The creators behind the Presbyterians Today blog, One Church Many Voices
Antonio “Tony” Aja
WRITING IN THE MARGINS
Thinking with a not-so-colonized mind
Antonio (Tony) Aja is a teaching elder member of the Presbytery of Santa Fe in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and currently serves as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at McCormick Theological Seminary. A former refugee from Cuba, Tony has developed new ministries with refugees and immigrants in Florida and Kentucky. He has been a missionary, pastor, executive director of an ecumenical ministry, and staff at the PC(USA) headquarters.
T. Denise Anderson
DOWN LIKE WATERS
The justice-minded musings of a minister
Tawnya Denise Anderson (you can call her Denise) is a PC(USA) teaching elder and the pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church in Temple Hills, Maryland, where she was ordained. Before serving there, she led the English Ministry at Taiwanese Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, a faith community of mostly second-generation Taiwanese Americans. She lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, with her husband and daughter and is a proud graduate of Howard University School of Divinity. She likes to sew, take in concerts, and hop on a bus to New York City for no reason at all. She blogs at Soula Scriptura.
FRESH FROM THE FARM
A pastor of a rural church explores matters of faith
Ben Beres is the pastor of Huntsville Presbyterian Church in Ohio and a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. For three years, he held a young adult and graduate fellowship at Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. For five years before that, he did campus ministry in Pittsburgh, transforming college students so that they could transform the world.
NOT QUITE RIGHT
One slightly unhinged pastor’s attempt to love (and laugh with) a slightly unhinged church, from the inside out.
Joshua Bower is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Albany, Georgia. His passions include laughing (especially in church), Starbucks Italian Roast, the Buffalo Bills, trying new things in old churches, empowering those in poverty, and being half of a clergy couple raising two kids who touch his soul and try his patience daily. Find Josh on Facebook.
A MOTE IN MINERVA’S EYE
Seeing without categorizing
Anita Coleman is a wife, mother, writer, and independent scholar who lives in southern California and enjoys electronics, gardens, and books. She is the recipient of a 2006 award from the Library of Congress for her pioneering work with metadata education and a 2007 Library Journal Movers & Shakers award, given to those shaping the future of libraries. Anita’s passion for intellectual access and freedom of information found new life when she began to follow Jesus 24/7. She has published many books and blogs about this. Path of Grace, her first children’s book, was published in 2015. Anita serves on the board of the Presbyterian Writers Guild and is active in Presbyterian Women.
David R. Collins
Blunt truth about church growth
David R. Collins is the co-pastor of Maitland Presbyterian Church near Orlando, Florida. He graduated with an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. Before serving at Maitland, he was first the co-pastor and then the pastor of Corinth Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio. Before that, he was a co-associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, Iowa, and a co-youth director and Young Life church partner at First Presbyterian Church in Deland, Florida.
SIMPLICITY ON THE FAR SIDE OF COMPLEXITY
“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes
Jodi Craiglow is an adjunct professor and PhD student at Trinity International University, a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church in Libertyville, Illinois, and a curriculum developer for the Synod of Mid America’s Theocademy. In what spare time she has, she loves to sing and travel (together, if the opportunity affords).
POKING AT ELEPHANTS
An evangelical’s (un)apologetic for the church
Brandon Gaide serves as associate pastor of Next Generation Ministries at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas, where he works to develop college students and young adults into passionate, fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ. He grew up in Texas and Indonesia and graduated from the University of Texas, Regent College, and Fuller Seminary. He loves the church, wit, coffee, metaphors, and his wife and two baby girls.
Magdalena I. García
JUSTLEROS = MORE THAN JUST NONSENSE OR DISPARATES
A space for a contemporary woman disciple to give voice to justice concerns in a world where some still think that women’s words are just leros (Greek for “nonsense”) or, in Spanish, disparates
Magdalena I. García is a PC(USA) teaching elder and a hospice chaplain for Vitas Healthcare in Chicago. She is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary and a recipient of the 2008 PC(USA) Women of Faith Award. She generally writes poetry, often both in Spanish and English, for this blog. For permission to use content, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO SHAME ZONE
One young person’s subversive thoughts on church and society
Tad Hopp graduated in 2015 from San Francisco Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. He enjoys a good movie, singing karaoke, and anything involving the arts (theater, ballet, opera), and is a self-proclaimed Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter nerd! He served as a Young Adult Volunteer in Chicago (2010–2011) working with the homeless queer population. He is a lifelong Presbyterian, an ordained ruling elder and deacon, and currently a candidate for ordination.
