The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan | edomi.org
CELEBRATE EDUCATE CREATE
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
The Record is an official publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Our mission is to celebrate, educate, and create community within our diocese. EDITOR: Anna Schroen PUBLISHER: The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr. The Record is published quarterly by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, 4800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201. Address changes may be emailed to TheRecord@edomi.org. Image permissions and copyright: Cover: Anna Schroen, inside cover: Deon Johnson, p. 1: Melpomen, Anna Schroen, Antonio Nardelli, p. 4-5: Kyrylo Glivin, p. 6-7: Eric Travis, p. 9: Anna Schroen, p. 10-11: HOMTV, back cover: Eric Travis
CONTENTS Spring 2019
02 04 Letter From The Bishop Letter From The Editor
Anna Schroen, Director of Communications
The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.
06 Safe Church and You Spirit and Minstry Inside a Cell 08 12 The Candidates for 11 Bishop Eric Travis, Missioner for Youth and Young Adults
Bill Wylie-Kellermann, St. Peter’s, Detroit th
Of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Reader, Thank you so much for picking up this issue of The Record. I hope that spring has brought you joy, renewal and excitement for the future. As we move toward the election of the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan, the anticipation of the coming changes has been palpable. The articles in this issue center around shake-ups, new directions, and our responsibilities to our communities and our people. As always, thank you for your support. Please share this magazine with a friend or loved one, and please continue to send us your stories and ideas. This magazine is a reflection of who we are as a community of faith. I hope you can see yourself and your beliefs reflected here. Sincerely,
Anna Schroen Director of Communications Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
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LETTER FROM THE BISHOP BY THE RT. REV. WENDELL N. GIBBS, JR.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 In a recent offering to these pages, I wrote of the importance of embracing the journey rather than focusing on the destination. Since writing those words, I have been prompted to explore how my own growth and transformation throughout the journey prepares me for each new step, making the future a more welcoming entrance into the next phase of the journey. This time of reflection has become even more essential as I anticipate the completion of my walk with and among you into the beginning of a new phase of life’s journey outside of diocesan leadership. As I’m certain everyone would agree, growth expresses itself in many forms. Transformation often begins deep within oneself and takes time to find true expression in daily living. Looking through some pictures from early in my arrival in Michigan, I note several growth experiences and evidence of transformation: grayer hair and an expanded waistline being the most obvious! Of course, there are some transformations that pictures do not reveal. Some examples would include spiritual, emotional, or relational growth and change. Here, I must confess that living into the call to Episcopal ministry has stretched, challenged, and expanded my spiritual foundations. I have grown to appreciate and depend upon the prayers offered by so many in support of our ministry together. I cannot 04 | The Record
imagine how we could have journeyed without the sustenance that prayer and other spiritual practices offer. While our journey together has not always been easy, I believe that through nurturing relationships we have helped to transform each other – to help each other grow in Christ. I know that “change” is not one of those words that many of us embrace with enthusiasm. I have noticed my own disinclination for change and wonder silently how I developed such a comfort for the familiar and the “way I’ve always done it.” The truth is that we all change all the time because change is required to live. The truth is also that we don’t notice all the changes that happen to and around us in order for life to be lived. Some change simply happens to us; some change requires us to be active participants. Whatever the source, change is a fact of life! The journey we have taken together these past 19+ years has brought about some change that is easy to identify. Other changes in our life together have been more subtle and, perhaps, even more meaningful. As a bishop, I was called among you to be a teacher. and I have come to appreciate how much you have taught me. I wasn’t always eager to be the student, yet your willingness to participate in the give-and-take of the relationship that identifies us as a diocese of the Episcopal Church has helped us all to be both student and teacher for the betterment of all. Thank you.
