Marie Alford-Harkey is the President and CEO of the Religious Institute, a national multifaith nonprofit dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society. She is the lead author of the Religious Institute publication Making the Invisible Visible: Bisexuality in Faith Communities, and has leads workshops on faith and sexuality. An educator with twenty years of classroom experience, Marie holds a Master of Arts degree in French literature from Wayne State University, and earned her Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2010. She met her wife, April, in seminary. Marie is in the process of preparing for ordained ministry in the Metropolitan Community Church.
Marie blogs sporadically at Love is Strong as Death.
Jemma Allen – Prayers, Editor-at-large
Jemma is a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. She works as a counsellor and spiritual director, and is a PhD student at the University of Auckland in the counselling department. Her sanity strategies include knitting shawls, loving dogs, Skyping friends and eating veggies.
Denise Anderson is a Presbyterian Church (USA) Teaching Elder living in the Washington metropolitan area and Co-Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Not being a “cradle Presbyterian” herself, she also spent some time in the Baptist and Methodist traditions and so has a passion for ecumenical dialogue. She’s a proud graduate of Howard University School of Divinity, where she developed her interests in social justice, liberation theology, and feminist/womanist religious thought. She is happily married to the unspeakably awesome Carter and together they have a little girl who aspires to be a shifu in kung fu one day.
Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse, multi-cultural church which seeks to be a place of grace in its Detroit neighborhood. She has been a hospice chaplain and worked in marketing in previous vocational lives. She has contributed to Presbyterian Outlook, Horizons, and Bereavement Magazine, and writes regularly for The Immediate Word on SermonSuite.com.
Her greatest spiritual teachers are her family, including her husband and teenage daughter, who provide regular lessons in forgiveness, letting go, patience, laughter and grace.
Jennifer Garrison Brownell has served churches in Seattle WA and Portland OR. Beginning in Nov 2015, she is serving as interim pastor at First Congregational Church in Vancouver WA. She received a Master of Divinity from Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. Jennifer is the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, and she blogs at There Is A River. A longtime member of the RevGals web ring, she wrote for Tuesday Lectionary Leanings for several years.
Jennifer lives in the suburbs behind a purple door with her husband, his wheelchair, their teen son and two unruly pooches, and is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
Barbara Bruneau is an ELCA Lutheran pastor. She was originally encouraged to go into ministry by her college campus pastor. She served small town and rural congregations in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin until her retirement in 2017. She now lives in Southeastern Minnesota, where she provides interim ministry to congregations in transition between pastors and shares her home with a dog named Sadie and two cats named Russell and Khaleesi. She is an amateur knitter and weaver, with a stash of yarn that could easily carry her through the Second Coming.
Barbara is an occasional blogger about pets, yarn, ministry, and life in general at An Explosion of Texture and Color.
Rev. Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy is the Pastor and Teacher of First Church Congregational, United Church of Christ, in Rochester, NH since 2012. Despite trying hard to become an academic, with a focus on politics, law, and social justice, Eliza finally gave in to God’s sense of humor in the form of a call to ministry. She now combines her earlier passions with a love of the Gospel, and strives to move herself and her congregation out of the realm of the theoretical and into the practical, hands-on work of discipleship. She strives as well to get her mostly-white, New England congregation to move to the beat, clapping on one and three. So far the Holy Spirit has given more success with the former than the latter, but she holds out hope.
As a layperson, her vocation is supporting ministry, especially that of clergywomen. She works as a university administrator in international programs. She’s a lifelong liberal Episcopalian, a knitter, and a Maltese dog lover. She has two adult stepchildren and a contractor husband. When not reading sermons for fun, she reads everything else.
She is excited to be a participant in the Sewanee Education for Ministry program.
Mary Beth blogs at Terrapin Station.
Rev. Erin Counihan is blessed to serve as pastor at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO. She worked 11 years in disaster response and social services before God lovingly shoved her into ordained ministry. She enjoys working for justice and peace, engaging in debates with trusted friends, listening to her kid sing, telling strangers they’re loved, taking ridiculously long dog walks, hanging with Jesus, spontaneously dancing, and eating Cheetos. (Not always in that order.)
