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Press Release

September 26, 2017

Reverend Joe Cobb


ROANOKE, VA -  Heart to Heart: Conversations on Loving Our LGBTQ Neighbors and Strengthening Our Faith, will be held November 8-12, 2017, in Roanoke, Virginia, featuring internationally known speaker and author Susan Cottrell!  The primary event of our week of conversations will be the Heart to Heart Conference on Saturday, November 11, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm at Christ Episcopal Church in Roanoke. The event is open to the public.  Registration is $10 for lunch and can be made at

The purpose of Heart to Heart is to create meaningful conversations of dialogue, support and encouragement for our LGBTQ family, friends and neighbors and all who are curious about or wrestling with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and reconciling all of this within the exploration and celebration of faith.  A schedule of events is available at

Our guest speaker and facilitator, Susan Cottrell, is the prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQI children, and was recently featured on ABC's 20/20, Nightline and Good Morning America. She is an international speaker, author and spiritual director. Through her nonprofit organization,, Susan champions the LGBTQI community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she invites those who struggle with welcoming LGBTQ peoplewith her wise insistence that love—of God and others—is the foundation of faith. She spent 25 years in the non-affirming Evangelical church, is the Founder and President of FreedHearts, has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and served as the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin (Texas). Her books Mom, I’m Gay! Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith (Westminster John Knox Press), and True Colors: Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You, are endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, The Gay Christian Network and many others. She and her husband Rob have been married for 30 years, have five children, two of whom are in the LGBTQI community, and live in Austin, Texas.

Donations to support these conversations can be made at:

Checks may be made payable to the Roanoke Diversity Center and mailed to them at 806 Jamison Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24013.  We are grateful to the Roanoke Diversity Center for serving as our non-profit fiscal agent for receiving donations to underwrite and support the work of Heart to Heart. 

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For more information or to schedule press interviews, please contact:
Reverend Joe Cobb