It seems like only yesterday we gathered at the Masonic Temple in Detroit for the ordination and consecration service that was marked with drumming, incense, gospel music, and a sermon that asked us all, “What’s love got to do with it?” I believe my read is correct; throughout the years since, our diocesan community has come to a greater appreciation that love has everything to do with it! That, my friends, is growth. That is change. That is transformation – a transformation we continue to live into and seek to build upon as we strive to be and become Beloved Community. Now comes a most important moment in our life together as the Diocese of Michigan: the election of the 11th Bishop. This is not a moment to be taken lightly. It is not a moment that every person, not even every Episcopalian, actually gets to experience in their lives. The person you choose to walk with you in the future that lies just ahead will inevitably change the way we have lived, worked, I was called among worshipped together you to be a teacher and since the year 2000. And and I have come to that’s good! Change brings new life, and I am eager to appreciate how see where the diocese will much you have go in the next chapter of taught me its response to God’s call to mission and ministry. I will be watching from a distance (from a location to be announced at some later date), but I will watch, because I know that God is still abiding and working among you and you are still seeking to abide in God. In doing so, you will be transformed – you will bear much fruit!
May God continue to bless the journey as you reflect on the steps, and the changes, that prepare you for the future that awaits. + Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Bishop
S a f e C h u r c h a n d Yo u B y E r i c Tr a v i s
M i s s i o n e r f o r Yo u t h a n d Yo u n g A d u l t s , Diocese of Michigan
“What does Safe Church have to do with me? I’m not a priest.” This is a question I have heard many times in the past year. And I know why. At the General Convention of 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Episcopal Church was tasked with updating and supplementing the 2004 model policies “to reflect the experience of the church […] and to cover topics such as social media, mission trips, pilgrimages, camp and conference center programs, and other overnight events, and the experiences of LGBTQ persons” (Resolution 2015-A073). I was appointed to that task group, and in April 2018, we presented the updated model policies. (For more information and to see the model policies, go to bit.ly/SFtaskforce).
for those to whom we minister, and for our own personal protection, and acknowledges its responsibilities in providing these essential proactive tools, and its duty to appropriately and lawfully comply with the investigation and reporting of any allegations, reports, or suspicions of any abuse by any representative of the church…”
The policy states that the Diocese of Michigan is committed to safeguarding all of God’s people “with an emphasis on children, youth, and vulnerable adults with whom it interacts, from sexual, physical and/or personal abuse or exploitation.” The Diocese of Michigan “establishes the importance of providing training programs (supported by standards, guidelines, procedures, and protocols) to create a safe environment
We’ve all seen the headlines or heard the stories of sexual abuse of children in homes, schools, and churches. There are many more that go unreported. A single incident of abuse can cause a lifetime of pain and suffering for a child or vulnerable adult and irreparably damage our communities. Although research shows that sexual abuse is widespread – it doesn’t have to happen in our churches.
So, what does all of this policy and procedure mean for you? Do you remember who is the Diocese of Michigan? You are. I am. We are! Who is responsible for protecting our most vulnerable people? You are. I am. We are! It is our collective duty to make sure the Episcopal Church is one of the safest places for children, youth, and vulnerable adults. We must ensure that anyone who the church comes into contact with is The next step was to bring those changes home to the protected from sexual, physical, and personal abuse or Diocese of Michigan and to update our policies to exploitation. The seriousness of this conform with the updated model “The seriousness of responsibility is reflected in our baptismal policies. Our diocese consists of 75 covenant, which charges us to seek and this responsibility is 75 congregations in the southeastern serve Christ in all persons and to respect region of Michigan, and comprises reflected in our the dignity of every human being. over 17,000 baptized members. baptismal covenant, The Safe Church policy will have to which charges us to The policies and training programs of Safe work to educate and protect seek and serve Christ Church are more than just a set of items all of them. in all persons and to to check off. It is part of our foundational respect the dignity of formation as Christians. It is there to help With this in mind, the Diocesan every human being”. guide our interactions with each other as Council (one of the three governing well as teach us the appropriate and bodies of our diocese that meets pastoral ways to respond to abuse or exploitation when throughout the year to carry out the work of the it does happen. diocese between conventions) took up that task. The council appointed a small task group to use the updated Can you imagine sending your child or grandchild to a Model Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth school that didn’t check or know the educational, and the newly created Model Policy for the Protection experiential, or criminal background of its teachers? of Vulnerable Adults to revise and update the Diocese of What about sending an aged relative to a care facility Michigan’s policy. In September 2018, the Diocesan that does not regularly check on the safety and Council approved “Safe Church – Creating a Healthy well-being of its clients or ensure the safety of its Environment for Children, Youth, and Vulnerable visitors? Adults,” which can be found at edomi.org/safechurch.
