Rev. Alaina has been called to a life of poetry and a ministry of personhood, this has pulled her inexorably toward the work of justice and liberation. She is a mystic of interior spaces, finding divinity in humanity and the work of anti-fascist anarchist resistance. A mother, a partner, a pagan minister of the gospel, and a woman of trans experience, she delights in the joy of being.
Rev. Jeanelle Nicolas Ablola is a Queer Trans Non-Binary child of immigrants – a Filipino/x born, raised, and living in the US diaspora. They’re grounded in the people’s movement for democracy and just peace in the Philippines. For over 10 years, they’ve led delegations to the Philippines to expand and deepen solidarity and faith-rooted political praxis. They have experience in anti-imperialist and internationalist solidarity work and activism through legislative advocacy, education, organizing, and mobilizing people of faith to take action in the streets and among the masses. They have over a decade in experience planning, preaching, and presenting at events, studies, mobilizations, rallies, and protests. Rooted in international solidarity and finding resonance in Liberation Theology from the Philippines, they have passion for making theological and political education accessible to all people and thrive in accompanying individuals in meaning-making, while exploring the relationship between individual healing and social justice. They’re the Lead Pastor at Pine United Methodist Church in San Francisco, the Co-Chair of the CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force of the UMC, and a Street Scholar/Healer at Sacred Roots in Oakland. They received their M. Div. at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley and have a podcast called “GomBurZa for the Masses”.
Min. Blyth Barnow is a preacher, harm reductionist, writer, and community organizer. She currently works to bring clergy and people who use drugs together to end the racist war on drugs. She is the founder of Femminary, an online ministry focused on finding divinity in the profane. She has contributed to books such as Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement and The Care We Dream Of: Liberatory and Transformative Approaches to LGBTQ+ Health. Blyth graduated from Pacific School Of Religion where she received a Master of Divinity and the Paul Wesley Yinger preaching award. She also serves on the National Leadership Team for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
Torrianna Foster, M.Div-MSJ (they/them/hers) is a Black, queer, nonbinary, and disabled womanist who champions the spiritual, sexual, and communal power of queer and trans Black femmes. With a master’s degree in spiritual care and social-cultural ethics; Torrianna uses their distinct skill set to further sex-positive BDSM education, intimacy coaching, and spiritual formation (respectively), and inclusive sex ed reform. Most recently, Torrianna has opened their books to coach couples, advise non-profit organizations on pro-Black and LGBTQ organizational policy.
Torrianna regularly travels cross-country as a full-spectrum intimacy coach and public sex educator with a distinctly joyful, embodied, and trauma-informed approach.
Andrés was born in Santiago, Chile, where he currently lives. He works as a communications assistant for St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, and as a Spiritual Director. He is also a consultant in the field of spiritual care and healthcare chaplaincy in Latin America. Andrés is a transgender man who grew up in different countries in the Caribbean and South America, he became a Christian during his first year of college. He loves poetry, sports, and french toast.
Cassidy Hall (MA) is an author, filmmaker, podcaster, student, and holds a MA in Counseling. She works as a Teaching Assistant at Christian Theological Seminary where she is studying for her MDiv and MTS degrees. She also serves as Student Pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ. Since 2017, Cassidy has been the Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society. Cassidy worked on the production team of the documentary feature film In Pursuit of Silence and her directorial debut short-film, Day of a Stranger paints an intimate portrait of Thomas Merton’s hermitage years. Her podcast, Encountering Silence features interviews with contemplatives, modern-day mystics, and explores the ambiguity of silence in our modern-day lives. Cassidy’s work centers around the tension and intersection of silence and social action and contemplation in a world of action.
abby’s heart work is devoted to living with integrity at the intersections of eco-feminisms, social justice, and spirituality. abby is a long distance runner, mixed media artist, farmer, and climate justice activist, and she brings each of these pieces of herself into everything she creates. she works with individuals and groups to build cultural and social competency, particularly using art and creativity to develop radical relationships. abby is committed to using creativity and our bodies as catalysts to disrupt systems of oppression. rev. abby mohaupt is an ordained clergy person in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and lives in rural North Texas as she completes her PhD through Drew University.
