Lauren Green
Knoxville, Tennessee

Lauren will complete her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an NCC credential at the University of Tennessee in August, 2017. She has a background working with youth in high school, university, outpatient, and residential psychiatric settings. Lauren has also served as a director for OUTstanding, the University of Tennessee’s annual LGBTQ+ conference, and has completed leadership training with The Reformation Project.

Lauren is currently part of the Crossings community in Knoxville, where she participates in children’s ministry. She has been a part of Christian youth ministry for over 10 years, through involvement in both church youth groups and camp ministries. She hopes to one day work with LGBTQ+ youth and families who must navigate the coming-out experience within conservative religious communities. 

Lauren believes that building bridges between the LGBTQ+ community and the church is part of God’s redemptive plan in the world, and she hopes to use her skills as a professional counselor to be part of that process. She sees this retreat as a beautiful opportunity for just that. The GCN youth retreat will be a time for youth to find hope and community in a space that welcomes them fully. It will be the kind of retreat that Lauren says she needed as a teenager, as well as the kind of retreat that she often sees LGBTQ+ youth needing.

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Amanda Loucks
Lansing, Michigan

So you would like to know a bit about me, huh? Well I am: hopelessly awkward, an insufferable optimist, a passionate learner, and an unexpected survivor.  My hobbies include being a HUGE fan of Dr. Pepper, being overly attached to animals, telling horrifyingly true stories about my life of awkwardness, and being extremely inept at all things relating to sports.

I have always dreamed that I would live my life to bring a clearer picture of love and justice into this world. Despite the many hardships of coming to terms with ALL of my identities ( some of those being a part of both the LGBTQ and Christian communities), the dream of restoring love and justice has never died. I graduated with a BS in Youth and Family Ministry from an extremely conservative bible college in Missouri (Central Christian College of the Bible). I have 10+ years of experience working with youth. Among that experience I have had extensive opportunities to partner and develop youth conferences, camps, events and activities. I am extremely passionate about the GCN youth retreat, because it is time for the church to actually be a place of sanctuary and love. I am ready to begin that reformation in youth ministry.  A long time ago the church told me about unconditional love. I am ready for that. It will start with me.

Amanda Loucks currently resides in Lansing, MI

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Robin Ford
Sayreville, New Jersey 

Robin is an active member of The Gay Christian Network and has been involved with GCN from its early years, as a contributing member to the message boards, to her current role as a member of the Board of Directors. She has been in GCN musicals, attended GCN conferences, been on the GCN worship team and met some of her closest friends through this organization.

Robin is a certified Youth Minister who has over 14 years of experience. She brings her love for youth, the LGBTQ+ community and her faith, which has shaped who she is today. She is the GCN Youth Planning Team Lead and she is excited to make this a safe space for all youth who are attending!

 
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Maddie
Lansdale, Pennsylvania

Maddie was a part of a retreat for LGBTQ youth held by her church's synod as a high school student. After the first year of the retreat, Maddie spoke about the event and about the  LGBTQ community at a youth event and after high school, she helped to plan the event. She has been active in her congregation through her teen and young adult years and is thrilled to now be a part of a GCN event as well. The retreat she was fortunate to attend had a great impact on Maddie and she wants to be sure other LBGTQ youth have the same experience of God and the church's love and acceptance.