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According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, in the United States: One in three women and one in six men experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women are subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. In eight out of ten cases of sexual assault, the victim knew the perpetrator. Of sexual assault survivors, 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
themselves. If we practice and uphold our comprehensive policies and regular training, we will make our churches safer places. Through seeking and serving Christ in all persons and respecting the dignity of every human being, which is at the core of our baptismal vows, we can protect each other from harm. So, how can you get involved? Ask your rector or vestry if there is an updated Safe Church policy for your congregation. If yes, ask where it is posted and how it is implemented. If no, invite them to adopt one. Read and understand the Safe Church policy (edomi.org/safechurch), and explore how it affects you and the ministries you are involved in. Be an advocate for adopting and following the policy.
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
Take the “Track 1” Safe Church training offered by the Whitaker Institute.
Of people who have sexually abused a child, 34% are family members of that child.
Encourage everyone to take the appropriate training and to follow up with consistent renewal.
Only 12% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to the authorities.
Don’t give up or let the matter be ignored.
According to the National Council on Aging, in the United States: One in ten Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Only one in 14 cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities. Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death, compared to those who have not been mistreated. Step back from these alarming and tragic facts and ask yourself, “What can I do to protect my community against this?” First, you have to learn how to spot abuse before it happens and to recognize the signs of abuse in those who might not be able to speak for 08 | The Record
Pray for the victims of sexual abuse. Pray for God to continue to lead us in the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation. While we want to believe that our church would be the last place for an incident of sexual abuse to happen, it does happen. But, if we’re proactive and vigilant in the screening, training, monitoring, and supervision of the people and leaders of our churches and the activities that happen within, we are living into our baptismal covenant and opening up the most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Eric Travis is the Missioner for Youth and Young Adults for the Diocese of Michigan and is a resource for any congregation that wants to update their Safe Church policies and/or training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spirit and Ministry Inside a Cell
By The Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, St. Peter’s, Detroit Life in a prison cell reminds me a great deal of advent--one waits and hopes and potters about, but in the end what we do is of little consequence, for the door is shut and can only be opened from the outside.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
I spent a portion of last Advent, a 12-day sentence, in the Ingham County Jail. This was in connection with a civil disobedience action launching, in Michigan, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Led by poor and impacted people, but also explicitly interfaith, the actions included rabbis, imams, and pastors (including Episcopal clergy). The action for which I did the time was blocking the entrances to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Lansing. Among other things, the director and other staff were under indictment for helping cover up the Flint water crisis, and the DHHS was threatening water shutoff victims in Detroit with removing children from their homes. Family separation was a tactic to enforce payment or expel poor and black families from neighborhoods. An agency called to heal and support the most vulnerable was instead assaulting them. Strong action was justified. The day of my release, I encountered Anna Schroen of The Record at a press conference. Her questions were the best of the event: Why jail? And what spiritual or pastoral disciplines did you undertake?