Always in process
Mihee Kim-Kort is a Presbyterian pastor and UKirk college minister at Indiana University in Bloomington. Before taking that call, she served two congregations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She has published three books: Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian American Feminist Theology, Streams Run Uphill: Conversations with Young Clergywomen of Color, and Yoked: Stories of a Clergy Couple in Marriage, Family, and Ministry.
LIVING IN BETWEEN
Adventures of a Presbyterian pastor on a Jesuit campus
Abby King-Kaiser is the assistant director for Ecumenical and Multifaith Ministry at the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice at Xavier University. She returned to her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, for this call after a long sojourn in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a coffee snob, occasional painter, and obsessive, though amateur, Instagrammer (@revabbykk).
One pastor’s attempt to run for the praise of Jesus’ glory
Nicole Lock is currently a teaching elder at-large in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. She chairs her presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry. She also serves as vice president of the presiding board of The Fellowship Community. In addition, Nicole is a DMin student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a focus on transforming congregations. She is passionate about nurturing disciple-making disciples of Jesus Christ through missional models for spiritual formation. When she is not at Starbucks, you’ll likely find her running the streets of Atlanta as a volunteer coach with the Atlanta Track Club. She and her husband, James, live in Grayson, Georgia.
Lisa M. Lopez
Stumbling our way into God’s future for the church
Lisa M. Lopez is the solo pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, a joyful multicultural congregation in Hanover Park, Illinois. She says that she “may or may not” be addicted to books, coffee, and deep conversations about life in the kingdom of God. She is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary.
WHISPERING WITH THE WIND
Sharing a witness of Word and thought, as led by the Spirit. Let anyone who has ears . . .
Derrick McQueen is a PhD candidate at Union Theological Seminary, the moderator of the Presbytery of New York City, and assistant director of community partnerships for Columbia University’s Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice. Derrick has worked as a community activist and social worker and with Union’s Poverty Initiative, focusing on the intersection of arts and movement building. With a BA in theater arts, is also a spiritual multimedia artist.
Joseph L. Morrow
THE MOVEABLE FEAST
Public theology and church beyond the sanctuary
Joseph L. Morrow is the campus engagement manager for Interfaith Youth Core. Joe comes to IFYC with professional experience in Christian ministry, higher education, non-profit organizations, and corporate settings. An ordained PC(USA) teaching elder, he understands his interfaith work as an embodiment of theological commitments to neighborly love. Joe received his M.Div. from North Park Theology Seminary and BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. When not at IFYC, you’ll find Joe reading, cooking, eating, and enjoying outdoor sports.
If not now, when?
Baptized, reared, and ordained a ruling elder in the Bronx at the age of fourteen, Rose Niles has served the church as a teaching elder, pastor, and supporter of theological education. Rose is bi-racial, a daughter of immigrant parents, a mother of one phenomenal woman, and a lifelong pilgrim. Amazed, she finds herself in Houston, Texas, serving Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary on this leg of the pilgrim journey. You can read more of her poems here.
Jeffrey A. Schooley
SOULS OF WHITE FOLKS
A white man’s frank and repentant exploration of how racism finds a home in white folks’ souls.
TLC: THINK LIKE A CHRISTIAN
Seeking transformation through the renewal of our minds
Jeffrey A. Schooley is a teaching elder at Center Presbyterian Church in McMurray, Pennsylvania. He is also a PhD in Theology candidate at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Biking, Netflix, reading, teaching, and spending time with his wife and dog round out the rest of his life. He can be reached at ThinkLikeChristians@gmail.com.
Shanell T. Smith
Things that make you go hmm . . .
