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Co-trainer: Rev. Jess Cook
Jess is the Program & Communications Manager for More Light and was the first openly non-binary person ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the PC (USA)
Prior to joining MLP, Jess was the Youth Programs Director at Side by Side, an organization in Richmond, VA serving LGBTQIA+ youth. While at Side by Side, Jess worked with hundreds of young people through support groups, a leadership program, and various programs in the community. They created a parent support group and a meals program, and trained a wide variety of faith community leaders and service providers on best practices for working with LGBTQIA+ youth.
A native of East Texas and lifelong Presbyterian, Jess holds a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary, a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of North Texas, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Baylor.
Check out Jess’s TEDx Talk on what faith communities can learn from spaces dedicated to LGBTQIA+ youth for more.
Co-Trainer: Rev. Alex Patchin McNeill
Alex has served as the Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians since 2013 and was the first openly transgender man ordained as a Minster of the Word and Sacrament in the PC (USA). During his tenure at More Light, he has equipped congregations to live into policy change for inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and has successfully enacted policies for marriage equality in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Under his leadership, More Light now serves as a capacity-building organization, equipping congregations to work intersectionally on justice issues. As a trained professional coach through the International Coaching Federation, Alex brings a coaching approach to his work with church leaders and congregations seeking to follow God’s call to widen their welcome, increase church vitality, or develop and implement new programs. In addition, he coaches leaders taking a leap of faith to launch a new project, stepping into a leadership role, or discerning a new calling.
As an openly transgender man with a wealth of experience both professionally and personally, he is a sought-after trainer and facilitator of workshops on gender identity and sexual orientation. He has over a decade of experience training hundreds of community leaders, and has played key roles organizing faith communities for marriage equality in Maryland and legislation to promote LGBTQIA+ rights. Alex holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.
Important Notice: There are multiple options for this Teach-In for various audience sizes. Purchase the Teach-In that is appropriate for the size of your group. Each version of the Teach-In is intended to be viewed by the designated group size and no larger. Users agree not to share this link and password with any unauthorized persons. Users agree not to reproduce or share the Teach-In, Connecting the Dots: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, on the internet or in any other media. Users breaching these terms are liable to civil liability and criminal prosecution. Your purchase of this webinar indicates your compliance with these terms.
Technology Requirements for Screening the Teach-In:
In order to screen the Teach-In, we recommend streaming from a laptop with the file downloaded onto it using the link above. You’ll need a projector with the ability to connect to a laptop, a screen, and speakers. If you have a room with speakers hardwired in, that is a great option, or you can rent or use larger speakers to ensure the best sound quality. We do not recommend small speakers such as you would use with a personal computer or laptop. Please note if you are screening the webinar in a room with large window and are watching the webinar during the day, you’ll need to plan to block light from impacting the visibility of the screen.