Presenting… The exciting list of speakers and preachers in order of appearance for General Conference 2019!
Rev. Elder Troy Perry
Preacher, Opening Worship
Rev. Elder Troy Perry is our founder whose legacy lives on in every church service and gathering of openly queer, Christian people.
After serving in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967, Perry moved to Los Angeles. Having a renewed sense of spirituality—following a suicide attempt—he held the first MCC service in his home for a small group of 12 people, most of whom were homosexuals, on October 6, 1968 — the anniversary we celebrate at this conference. In 1969 he performed the first public same–sex wedding ceremony in the United States. In 1972 he published an autobiography, The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay.
MCC grew rapidly and eventually spread throughout the country and around the world. Rev. Tory retired from pastoral duties in 1973, when he became the first moderator of MCC, an elected position to serve as spokesperson, CEO, and primary visionary for the member congregations. He became a major national advocate of gay rights and AIDS awareness in the 1970s and ’80s and continues today. In 2003 he married his beloved, Philip Ray DeBlieck in Canada. Rev. Troy retired as moderator in 2005.
Bishop Yvette A. Flunder
Preacher, Tuesday Evening Worship
Bishop Yvette Flunder is a native San Franciscan and third generation preacher with roots in the Church of God in Christ. Bishop Flunder is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and holds both masters and doctorate degrees in Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion and the San Francisco Theological Seminary, respectively. In 2003, she was appointed Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all over the world.
Bishop Flunder is a trustee and adjunct professor at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She is an active voice for the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign, as well as for the National Black Justice Coalition. Bishop Flunder is a highly sought after preacher and religious educator as evidenced by her having spoken at divinity schools nationwide including those at Duke, Yale , Drew, and the New York Theological Seminary. She is the author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic Radical Inclusion, published by Pilgrim Press. In addition to her memorable sermons, Bishop Flunder is also known for her beautiful singing voice, made famous through her gospel recordings with Walter Hawkins and the Family, the City of Refuge Choir and Chanticleer.
Keynote speaker, Wednesday Morning
Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. He works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal/Convergence, the Wild Goose Festival and the Fair Food Program‘s Faith Working Group. His most recent joint project is an illustrated children’s book (for all ages) called Cory and the Seventh Story.
Brian’s books have been translated into many languages, including Korean, Chinese, French, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. He has written for or contributed interviews to many periodicals, including Leadership, Sojourners, Tikkun, Worship Leader, and Conversations. He is an active and popular blogger, a musician, and a songwriter, offering a variety of resources through his website, www.brianmclaren.net.
Presbyterian Disaster Relief Organization
Sponsoring Organization, Wednesday Afternoon Workshop
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables (PDA) congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic event. PDA is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The core budget, including staff and administrative costs, is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing, and its program work is additionally funded through designated gifts.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:
- Focuses on the long term recovery of disaster impacted communities.
- Provides training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods.
- Works collaboratively with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally, and nationally with other faith based responders.
- Connects partners locally and internationally with key organizations active in the response — United Nations, NVOAD (National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster), World Food Program, Red Cross, FEMA and others.