Saunia has lived in the Lancaster Amish countryside, Indianapolis suburbs, the middle of Iowa, Jiangsu Province, North Carolina’s Appalachia, Seattle’s CD, the north Berkeley hills, the panhandle of Nebraska, West Oakland, NOLA, Chi-town, St. Louis, and back to the middle of Iowa (in that order.) Nomadic not only in locale, Saunia’s homes in multiple religions, occupations, and families make writing a concise bio difficult. Most consistently sprinkled throughout her occupational story are multiple attempts at hospital and hospice chaplaincy, directing for the theatre, and academia. Raised Pentecostal, with a Master of Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion titled “Christian Theologies of the Body,” Saunia’s spirituality has always stayed close to the soft body and followed after what it loves. Whether at a Holy Ghost tent revival, Old Order German Baptist funeral, all day shapenote singing, African grief ritual, dancing at a queer club, or lying under a tree, Saunia believes in incarnation. This “this” of us is God in us. The pain and the ecstasy. She couldn’t be more delighted and honored to walk alongside the faithful attending to divine incarnation and creativity that is enfleshed.
Rev. KC Slack is a Unitarian Universalist minister working at the horizons of art, gender, justice, and pastoral care. Their work is infused with beauty and boldness, with a focus on growing resilient communities with honesty and inclusion. They are the universe prehending itself in the mode of causal efficacy, they are glitter incarnate. Rev. KC heard their call to ministry while working as a Patient Advocate at Preterm, an independent feminist abortion clinic in Cleveland, OH. They completed their MDiv at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA in 2016, after which they completed a CPE residency in Burbank, CA in 2017, and were ordained by their home congregation in Cleveland, OH in the summer of 2018. Currently they wear many hats, serving as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills, a facilitator and educator with the non-profit organization More Than Sex-Ed, a regular guest preacher throughout the South Western United States, and a spiritual director working with queer and transgender seminarians. They also serve as co-chair of the Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Clergy Council, and as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Election & Campaign Practices committee. Additionally, Rev. KC is a witch. They make art by turning feelings into shapes and colors, choreograph prayerful dances honoring fat bodies in their living room, and pray for collective liberation with each breath, brush stroke, and twirl.
Rev. Theresa Ninán Soto is the lead minister of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. They have served on the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Team Committee of the UUA. Pastor Ninán wrote Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience in 2019. They are married to the Rev. Sean Parker Dennison. Pastor Ninán enjoys Detroit pizza and playing with Pico the rescue pup.
Lis Valle-Ruiz, she/her, (J.D., M.Div., Ph.D.) is an indecent theologian and playful scholARTivist. Her justice work, scholarly research, and art focus on the intersections of gender, sexuality, performance, spirituality, and race. Lis is the founder and director of www.pluriverSofia.net, which offers workshops, retreats, and spaces to experiment a different possible future of horizontal relationships and nurtures healing from religious violence and nurturing diverse spiritualities. Learn more about Lis at lisvalle.com.
Allison grew up rooted in a culturally German UCC church in St. Louis that her family has attended for 140 years, and she is now an active member of a multi-ethnic, inclusive, open & affirming UCC congregation where she lives in Portland, OR. She studied Gender, Women, & Sexuality at Grinnell College, and earned a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. A strategic systems-thinker, Allison manages development operations at Ecotrust, a nonprofit working for an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. She is also a trained facilitator, with a focus on leading conversations about wealth redistribution, whiteness, and racial justice. Some things that nourish her are: morning walks with her gregarious pit bull; growing food in her backyard; queer community potlucks; holding hands with her wife, Becca; and homemade rhubarb crisp.
Rev. Shana Chivon finds home in their audacious, Black, queer, gender non-conforming, sacred body. They labor with love at the intersections of trauma-informed community care, anti-racism and creating thriving, inclusive, divine spaces. She is the founder of Chaplain for the Culture, an online spiritual care community, a writer, educator, doula and a voracious reader. Rev. Shana Chivon is a Reiki practitioner and teacher that advocates for non-linear approaches to wholeness that feature and reference a loving, affirming Creator, who they often refer to as their transformative non-binary bestie. Rev. Shana believes that practicing liberative living for themselves and those in their community means encouraging us all to lay into radical truth telling, radical rest, radical joy and radical wellness. She is the mother of a 16-year-old son that inspires her to fight to ensure that this world sees him as a treasure and not a threat and is planning a wedding to her best friend and fiancé, Ingrid, that will feature all the black cookout classics with a touch of classic soft rock at the reception.
delfin is a social worker, writer, activist theologian, and diversity educator. Orginally from Miami, FL, delfin is of both Cuban and Salvadoran heritage. delfin has a Master in Divinity from Yale University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. A queer and trans Latinx diva of faith and spirit, delfin is passionate about intersectional justice and resilience, especially around the experiences of queer people of color. delfin currently serves as the Director of the Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center at University of California – Santa Cruz and is involved in different ways with Campus Pride, Soulforce, DignityUSA, and Queer Christian Fellowship. Delfin enjoys writing, cooking, spoiling other people’s pets, eating, queerly scheming, watching cartoons, spending time with their beloved and familia, untraditional liturgizing, new found passion for gardening, and preaching on their blog “La Lucha, Mi Púlpito.”
