for written work, please see "writing" page.
The Hymn Society Annual Conference, 2021: "Featured Session: Congregational Song and Gendered Language": As cultural language around gender shifts, what does that mean for liturgical language? How do we treat beloved hymns that no longer reflect our understanding of gender? What is happening in songwriting today to help us expand our welcome? This session will look at the present and future of inclusive and expansive language in congregational song, with a focus on honoring trans and gender non-conforming people with the words we sing. This session is a safe space to ask questions and engage in conversation as we imagine the future together.
The Hymn Society Annual Conference, 2021: "From East and West, North and South: are you ready?", presented with Noel Werner: It’s all well and good to say, “All are welcome,” but what does that mean when it comes to practice? How do we structure our music ministry so it is poised to shift and adapt as our understanding of culture, identity, and inclusion widens? With a particular eye toward making music ministry welcoming of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, this sectional will challenge you to view the structure of your ministry in light of embracing anyone who walks through the door. We will engage in practical discussions on how to prepare music leaders and the congregation for cultural change, best practices for expansive worship, and what to do when you mess up (because we all will)! Radical hospitality is not a final goal, but an ever-renewing process. Come and receive some helpful equipment and encouragement for the journey.
Interfaith Center at Miami University and the Oxford area PFLAG, 2020: "A Queer Life of Faith: One Christian's Discoveries": So often Christianity and LGBTQIA2S+ identities are pitted against each other. How can we look at scripture for how to celebrate queer identity? What happens if we look at scripture with an eye not towards how it might condemn queerness, but how it might uphold and celebrate it? Let's learn some of the ways that queer Christians have encountered their faith that moves beyond the ways others have tried to shut them out.
Beyond Pink and Blue Conference, 2020: "Better Than Sons and Daughters: Expansive Language in Liturgy & Hymnody": While we say we want to include everyone, language in our worship sometimes tells another story. This workshop will focus on how to adapt and contextualize the words we use in liturgy and hymnody to expand our welcome to trans and gender non-conforming people. Much of the time will be spent in practical discussion about what this could look like in our writing and our worship. This workshop is a safe and open place to ask questions and engage in conversation as we imagine the future and commit to changes in our present!
Wilson College's "Common Hour" series, 2020: "Queering God: Towards a Celebratory Theology": So much of our conversation around sexuality and gender identity in the church centers around combating the "clobber verses" that are tossed around to invalidate any identity outside cisgender and heterosexual norms. What happens if we flipped the script? What happens if we look at scripture with an eye not towards how it might condemn queerness, but how it might uphold and celebrate it?
Market Square Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, PA, 2020: "Queering God: How Scripture Reveals the Binary-Breaking Divine": The focus of this forum is how scripture/history/theology actually supports queerness* in its many forms. We’ll consider how scripture can be affirming and not just permissive of binary-breaking identities. *"Queerness" is a term that has come to include any person whose sexuality or gender identity falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary. A person qualifying as “queer” can be gay, lesbian, transgender, gender-fluid, etc., but “queer” avoids any specific label.
St. Andrews United Church and Atlantic School of Theology, via the Center for Congregational Song, 2020: "Singing the Welcome of God". This workshop explores current movements in queer theology and congregational song to see how what we sing can reflect the God's welcome to people of all genders and sexualities.
NEXT Church National Gathering 2019, presented with Paul Vasile: There is a growing body of congregational song inviting us to name God and God’s people in new ways. The workshop will reflect on song’s potential to include, name, and invite all to worship. We’ll explore ways sacred song can expand our language and imagery, inspiring an ever-widening understanding of the Sacred, both through what we sing and how/where/when we sing. We’ll sing music from a variety of traditions and styles and brainstorm contexts in which to use them.
Montreat College Conference 2018: "Beyond the Clobber Texts": Aimed toward LGBTQIA+ folks and those who seek to ally with us, this workshop focuses on how LGBTQIA+ identities are part of what it means to be made in the image of God. How does the Bible lift up the voices of LGBTQIA+ people? How do we, as LGBTQIA+ folks, develop a relationship with God where our identities are not only permitted, but celebrated? What do LGBTQIA+ folks have to teach the church about who God is and what the church could be?
Kirkwood Camp, Staff Training, 2017: Taught college-aged staff about the intersections of faith, sexuality, and gender identity with the aim to better equip them to serve LGBTQIA+ campers.
NEXT Church National Gathering 2017: "Breaking the Binary": In a time when violence and legislation against trans and gender non-conforming people continues to rise, how can the church truly embrace and be enriched by those communities? We will look at ways the church, often unintentionally, builds walls with language and practices that shut out trans and gender non-conforming people, as well as how theology rooted in these communities can offer all of us new understanding and transformation as we seek to follow Jesus in breaking down dividing walls.
The Hymn Society Annual Conference 2016: "Breaking the Binary: Language for a Wider Welcome": This session will focus on looking ahead to the future of inclusive language in liturgy and hymnody, with a particular focus on including and affirming trans and gender non-conforming identities. Much of the time will be spent in practical discussion about what this could look like in our writing and our worship. This sectional is a safe and open place to ask questions and engage in conversation as we imagine the future together.
Princeton Theological Seminary, BGLASS Week 2016: "Inclusive Language Workshop": Discussion focusing on the importance of inclusive language beyond the gender binary, and space to workshop different situations and ideas.
Covenant Network of Presbyterians: Board Member
NEXT Church: Friends of NEXT Church Member
Hymn Society in the United States and Canada: Deborah Carlton Loftis Ambassador
Hymn Society in the United States and Canada: Conference Planning Committee, 2021
Walk for a Fossil Free PC(USA): Steering Committee Member (former)
Abundant Grace Dinner Church: Board Member (former)
Raising the Song: member of initial cohort of song leaders trained by Alice Parker, Ysaye Barnwell, and Marilyn Haskel, 2015-2016
The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, Lovelace Scholar – 2014
Princeton Theological Seminary: Edward Howell Roberts Scholarship in Preaching – 2015
Princeton Theological Seminary: Gerald R. Johnson Memorial Award in Speech Communication in Ministry – 2016
New York University, Outstanding Achievement in Studio Award, 2011
Princeton Theological Seminary
Master of Divinity
Certificate in Theology, Women and Gender
New York University
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama, semester abroad in Ghana
Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology
Musical Theater major