I’ve done jail time many times before, though never more than 60 days. I believe non-violent direct actions have moral trajectories to them – lines which can be played out in a variety of ways. I am willing to be held accountable and to give an account of my actions. Going to trial, or simply entering a plea and making a pre-sentencing statement, represents an opportunity to “go on record” with our commitments. That same trajectory includes my choice as a matter of conscience to do the 12 days instead of paying the fine. Jail itself can be approached as something of a monastic discipline. The joke in Catholic Worker communities was always that jail was a vacation from the long haul of hospitality. The blessed freedom of solitude. A certain sense of powerlessness may go with jail time. There is also, of course, a systematic intent to that. But even prisoners who land there firm in faith and for the sake of conscience are regularly shaken down. Stripped of possessions and the props of self-identity, you can be vulnerable to dreadful emptiness. An absurd vertigo. You may forget where and why you began. Reasons seem small and gratuitous. Futility looms large as the Spring ‘19 | 09
last word. As Advent geography, jail is the wilderness in a very small space. Simple endurance and fidelity are tested. You learn to trust God alone. And that is why so many have discovered it to be a literal scene of transformation. I find it so. I was in a dormitory cell with ten bunk-beds, though we were never full. Spiritual discipline partly means finding your rhythm. Breakfast is served at 5:30am and people generally go immediately back to bed. A quick aside: that is actually encouraged by temperature control, forcing people back beneath their blanket. In winter, the forced air vents push out air conditioning at certain periods of the day. If you get out in the hall, it is warm and toasty. But back in the cell? Frigid. We’ve been hearing the same thing about border detention facilities, so it must be a corrections thing, and in the extreme it can be just a type of torture. In any event, early morning hours are quiet time – the great silence. It’s opportunity for solitude, prayer, scripture study, and, once you get access to pen and paper, correspondence and writing. As for prayer, I would work my way around the room, bed by bed, with intercessions, needs often being obvious, but sometimes known only from conversation. And then I would widen my circle to gratitudes and intercessions for those outside the walls. On the outside, or “in the world” as prisoners say, my Advent practice has ordinarily been to make homemade Christmas presents, usually of wood. This year, without tools or a work bench, I decided to write poems. I was able to produce one each day for family members, so my “shopping” was actually done early.
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One thing I hadn’t fully foreseen was the vulnerability of age. Doing time at 29 or even 45 is different than going it near 70. I had to bring medications and a letter insisting on them from my doctor. I needed to continue exercises for the rehab of a knee replacement. And I had to decide whether to take in my hearing aids. I didn’t. (And the nurse in medical intake thought me wise for this.) However, that meant I was hampered in certain talk, especially large-group banter, storytelling, and humor. I was on the edge of community conversation, mostly iced out. And building community is the most important work on the inside. As a pastor, I went incognito this time. Often in the past, I’ve announced myself going in. This has advantages for doing religious ministry, for being sought (or avoided). The downside is claiming another privilege. I already go in with my white skin, education, and the financial wherewithal to pay my way out. I was in with folks who couldn’t afford bond, to make calls, or order commissary. People of color make up 37 percent of the U.S. population, but they comprise 67 percent of prisoners in county, state, and federal systems. Pastoral work requires no title, yet there is great advantage in practicing it, available 24/7, on the inside. I’m mindful of diocesan congregations, like Church of the Incarnation, that do prison visitation and advocacy. Often, these congregations are up against official chaplains who are little more than paid gatekeepers, talking though the bars, and moving in halls with the keys in their pockets. It’s a different thing to sit on the bunk and talk, nowhere to go.
Pastoral work requires no title, yet there is great advantage in practicing it, available 24/7, on the inside. I’m mindful of diocesan congregations, like Church of the Incarnation, that do prison visitation and advocacy. Often, these congregations are up against official chaplains who are little more than paid gatekeepers, talking though the bars, and moving in halls with the keys in their pockets. It’s a different thing to sit on the bunk and talk, nowhere to go. Our cellmates were really excited to know, as it was happening, of a PPC liturgy and vigil outside the jail – not on behalf of the two of us, but on behalf of all prisoners here and everywhere. Once my bunkmate asked, “Do you know any reporters? We need to get the story out about how bad the food is in here.” It really was bad. I knew he meant Lansing journalists (which I didn’t), and a jail food story sounded like a hard sell anywhere. But then I began to collect one-liners for a satirical, restaurant-style review, grading ambiance, presentation, wait-staff, menu. And after I was out, bless their hearts, the Detroit Metro Times published it in their ”Table and Bar” column. (See “What It’s Like to Eat in Ingham County Jail.”) Sad to say, there’s no way for my cellmates to access it online or even see a hard copy. So much communal or pastoral work inside is really made up of simple acts of kindness, the ministry of helping. That spills over to when you get out: sending funds, making calls to family or friends, or mailing postcards (the only form of correspondence allowed).