Rev. Nikkeya serves as an Associate Pastor at Christ the King Lutheran Church and a mission developer with the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She also serves as an ELCA Life and Grief Coach. She is a writer, creative arts practitioner, social-justice minded, dreamer, wonderer, questioner, analyzer, deep thinker, and deep laugher. She graduated with her BA from Carleton College and MA from Northern Illinois University both specializing in Media Theory and her MDiv. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where she specialized in Mission Development, Environmental and Racial Justice, and Womanist Theology. Her passions include helping people envision their dreams, putting together creative rituals, writing liturgy, talking about God in unexpected ways, and helping people realize how connected they are to the divine.
elba morales is a proud child of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. They hold a BA in Biblical Studies from Patten University (Oakland, CA) and a MA in Systemic and Philosophical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA). Their research focused on the intersection between theology, race, gender, and sexuality.
elba has spent the better part of the last decade working with grassroots organizations, developing resources and raising awareness for affordable housing, immigration, workers’ rights, tenant’s rights, queer rights, and more as Director of Development and Communications for various non-profit organizations. She is a development and communications strategist, special event planner, and visionary thinker. In 2021, elba started ERM Consulting to work with burgeoning non profits where she creates and implements development and communications infrastructure, supports organizational development, designs and launches annual campaigns, engages private donors, and plans special fundraising events.
elba was raised and lives in Oakland, CA. They live with her wonderful partner and dog. elba enjoys cooking, reading comics, hitting up queer dance parties, and spending time with their niblings.
Tyler Schwaller is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and the Ackerman/Hurdle Chaplaincy Chair at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. He is also an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church, with membership in the Iowa Annual Conference. Tyler recently completed a ThD (Doctor of Theology) at Harvard University in the area of New Testament and Early Christianity, writing a dissertation entitled “The Use of Slaves in Early Christianity: Slaves as Subjects of Life and Thought.” His research and teaching interests include slavery in the Roman Empire; women, gender, and sexuality in early Christianity; feminist, queer, and critical race theory; archaeology and material culture; as well as the ethics of biblical interpretation. These interests converge around particular concern for how we tell the stories of those who have been marginalized and for bringing attention to people’s intellectual, spiritual, and embodied strategies for navigating their social and material circumstances. As an out, queer clergy person in The UMC, Tyler finds particular joy and meaning through kinship and solidarity with other queer folks, whose lives and loves reflect something of the Good News.
Julia Watts Belser is a rabbi, scholar, activist, and spiritual teacher. She is a professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University and core faculty in Georgetown’s Disability Studies program, where she brings Jewish texts into conversation with queer, disability, and feminist ethics. Her most recent scholarly book is Rabbinic Tales of Destruction: Gender, Sex, and Disability in the Ruins of Jerusalem. A passionate advocate for disability and gender justice, she co-authored the Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, developed in collaboration with disability activists from 42 countries, to help challenge the root causes of poverty, gender violence, and disability discrimination. She currently directs a project on disability, climate change, and environmental justice – and when she’s not teaching or writing, she’s a passionate wheelchair hiker.
Grace Imathiu is a citizen of the world who was born in Kenya and educated in England, USA, Israel, and Kenya. Called into the preaching work early in life, Grace was among the first women ordained in the Methodist Church in Kenya, by her father who was her Presiding Bishop for 25 years! Grace is a founding member of Kenya Methodist University and has served as a short term missionary in Tanzania, a youth director in Washington, a circuit minister in rural Kenya, an associate pastor in Tennessee, a seminary professor in Kentucky and in Meru, a district superintendent in Nairobi, an interim pastor in Wisconsin, a Senior Pastor to large urban churches and a preacher in Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, Ireland, Denmark, Togo and Estonia. Grace is married to David and is mother to one teenage son.
Wonhee Anne Joh is Professor of Theology and Culture at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, the faculty Director of Asian American Ministry Center as well as Faculty Affiliate in the Departments of Religious Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University and member of the research faculty cohort on Religion, Race and Global Politics of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Joh’s research interests are at the intersection of constructive theology, transpacific Asian American studies/theologies, empire and post/decolonial studies, war, migration, militarism, carcerality, race, gender, sexuality, cold war, trauma studies, affect theory, global anti-colonial movements, internationalism and political theologies. Her publications include Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology and she is co- editor of Critical Theology Against US Militarism in Asia: Decolonization and Deimperialization, and Feminist Praxis Against US Militarism. Forthcoming from Fordham University Press is Trauma, Affect and Race as well as numerous other articles and chapters.