of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; co-founder of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays; chair of the first International Conference for Gay and Lesbian People of Color; and President of the Board of Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry. Garner is the mother of 4 children and has 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. She and her wife, Rev. Candy Holmes, live in St. Petersburg, Florida.  

Drew Konow is an independent scholar of American religious history whose work focuses on histories of religion, sexuality, social activism, and popular culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. His first major project centered on the protests of gay and lesbian Catholics in New York City during the AIDS epidemic. He is currently working on a project examining Dolly Parton’s career as a document for the study of American religion. He graduated with a Master’s of Religion from Yale Divinity School in 2014 and has an undergraduate degree in religious studies from Southern Methodist University. In addition to his independent scholarship, Drew works as the Director of Communications and LGBTQ Programs at the Religious Institute. There, he manages the organization’s LGBTQ programming work and supervises all strategic communications, media relations, and content development. His work at the Religious Institute also includes development-related projects, including both constituent- and grant-based fundraising. He has presented his scholarly and professional work at conferences and in faith communities across the country. In the future, Drew hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Religious Studies.

Nancy Krody is a long-time activist and leader in the UCC Coalition on LGBTQ Concerns and has also been active ecumenically through LGBT-RAN and the WOW and Rolling the Stone Away Conferences.  She has also been active in many LGBTQ groups in the Philadelphia area.  Professionally Nancy has been the managing editor of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies at Temple University since 1973. She brings  editorial skills, some sense of history going way back, and a commitment to working with all genders despite being a "fesbian leminist" at heart.

Rev. Jim Mitulski has been active in LGBT liberation since his early days in Dignity in Detroit and New York City in the 1970's. He was ordained in MCC in 1983, where he retains the title Elder, and also has ministerial standing in the Disciples of Christ/Christian Church, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, where he is recognized as a Bishop, and the United Church of Christ. His pastorates have included MCC New York, MCC San Fan Francisco, MCC in Guerneville CA, City of Angels, New Spirit Community Church at Pacific School of Religion, MCC of the Rockies in Denver, and Cathedral of Hope UCC in Dallas. He has been a senior denominational executive for MCC, staff member and adjunct faculty at the Pacific School of Religion (PSR), and was the Program Coordinator for the Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library. He is currently developing major gifts for the Center for LGBTQ & Gender Studies in Religion.   He has a BA in Religion from Columbia University, and M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and was awarded an honorary doctor of sacred theology from the Starr King School for the Ministry.

Andrew C. Patty earned a B.A. degree in History from Sewanee, an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School with Certificate in Gender and Sexuality in Theology and Ministry and is currently in the process of getting a Ph.D. in Educational History at The University of Kansas.  His historical research focuses on sexuality and masculinity in religiously affiliated colleges and universities (particularly around gay/queer student movement groups).  He is also currently "Pending Call" ordination status in the United Church of Christ, hopefully soon to be a minister in Kansas or Missouri.  As a gay man, he has also been actively involved fighting for gay rights in organizations such as the Moral Monday Movement and HRC.  Therefore, he sees himself very representative of the three types of persons involved with LGBT-RAN: Activists, Religious Leaders, and Scholars.     

Eduardo Solomón Rivera is a lay minister in The Episcopal Church. He is the Managing Editor of Education for Ministry-Latinx at Sewanee: The School of Theology. He is on the board of Forma-The Network for Christian Formation, serves on the Council of Advice of the Missioner for Latino Ministries and is a Catechist in the Baptized for Life initiative of Virginia Theological Seminary. His over 30 years of ministry in various capacities also includes communications, multimedia production, and public relations. He lives in Hollywood, Florida with his four beautiful children and a blue fish named Stitch.

Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis earned his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on sexuality, art, and religion. He earned a Master’s degree at Harvard University and a previous doctorate from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Justin’s previous work includes advocacy for LGBT rights in national non-profit organizations. He was the Community Education and Outreach Manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in Washington, D.C. and later served as the Director of Communications for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. He is the author of Transgender: Ministry, Theology, and Communities of Faith, which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in 2003, and is a contributor to the forthcoming Transgender: Four Views (Baker Academic Press, 2018). He has also contributed chapters to the Queer Bible Commentary and Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible. An artist and photographer, Justin has had a lifelong passion for the arts.

Marnie Warner retired in 2013 after forty years as a law librarian in a law firm, setting up prison libraries and as Law Library Coordinator for the Massachusetts Trial Court.   During her career, she served as President of the New England Law Library Consortium and Secretary of the Massachusetts Library Association.  A lifelong member of the United Church of Christ, Marnie served as Clerk of the Council at Church of the Covenant in Boston as well as Chair of the Deacons.  Marnie was a member of the Campaign to Renew Covenant which raised $1.3 million dollars to stabilize and renovate the physical building and currently serves on the Covenant Building Preservation Project which continues to raise funds to maintain the church building what is now a National Historic Landmark.  She participated in Massachusetts Conference of the U.C.C. as a member of the Committee on Ministry, the annual meeting program committee and as a delegate to two General Synods.  One of four authors of the Open and Affirming Resolution, Marnie was a lead advocate at the 1985 General Synod which passed the ONA Resolution.  The skills Marnie would bring to the LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee are being involved in non-profits, grant writing during her career as well as volunteer work and fundraising.  Marnie received her B.A. from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin and her Masters in Library Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA.  Although not an archivist, Marnie’s library training involves the preservation of information both physically and digitally.  

Dr. Thelathia "Nikki" Young is Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Religion at Bucknell University. She received her Ph.D. from Emory University, M.Div. and Th.M. from Candler School of Theology, and B.A. from UNC-Asheville. Her research focuses on the intersection of ethics, family, race, gender, and sexuality, and she is specifically interested in the impact of queerness on moral reasoning. Nikki serves on the Board of Directors in the Society for Christian Ethics. She is also a co-chair of the Queer Studies in Religion Group in the American Academy of Religion, and chair of the LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession Task Force in AAR.  Her first monograph, Black Queer Ethics, Family, and Philosophical Imagination, was published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan. Nikki recently finished a collaborative book with Eric Barreto and Jake Myers called In Tongues of Mortals and Angels: A De-Constructive Theology of God-Talk in Acts and Paul.