I have thought about what it might actually have accomplished, but know that’s mostly inscrutable. Or, as they say, in God’s hands. Given the PPC’s goal of breaking into the dominant narrative and bringing poverty and the lives and voices of low-income folks into the mainstream story – we’ve seen little of that. Not the action itself, nor the court appearance, nor the jail time, nor the release day press conference garnered any media. (That’s been true for the national campaign as well – it has been largely silent despite around 35 states offering the largest focused campaign of civil disobedience in U.S. history). We’ve had to rely on alternative and faith-based media to get the word out. But the spirit in movements and the word in history are mysteries, often hidden in the moment. Like Advent yearnings, we wait. On May 14, another group of us go to trial in 54A District Court of Lansing for another action in that series, this one at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, charging them with crimes against Water. St. Francis called her our “sister,” and in that sense, the assault on this creature and kin are also crimes against human life. The judge has asked for a larger courtroom to accommodate the trial. We are hoping to fill it with friends and with truth. Bill Wylie-Kellermann is a non-violent community activist and pastor, retired from St. Peter’s Detroit. His most recent books are Dying Well: The Resurrected Life of Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann (Cass Community, 2018), Principalities in Particular (Fortress, 2018), and Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit (Cascade, 2017).
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THE CANDIDATES FOR BISHOP
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OF THE DIOCESE OF MICHIGAN
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THE REV. DR. GRACE BURTON-EDWARDS Rector, St. Thomas, Columbus GA Greetings to the faithful people of the Diocese of Michigan. It is a holy privilege to share this journey with you. When I meet with newcomers to my congregation, I often ask, “What is your story, and what brings you here now?” The goal is to reflect on how this moment connects with our larger experiences of God. What is my story? Like all of you, I am on a lifelong journey to know the love of God revealed in Jesus and to share this love with others. My husband and I have been married for 28 years and are proud of our two adult sons. I have led different kinds of congregations to growth and vitality – small, transitional, and large; rural, industrial, and urban; varying liturgical practices; near the diocesan center and far away. Through global mission relationships, I have encountered the Church around the world and discovered how deeply we need one another. I serve on several diocesan committees, but I am most passionate about strengthening congregations, forming disciples of Jesus, and caring for congregational leaders. What brings me here now? My calling is to help Episcopal congregations live out the way of Jesus in community-transforming ways. This is how I envision the work of a bishop. I am interested in the Diocese of Michigan because I find your values and goals a good match for mine – baptismal calling, lifelong discipleship, and the fifth promise of baptism. I love the Midwest – yes, even in winter. I believe we could work effectively and joyfully together. In this time of discernment, as you are learning about me, know I am eager to learn about you. I will be listening for your stories, gifts, and callings. I trust the Holy Spirit will walk with us as we discern God’s will together.
