Institute for Welcoming Resources The National LGBTQ Task Force

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Towards a Welcoming and Inclusive Church

IWR Staff

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Rodney McKenzie

Rodney McKenzie
Faith Work Director
New Yor City, New York

Rodney McKenzie, Jr., Faith Work Director, is an out person of faith, community organizer and a reverend. Over the last thirteen years, he’s worked for organizations fighting for grassroots political power in marginalized communities. From being a Field Organizer at the Task Force in 2002 to most recently being the Spiritual Director and Co-Creator of Expansion Church, his work focuses on the intersection of community organizing and radical spirituality in the public square.

Rodney’s currently a Master of Divinity candidate at Union Theological Seminary. By putting James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Essex Hemphill and the Apostle Paul in conversation, he’s constructing a liberation theology that challenges how theology and LGBTQI politics approaches the intersection of race, class and sexuality.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Rodney currently resides in New York City, New York.

Barbara Satin

Assistant Faith Work Director
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Barbara Satin is a transgender activist involved with both local and national gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer communities and organizations. In her role as Assistant Faith Work Director for The Task Force, Barbara works on a variety of social justice issues that have a faith component, including assisting faith settings in welcoming and affirming transgender persons; providing leadership training opportunities for trans religious leaders; educating people and faith settings around the needs of LGBTQ individuals as they age; helping bring both a faith and LGBTQ perspective to issues such as immigration, asylum and employment.

Besides serving on a number of local GLBT boards, Barbara is a founder of GLBT Generations, a group that has worked to educate people about the needs of LGBT persons as they grow old. She is also a member of Living Table (formerly Spirit of the Lakes) United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, and was instrumental in helping develop a 46 unit affordable rental facility, Spirit on Lake, which opened in Minneapolis in 2013 and is providing safe and respectful housing for LGBT seniors.

Nationally, Barbara has served on the Executive Council of the United Church of Christ, the first transgender woman to have a national leadership role in that denomination. She has also been an adviser to the Civil Marriage Collaborative and has worked on LGBT aging issues with a variety of national senior organizations.

Victoria Krby York, National Campaigns Director, Religious Exemptions and Welcoming Movements

National Campaigns Director, Religious Exemptions and Welcoming Movements

Kirby York brings over sixteen years of organizing experience around a number of progressive issues and campaigns for candidates at the federal, state, and local level. Under her new role, Kirby York will be responsible for organizing faith leaders and people of faith against the passage of the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRA), legislation being proposed at the state level that seeks to provide a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and supporting intra-denominational organizing within the Welcoming Church Program movement.

Prior to joining the National LGBTQ Task Force, she worked as the Director for Organizing for Action (OFA) Florida. She has also served as a trustee for Howard University, a board member for the Center for Black Equity, the Next Generation Leadership Foundation, and a volunteer member of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Diversity & Inclusion Council and the National Black Justice Coalition's (NBJC) Leadership Advisory Council. Kirby York has been honored with Metro Weekly’s 2011 Next Generation award and recognized by NBJC as a National Top 100 Emerging LGBT leader and Florida’s Top 30 under 30 political leaders by SaintPetersBlog.

Kirby York’s work has been published in the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Additionally, she has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the Washington Post, and many other national and international media outlets. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Public Administration degrees from Howard University. Originally from Brandon, Florida, she lives with her wife and their beagle in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Debra Peevey, Lead Ecumenical Trainer

Lead Ecumenical Trainer
Surpise, Arizona

Rev. Debra Peevey was ordained in 1981 as the first open lesbian in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She served as Pastor of Findlay Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from 1982-1992. She then served as Chaplain to Hospice of Seattle for four years.

Debra has over 30 years experience working for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life and work of the church. She was one of two State wide faith-field organizers working against the passage of Prop 8 in California. In addition she served as More Light Presbyterian's Outreach Director for the ratification of Amendment 08B and Amendment 10A. Amendment 10A was the successful campaign that removed all barriers to the ordination of LGBT persons in the PCUSA. Most recently, she was the Faith Director for Washington United for Marriage, one of three state campaigns that made history by winning marriage equality for committed loving same sex couples at the ballot box in 2012.

Rev. Peevey is currently serving as the Faith Director for Why Marriage Matters Arizona as well as serving as the Lead Ecumenical Trainer for the Building an Inclusive Church program of the Institute of Welcoming Resources of the National LGBTQ Task Force. She is also a spiritual director in private practice. Debra lives with her spouse, Candy Cox in Surprise, AZ.

Meredith Bischoff

IWR Webmaster
Chino Hills, Califorina

Meredith Bischoff works hard as a free-lance webmaster with IWR as one of her busiest clients. In addition, she is also an ordained elder in the Community of Christ. Meredith is currently serving as President of Board of Directors for Welcoming Community Network.

Meredith holds a Masters degree in Education from California State University Fullerton, and has completed post-graduate studies in Educational Psychology, Instructional Technology and Communications Management at the University of Southern California and the Annenberg School of Communications.

Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