Meet the team.

 
Pjohn.jpg

Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen  

Executive Director
marian@parity.nyc

 

I am excited to join Parity, an organization that is at the forefront of the intersection of LGBTQ and faith.  The LGBTQ world has seen monumental changes in the last few years, and it is now very clear that the national focus is on where religion and LGBTQ meet.  Parity has had an incredible impact in supporting LGBTQ clergy and youth, and will expand its influence and impact to meet the growing needs of LGBTQ persons and their allies during this time of change in the world.

Rev. Marian Edmonds Allen has worked with youth and families in various denominations and settings throughout the country for more than 20 years, focusing on strengths-based interventions and supports to affirm beliefs and faith practices for LGBTQ persons. Marian is the co-founder of the LGBTQ Youth Continuum of Care, and is an expert in the intersection of faith and LGBTQ identities and practice, interfaith relationships, youth suicide and homelessness. In 2013, Marian was named Person of the Year by Q Salt Lake for her visionary leadership, and in 2015 was named a Petra Fellow for her work with LGBTQ homeless youth.  She is formerly Executive Director of OUTreach Resource Centers, growing the single center to five centers. Marian also served as the National Program Director of the Family Acceptance Project and Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center.  Marian attended Western Theological Seminary and Eden Theological Seminary, and has served in many pastoral capacities, including church planting, parish ministry and chaplaincy.  She is married, has four children, and is a passionate skier and outdoor enthusiast.

 

 

Shelly.jpg

SHELLEY DONALDSON

Retreats Director
shelley@parity.nyc

 

“My dream is for Parity to become an open table where all LGBTQ people can find fellowship and support so they can delve into and faithfully embrace their authentic call.”

Shelley Donaldson has been working in the church since she was a pre-teen, and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Much of her ministry experience has come through camp and conference ministry, where she enjoyed finding ways for children and youth to grow in God's love in nature, gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, and learn valuable life skills. Shelley has worked with Parity since 2014, utilizing her camp and retreat skills by organizing the yearly retreats. Shelley has experience writing curriculum for children, youth, and families, running retreats and conferences, and is a practicing artist and co-founder of Creation Lab, a not-for-profit art studio in Chicago that seeks to serve as an intersecting place for faith and art to come together. Shelley is a writer for the upcoming children's story bible, Growing In God's Love, from Westminster John Knox Press, due out in 2018. She is also involved with various publishing companies, writing on ministering to LGBTQ youth and creating curriculum on various topics for all different ages, as well as working with youth in Chicago, IL, for her day gig. When she's not writing or working on a new project, she's spending time exploring Chicago restaurants with her wife, or finding a reason to take a road trip. You can follow her on her blog, www.thetravellingtheologian.com or on Twitter @shelleydt247.