The California-Nevada Annual Conference Committee on Reconciliation will welcome the Rev. Drew Phoenix of Anchorage, Alaska as guest speaker for this year's luncheon at Annual Conference Session.
A United Methodist elder for more than 20 years, Phoenix has become a national spokesperson for transgender issues.
He has served a variety of ethnically diverse, urban congregations in Maryland and Washington, DC, inspiring congregations to engage in community ministries informed by social justice.
Since coming out publicly as transgender to the clergy and laity of the Baltimore-Washington Conference in 2007, Phoenix faced several charges. United Methodist history was made, however, when his position as an ordained elder was upheld and no anti-transgender legislation was added to The Book of Discipline at the 2008 General Conference.
"Rev. Phoenix's story of personal courage and integrity gives me faith and hope that one day the United Methodist Church and the wider Christian church will truly welcome all of God's children with open arms," says Chris Allan, interim chair of the Reconciliation Committee.
The luncheon will take place Saturday, June 19, 1-2:30 p.m. in Room 308 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The evening before, Rev. Phoenix will meet with representatives of various Sacramento-area groups at a special reception, 6:30-8:00 at Butch N' Nellie's in Sacramento.