Shanell T. Smith is a teaching elder in the PC(USA) and assistant professor of New Testament and Christian origins at Hartford Seminary. She earned her PhD from Drew University and her MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. As an African American woman, she finds that she is uniquely positioned to bring new perspectives and questions to critical New Testament study beyond traditional, feminist, and African American (male) inquiry. She generally writes poetry for this blog.
Conversations with church leaders about projects that matter
Rocky Supinger has been the associate pastor at Claremont Presbyterian Church in California since 2008. His primary responsibilities are for junion high and high school youth. Rocky came to Claremont with his wife Meredith from Kansas City, Missouri, where he served for three years after completing his MDiv degree at Princeton Theological Seminary. He and Meredith are graduates of Sterling College in Kansas, and they have one daughter, Laura. He blogs and podcasts at yorocko.com.
CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE
Adventures of a mid council leader striving to network, enable, and encourage
Amaury Tañón-Santos is the synod networker for the Synod of the Northeast. His ministry is to connect and network people, congregations, and presbyteries with common passions in ministry—commonalities they wouldn’t otherwise know about due to the regional and demographic diversity of the synod. A teaching elder and member of Elizabeth Presbytery, Amaury is also the parish associate of Nuevas Fronteras Presbyterian Church, a congregation that serves the Latino/a community of the greater Plainfield, New Jersey, area.
REFLECTIONS FROM THE FRONTLINE
A shared space to encounter God’s marvelous mission among all peoples
Roberta Updegraff is the author of six mysteries with Guidepost Books and was featured in their compilation Prayers for Every Need. She writes regularly for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s Mission Mosaic, and her photographs have been featured on the cover. Her work has appeared in diverse publications including Christianity Today and Focus on the Family. She is also an ambassador for Special Offerings. She and her husband support Hogar de Niños Renacer (Home of Reborn Children), an orphanage in Honduras where Roberta volunteers several weeks each year. They live in northern Pennsylvania. Visit her website.
Redefining where and when church happens
Mieke Vandersall is the founding pastor of Not So Churchy and a fundraising consultant with Wingo, Inc. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, she has nearly 20 years of experience working with LGBTQ people of faith in the PC(USA) through community building and organizing, fundraising, and directorial leadership. She lives with her wife and their dog in New York City.
Adam Walker Cleaveland
SCRIBBLING OUTSIDE THE LINES
Art and words that play beyond the boundaries in hopes of finding God and inspiration
Adam Walker Cleaveland is a pastor who lives in Chicago. He loves thinking about the future of the church, playing with his three-year-old son and drawing and sketchnoting. Adam blogs at pomomusings.com, where he writes about ministry, theology, art, and social media. You can find Adam online at adamwc.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/adamwc, or on Twitter at @adamwc.
Stories of mustard seeds and mountains
Sue Washburn is a freelance writer and bivocational pastor at Reunion Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. She strives to teach about the love of Christ in ways that heal hurts, honor differences, and create strong communities. She has done this as a pastor, journalist, curriculum writer, and communications consultant. Her work has appeared frequently in Presbyterians Today and The Thoughtful Christian.
Derrick L. Weston
You can take the pastor out of the church, but you can’t take the Church out of the pastor.
Derrick L. Weston is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a community builder for the 29th Street Community Center, and cohost of the podcast God Complex Radio. In Baltimore, Derrick works to build and strengthen vibrant urban communities as they respond in positive ways to trauma; this means, in part, ensuring safe streets, quality housing, strong public schools, and livability.
Relevant truth telling with a queer twist
Layton E. Williams is a teaching elder currently serving as the pastoral resident at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Her ministry focuses on young adults, adult education, and a jazz worship service. Layton grew up in Atlanta and went to college at the University of Georgia. After college, she moved to Austin, Texas, where she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and spent three years working with middle and high school students as a nonprofit educator before attending Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
PATRICK DAVID HEERY
Patrick David Heery is a teaching elder in the PC(USA) and editor of Presbyterians Today. Before taking on that role, he worked with the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy as the creator and managing editor of Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice. Patrick earned degrees in English and Classics at Ohio University and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2011. He is an Eagle Scout, has worked as a prison and hospital chaplain, is formally trained in faith-based community organizing, and was formerly staff for the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues Initiative at Ohio University, where he helped facilitate constructive discussion of religion, race, and gender.