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THE REV. CANON PAULA CLARK Canon to the Ordinary & Canon for Clergy Development, Multicultural Ministries and Justice, Diocese of Washington I serve in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and was recently named Canon to the Ordinary. My primary responsibilities include serving as counsel to the bishop, parish transition ministry, strategic planning, and diocesan-wide justice initiatives. In 2013, I began diocesan staff ministry as Canon for Clergy Development, Multicultural Ministries and Justice. In this position, I had oversight and responsibility for the ordination processes to the priesthood and the diaconate, transitions and training of clergy, multiculturalism within parishes, as well as race and social justice diocesan initiatives. Prior to serving on diocesan staff, I served as Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Beltsville, MD. At St. John’s, I expanded ministries to support lay leadership and program development. Also at St. John’s, a multicultural parish, I developed culturally responsive and creative liturgy for the growing parish. Before ministry at St. John’s, I served as Assistant to the Rector at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, DC, where I managed Christian Education and Outreach Ministries, developed a Women’s Bible Study, revived Sunday School programs, and solidified a Food Pantry ministry between St. Patrick’s, and St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Anacostia. I am a 2004 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, was ordained to the diaconate in 2004, and the priesthood in 2005. I have a master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. in Sociology from Brown University. I am a native Washingtonian, and a 1980 graduate of National Cathedral School for Girls. In addition to parish and diocesan ministry, I bring 15 years of executive management experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. I am married to Andrew McLean, and have an adult daughter, Micha Green. I am matriarch of an extended family of four adult stepchildren and five step grandchildren.
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THE REV. DR. BONNIE A. PERRY Rector, All Saints’, Chicago IL Growing up, ours was a Marine family; I’ve lived in California, Hawaii, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and (thankfully) for the last 26 years, Chicago. Welcome and hospitality mean the world to me. When I was 16, I attended a young people’s Cursillo. During that retreat I had a profound experience of being loved for who I was, as I was, in the person of Jesus Christ. My life has never been the same. This experience is the bedrock of my faith. The reality that Jesus loves me, and you, all of us completely and utterly, that is what fuels my passion for life and for the Gospel and for our church. Attending the College of the Holy Cross, the Jesuits honed my critical thinking. After graduating I served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in West Oakland and Skid Row, Los Angeles. Feeling called to ordained ministry, wrestling with being a Roman Catholic woman, I attended Union Theological Seminary. My middler year I met my spouse Susan Harlow. My senior year I was received into the Episcopal Church. I was sponsored for ordination by St. Mark’s, a vibrant a multi-racial congregation in Teaneck, NJ. I served three churches in New Jersey: Christ Church, Hackensack, Christ Church, Ridgewood and St. Peter’s Clifton. In 1992 I made the best decision of my life and moved without a job to Chicago, to follow my spouse Susan who had just been offered a seminary faculty position. In the last 26 years I have encouraged All Saints’, Chicago as it has changed and grown. Anti-racism work, young people’s formation, feeding our neighbors, Christmas pageants, world-wide LGBTQ rights, multiple capital campaigns, baptisms, burials, marriages and blessings, and hundreds of relationships have taught me that the stuff of church is deep, Holy work. God is good.
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THE REV. CANON RUTH WOODLIFF-STANLEY Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Colorado Dear Michigan Episcopalians, Thank you for the gift of this journey with you. My name is Ruth. My relationship with Jesus began when my mother knelt with me at bedtime to pray. And when I saw Miss Jo, my Sunday school teacher, behind the children’s altar, I got my first glimpse of priestly calling. God’s call persisted; as a child, I kept a big brown notebook for sermon ideas. In 29 years of ordained ministry, I’ve become passionate about and experienced in reconciliation and bridge-building. I’ve learned when we reach across our differences, we find unexpected common ground. My first instinct is pastoral; I listen closely, and I’m energized by being with people. Recently, I have worked with leaders across the country building the future church. This work thrills me. I was raised in the Deep South alongside people who daily suffered the oppression of racism. My commitment to justice is fueled by fire that was kindled in me then. I understand that waking up to my unexamined white privilege will take a lifetime, and I am fiercely committed to the gospel work of dismantling racism. I’ve fought alongside LGBTQ friends to create a world where everyone is seen and celebrated. I’ve pastored from the conviction that love is love. Period. My family is my true north. Nathan and I fell in love at Swarthmore College. He grew up in a small Midwestern town; from him I learned that pop is not a sound but a drink. We have two sons, George, 23, and John, 20. The four of us talk late into the night sharing our hearts. I grew up fishing with my father. Lakes feed my soul. Your state is filled with beauty; the people and the land make it so. I can’t wait to meet you.
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