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Meet Our Group Leaders

The list below shows our active group leaders. To read more about a group leader, click on "Read More" below the group leader's name.

Melanie Adkins     
Melanie Adkins

Melanie Adkins is an experienced peer facilitator. She assists people living with various mental illnesses. She is certified by the State of New York for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, and by the United States Branch of The Hearing Voices Network, as well. Having established a Hearing Voices Network group in New York, Melanie supports individuals experiencing these symptoms. She is also a social advocate within the local community, compassionately supporting people through various life experiences and difficulties. Ms. Adkins earned her Bachelors of Art degree in Human Development with an emphasis in psychology. She is currently earning a Masters of Mental Health Counseling degree and certification. Melanie’s goal is to support and encourage individuals on their journeys to wholeness and wellness.
       


Danny Cortez     
Danny Cortez , Moderater

Danny Cortez is a co-pastor of New Heart, a church that has become inclusive of LGBTQ persons. He is a board member of the Gay Christian Network and is a co-founder of My Refuge House. He also serves as a hospice chaplain. He is a graduate of Talbot Seminary. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife Abby and their 4 children.
       


James Farlow     
James Farlow

James graduated with a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2014. He co-founded OneTable, the first officially sponsored LGBT group at an evangelical seminary, and is currently a GCN Ambassador. He served on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and fondly recalls his days teaching high school physics. In his spare time, James loves photography, cooking, and explaining physics to innocent bystanders.
       


Rebecca Farlow     
Rebecca Farlow

Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of what's important. I try to keep it simple. Cinderella says it well: have courage and be kind. A little about me: I grew up in North Carolina, where I played volleyball at N.C. State. After college, I got a Master's degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and I can confirm that there are indeed skeletons in the football stadium. I've led worship for many years and value diversity and inclusivity. I ministered to college students as an InterVarsity staff worker. I taught forensic science to kids, I recorded an album of original music, and I wrote a young adult novel (and am writing more). I also co-founded and am currently co-directing a nonprofit ministry called Sanctuary. Those are just things I've done, and they can only tell you so much. If you want me to help you with something, be it designing a website, leading worship, or helping your worship team function better, I'd love to talk with you. Please contact me.
       


Caleb Gonzalez     
Caleb Gonzalez

Caleb Gonzalez grew up in the Assemblies of God denomination. He has served on the Board of Directors for Christ Chapel of the Valley in North Hollywood, CA, where he also led bible studies and membership orientation classes. He has been a member of The Gay Christian Network for about 6 years now. He has hosted many Southern California GCN gatherings in his home. Currently he attends Central Avenue Church in Glendale, CA, which a few years ago changed to an affirming church.
       


Emiko Hall     
Emiko Hall

A little about Emiko: -Lives in Santa Monica, CA with partner of 5 years -Grew up in the Portland Metro area (a Pacific Northwesterner at heart who loves the rain!)  -Raised conservative evangelical -BS in Theology from Multnomah Bible College (aka Multnomah University) w/ specialization in youth ministry -15+ years of ministry included youth director, worship leader, and served on pastoral search committees (other jobs include ropes challenge course instructor, barista supervisor, and beginner’s guitar instructor) -Was married to an associate pastor for 12 years before coming out in 2011 -Lived in Brooklyn, NY for 3 years before moving to Santa Monica, CA in 2015 -Received conflict resolution certificate from Teachers College, Columbia University -Conflict management practicum at Teachers College -Apprenticed as a volunteer mediator at the New York Peace Institute -Starting clinical practice for MA in MFT at the Los Angeles LGBT Center -Occasionally blogs on Huffington Post -Attends Blue Ocean Church (affirming evangelical branch off from Vineyard)
       


Matthew Redrich     
Matthew Redrich

Matthew is the minister at San Dimas United Church of Christ. He received his Master of Divnity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena in 2014. His undergraduate studies in Radio-TV-Film were at The Univeristy of Texas at Austin. He has previously been on staff at the Irvine United Congregational Church, UCC; University United Methodist Church, San Antonio, TX; and First United Methodist Church, New Braunfels, TX. A native of Abilene, Texas, Matthew grew up at Elmwood West United Methodist Church where he served on the worship committee and built their first website at the age of thirteen! Since then, he has been involved in ministry one way another. He currently serves the Southern California Nevada Conference as Vice Moderator and as a General Synod 2017 delegate. Matthew and his husband, Chris, live in Upland and enjoy going to Disneyland, ice hockey games, and indulging in ABC's Thursday night TV line-up with their dog, Sydney.
Read More »
       


Kristen Spencer     
Kristen Spencer , M.A.T.

Kristen is a gay, gender non-conforming woman who has chosen to remain in Christian community despite the challenges that it poses to queer people. She believes community holds the power to reconcile fiercely opposed people, just as Jesus first communed with us and reconciled us to himself. She holds a Masters of Theology from Fuller Seminary and her most prized possession is an REI Camp Dome tent, from which she has witnessed many a stunning view. When she is not exploring a mountain, Kristen enjoys reading, writing and hanging out with her awesome girlfriend.
       


Ken Wilson
Ken Wilson is the author of "A Letter to my Congregation." Ken was the founding pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor, served for seven years on the national board of Vineyard USA, and now serves on the Senior Leadership Team of Blue Ocean Faith Church Network. Ken enjoys walking, reading and writing–but arithmetic, not so much. Ken blogs at: http://www.readthespirit.com/third-way-newsletter/
       


Lindsay Yeats
       


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