‘This is such a great event for the women of our Valley to learn and understand more about LGBTQ’ — Pastor Gerald Sharon

PALM DESERT — Two guest speakers will headline the Women of Hope Fall Gathering on Nov. 13 when they will address “LGBTQ Awareness — From Head to Heart.”

This is a free event open to all women in Coachella Valley interested in experiencing a safe space to learn about the LGBTQ community. The event is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and includes lunch. It will be held at Hope Palm Desert, 45900 Portola Ave.

“This event is to create awareness and a better understanding of the LGBTQ community,” Gesa Sharon, who is organizing the event, told Uken Report. “The speakers will share personal experiences and information that can help us learn to more compassionately engage all people in our lives regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  And, as Jesus followers, to love everyone more freely.”


Women Can Learn, Understand More About LGBTQ

Beth Schwartz

Beth K Schwartz is a Christian feminist nurse researcher and theologian. She is a nursing professor who teaches public health nursing students at UCLA, USF and Azusa Pacific University. Beth has a MS in Public Health Nursing Education and a MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is currently a PhD student at Azusa Pacific University where she is researching the effects of adverse religious experiences on the female body, mind and spirit.

She recently stepped of staff as the Women’s Pastor at Saddleback Church and now finds herself caring for women who have experienced harm from the Church. She spends her time with her husband Scott, teens Maren and Ethan. She loves to run, thrift and political activism that works to care for vulnerable populations. She can be found ruining dinner parties wherever she goes.

Jamie Parnell is a faithful Christ follower and proud LGBTQIA ally. She lives in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., with her husband and three children, including her transgender son, who began his transition five years ago at age 15. Jamie is a transgender advocate, who has spoken on several panels at UC Irvine, educating third year medical students how best to provide care to trans youth and adults.

Women Can Learn, Understand More About LGBTQ

Jamie Parnell

Parnell has been featured on ‘A Longer Table’ podcast and has been published in the Enneagram Magazine. Jamie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Irvine in Criminology and continues her passion or learning through the research of theology, sexuality, and gender. You can find her on Instagram @jamie__parnell, where she often shares thoughts about her experience parenting a transgender child. Jamie enjoys spending as much time as possible with her hubby and kids.  She loves to bike, hike, and read and she loves learning from her wisdom teacher, Ted Lasso!

Again, lunch will be served, so please register so organizers can order accordingly. Register here. 


Image Sources

  • Beth Schwartz: Hope Palm Desert
  • Jamie Parnell: Hope Palm Desert
  • Beth Schwartz and Jamie Parnell: Hope Lutheran