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BMC at CoB Annual Conference 2023

Brethren Mennonite Council at Annual Conference 2023

SCN Equipping Session

Supportive Communities Network: Queer Justice & Collective Liberation Wednesday, July 5, 12:30pm Room 264

This interactive session will be used to reflect and build toward our future as the Supportive Communities Network (SCN), with a vision for queer justice that centers the flourishing and wellbeing of lgbtqia+ and marginalized people. We’ll focus on some concrete ways we can resource one another as we move toward this vision.

BMC Worship Service: Weaving in the Loose Ends as We Go

Wednesday, July 5, 4:30pm

Room 250

Anna Lisa Gross will preach and Annabeth Roeschley will lead worship. Come sing, pray and re-ground in sacred space as we find our way together!

Queer & Trans Connection at AC

LGBTQIA+ Kin: we see you. It can be hard to be at AC. Email Liz Ullery Swenson at to be added to a text group for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, nonbinary, intersex, asexual or otherwise beautifully queer! We’ll keep in touch during AC and support each other.

SCN Chaplain Hotline

SCN has chaplains (including queer chaplains) available for support at Annual Conference. Text Matt at 847-903-8535 or Joanna at 616-550-1209 to connect with an lgbtqia-affirming chaplain or simply to inform a chaplain if you observe a concerning situation.

SCN Guide to AC + Text Listserv

Here's a one-page guide with events by BMC, SCN and committed allies!

Want daily reminders and updates sent straight to your phone? Join the SCN text listserv to #COBAC23! Text: "AC23" to 43506 to subscribe or to join via web

Booth + Rainbow Lanyards

Come visit the BMC / SCN booth! Email Jacki Hartley if you can volunteer for a booth shift: SCN leaders, come get a rainbow lanyard at the booth! We have rainbow nametag stickers for lgbtqia+ people and all who love us. Join us in uplifting lgbtqia+ visibility and embodying safe(r) space for queer and trans folks!

Gathering Space for LGBTQIA+ Joy, Lament and Creativity

BMC and SCN are focusing our time, energy and resources into things that give our communities life, bearing witness to the vibrancy and flourishing of lgbtqia+ people in the church. Join us at our events throughout the week! They can be found on the SCN Guide to Conference:

Annual Conference (AC) Standing Committee is holding a Silent Confession recognizing harm done to lgbtqia+ people, scheduled as an order of the day at 9:50am on Friday July 7. This service will likely evoke many different reactions from the conference body. SCN will hold space for our community (including allies) to support one another and respond creatively to the movement of the Spirit. Room 211 is available from 9:30am to 12:00pm on Friday to gather and process, share lament and joy, to sing, scheme and dream together.

SCN did not request this time of confession nor were BMC or SCN consulted in its design. While it is a confession that may hold significance for some lgbtqia+ people – and we honor this – it was not created for the clear benefit of queer people. Rather, this confession primarily functions to serve the needs of the institutional church.

We approach Annual Conference mindful of ongoing actions punitively directed at lgbtqia+ people, allies, and SCN members. These actions oppose the spirit of the Silent Confession, reminding us there is much work to do for lgbtqia+ inclusion and justice in the Church of the Brethren.

The SCN Steering Committee’s decision to focus on a gathering space for queer joy, grief and creativity is a strategic and powerful act. It is an act to reclaim power and agency on our own terms and allow the denomination space to do the work it needs to do.

Join SCN in embodying the church we long to be – in Room 211 on Friday and at our worship and events throughout the week! For questions please contact Annabeth Roeschley ( or Matt Rittle (

– SCN Steering Committee

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