"Crossing Over: The Spirituality of Transformation" Conference Schedule
11:30-1:30p.m. Free screening of "Trans" in Kiva Room. (3rd Floor of Student Center) 1:30p.m Registration Opens. Room #330 (Third Floor of EMU Student Center)
2:00p.m Keynote address by the Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek
2:45 Small group discussions.
3:30 Panel with JJ Marie Gufreda, Noah Meeks, Joanne Nemecek, and Jonah Thompson. 5:00 Closing Interfaith Worship service.
5:45p.m. Optional Dinner (If you wish to eat please register and pay for the dinner)
Keynote Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek is one of Michigan’s leading voices on transgender issues. Dr. Julie is former associate professor at Lansing Community College and Spring Arbor University. She was also a Baptist minister for twenty years and her senior pastor work included working in an inner-city and a suburban church in Chicago and a church in Grand Rapids. She is a regular guest lecturer on university and college campuses throughout the state and a frequent guest speaker at churches. She has served on the national board of Soulforce and currently serves on the national board of PFLAG as well as the board of Jackson PFLAG. She is on the advisory board of Trans Youth Family Allies(TYFA) and the board of Inclusive Justice Michigan. Dr. Julie has been married to Joanne for 41 years. She has three sons, four grandsons and one granddaughter. She has delivered a baby; climbed a mountain; gone spelunking; parachuted from a plane; cooked a 12-course dinner for six; shot a 78 in golf; traveled internationally to England, France, Guatemala, Ireland, India, Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland; visited 48 U.S. states.
JJ Marie Gufreda is the author of Left-Hander in London: A Field Guide to Transgenders, Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals - In the Family, On the Job and In the Pew and is a playwright. Her new production is titled, Left-Hander in London – The Earthquake. JJ is the President of the Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and is a frequent speaker on Diversity, Religion and Political issues. Ms. Gufreda has over thirty years of consulting, teaching and executive experience. She has successfully advised a wide variety of Fortune 500 clients as well as small to midsized companies. JJ is the President and CEO of GEI, Inc. with its offices just outside of Indianapolis. She holds a BBA degree in Economics and Management & Labor Relations from Cleveland State University and an MBA from John Carroll University. JJ is married and has three children and three grandchildren.
Noah Meeks graduated from Antioch College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Science Fiction, which is just one example of how he's always resisted being easily categorized. Then he spent eight years in Michigan on a roller-coaster journey of self-discovery, finding something new around every corner. He experiences his identity and transition as gifts from God, and is currently spending a year with the Episcopal Service Corps in hopes of clarifying how he is called to share his blessings.
Joanne Nemecek is a Christian who has a transgender spouse. She started a spiritual journey of acceptance in 2003 when her spouse of 31 years came out to her. In part, she was able to come to a place of support and acceptance as a result of her Christian faith. Joanne was a pastor’s wife for twenty years. She works part- time as a registered nurse. She sensed God leading her to make a change in her profession and so, completed a master’s degree in social work, enabling her to counsel transgender clients and their families. She also volunteers at University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Gender Services Program to help lead two support groups, one for parents of transgender children, and one for spouses or partners of transgender people.
Jonah Thompson is the Studio Manager and Riot Youth Advisor for the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. Jonah grew up in East Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti in religious household and being a person of faith has been an important part of his journey as a transgender person. Recently Jonah established the RR Collective which is dedicated to raising funds for community organizations that support the transgender community.
To register go to: www.oasisministrymi.org For further information please call (734)846-3578