Rev. Robin Craig, ordained in the PC(USA), serves as the pastor of the Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Euclid, OH. She is also a spiritual director and retreat leader trained in the Ignatian tradition. Robin occasionally teaches as an adjunct faculty member at John Carroll University, is a field advocate and local chapter board member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and describes herself as a voracious reader, eager photographer, lackadaisical birder, and ambitious traveler who loves to explore the world as a walker, hiker, canoeist, tourist, and pilgrim. Robin and her husband are the parents of three children and live in Cleveland, Ohio.
Liz Crumlish serves as a minister in the Church of Scotland, encouraging renewal, and lives on the south west coast of Scotland. She discovered the supportive online community of the RevGals in 2007 and has never looked back. She is passionate about having fun while sharing the gospel and nurturing and supporting others in ministry. She cannot imagine not living close to the sea. The proximity of water, wherever she finds it, calls out to her to take off her shoes and get her feet wet.
Liz blogs at Something to Stand On and journalling. She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals board, serving as Secretary, and is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
Married to Neil for over 25 years, they have a daughter Kirsti, 22, and a son Andrew, 20, two dogs and a cat. Neil works in the Scotch whisky industry as a project manager. Shuna serves the church nationally on their Church & Society Council. Away from church life Shuna enjoys reading thrillers and playing in a local brass band and takes a keen interest in current affairs. She got involved with RevGals through our Facebook group and our many Scottish connections.
Stacey Simpson Duke – Editor-at-Large
Stacey is an ordained American Baptist minister and has served since 2001 (along with her husband, Paul) as Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as Campus Minister for the American Baptist Campus Foundation at the University of Michigan. She has been a contributing writer for Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary(Westminster/John Knox Press), Feasting on the Gospels: Matthew (WJK), Lectionary Homiletics, The Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual, and The Christian Century. A transplanted Georgia girl, Stacey is raising twin sons who love Michigan winters and who think it’s cool that their mom has a foreign accent.
Stacey is a past board member for RevGalBlogPals, Inc. and was the longtime edtior of Ask the Matriarch. She blogs about knitting, spinning (yarn), and other crafty pursuits at earthchicknits. She is also a contributor to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
Anne Fraley is rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in South Windsor, CT. A life-long dog-lover, she escapes the demands of parish life volunteering for animal rescue groups.
Anne blogs at Reverent Irreverence.
Marci Glass – The Pastoral is Political, Revised Common Lectionary, Editor-at-large
Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary.When she’s not herding cats or driving soccer carpools, Marci plays the cello, runs (albeit slowly) on trails near her home, and tries to leave room in her life for grace to break through.
Rachel Hackenberg – Editor-at-Large, Prayers, Revised Common Lectionary, Friday Festival
Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, workshop & retreat leader, and author who blogs at Rachel G. Hackenberg. She led the program at RevGals’ Big Event 7.0 in 2013 and will be back to lead RevGals REVive in October, 2015.
Rachel’s books, Writing to God and Writing to God: Kids’ Edition, creatively engage people of all ages in the spiritual discipline of prayer-writing. She also writes for Weavings and Alive Now magazines and blogs in the religion section of Huffington Post.
Rachel currently serves in judicatory ministry. She is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
Emily Heitzman is the Pastor of Youth and Households for three multicultural congregations in the neighborhood of Edgewater in Chicago. This post was originally published at her blog, Musings from a Bricolage. A fellow Chicago pastor described Emily as a denominational “bricolage,” a word usually used to refer to artwork or some other form of creation, meaning: “something made or put together using whatever materials happen to be available.” As a graduate of a United Methodist seminary, an ordained clergy in the Presbyterian (USA) denomination, and a pastor of three Lutheran (ELCA) congregations (who formerly served in Evangelical Covenant, American Baptist, and Congregational churches), Emily decided that instead of calling herself a “Presbaptutherist,” bricolage was a much better (and more fun) fit.
Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, MN. Since her ordination in 1992, she has been a consistent advocate for youth, LGBT people, people with development disabilities, and people with severe mental illness. Rachael has served in many different ministry settings both traditional and decidedly nontraditional. She maintains a weekly blog based on the RCL and a vlog aimed at enticing people to contemplate faith outside the walls of the church. The links to both of these and information about her published works are on her website, Beach Theology.
Rachael enjoys spending time with her wife and two cats, as well as painting, reading, and playing Scrabble.
Cindi Knox – The Pastoral is Political, Editor-at-Large
Rev. Cindi Knox is pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Evanston, Illinois. Cindi is a woman of transsexual history, transitioning in 1985, and met her wife Mary in 1989. She has one daughter, a stepdaughter, and two step-grandchildren.
For fun she plays guitar and takes long distance motorcycle trips. Her sermons and occasional theological rants are at Ministerial Musings. RevGals is grateful to have Cindi and her technical skills on the blog team!
L.T. (Lisa) is an ordained elder and serves in a non–denominational Christian church, Sons of God Outreach (SOGO) Christian Ministries, in the Washington Metropolitan area. She has been living a life of service to others for more than 30 years! In the midst of serving she has raised and successfully launched two amazing children into adulthood. L.T. is now celebrating life as an empty nester and the Founder & CEO of Kick Boxing Believers, L.L.C. a transformational business. She is dedicated to helping individuals with the spiritual secrets to identify and kick limiting fears/beliefs keeping them from living a more joyful, healthy and abundantly faith-filled out-of-the-box life.
L.T. blogs regularly at Kick-Boxing Believers. She is also a featured author in the anthology The Fearless Living Experience: Bold & Empowered Women Share Their Triumph Over Life’s Curveballs.
A rock star from the start, the Reverend Shannon Meacham belted out a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in institutional spiritual matters that most people don’t believe in anyway, from the University of Louisville. Because she couldn’t get enough of the annoying ways people say “Loueyville” she moved across town to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary for a Master of Divinity, a degree for young idealists and middle age crazies. Before the institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) self-imploded they were kind enough to hand out a piece of paper saying “Go forth and be an underpaid secretary in the name of God.” Shannon is the mother of two exhausting children Maggie and Gus. She currently serves Ashland Presbyterian Church in the safest part of Baltimore, the suburbs. You can find her musings about any and all subjects on her personal blog, Pulpit Shenanigans.
Karla Miller is a United Church of Christ Pastor who knows the truth about cats and dogs, as she and her spouse, Liz, have opened their home to many rescues. She lives in a Boston suburb; her interests include art, people, politics, social issues, pocketbooks, shoes, shoes, chocolate, hiking, running, early evening when the sun is getting tired, gardening, good wine, long dinners with friends, discovering new music, and playing in clay. She also loves the Red Sox.
Katya Ouchakof is pastor at Lake Edge Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Madison, WI. She is particularly passionate about issues relating to gender equity, racial/cultural sensitivity, and care of creation. When not addressing existential crises, she can be found canoeing, knitting, watching Star Wars, entertaining her niece and nephew, or playing board games with her husband.
Teri Peterson – Meet ‘n Greet, Editor-at-Large
Teri Peterson is a Presbyterian pastor in the suburbs of Chicago. She holds a degree in clarinet performance from DePaul University and an MDiv from Columbia Theological Seminary. She enjoys exploring new cities, being a bit of a music snob, writing, and coming up with creative ideas for worship. Teri is a contributing author to the Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2014 and 2015, and co-authored Who’s Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation with her best friend. Teri is a great lover of farmer’s markets, reading, Doctor Who, snuggling with kitties, and any TV show made by Joss Whedon.
She is a member of the Board of RevGalBlogPals, Inc. and is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. She currently serves as Rector at Christ Church in Dearborn, Michigan. She serves the church at large as the Co-Convenor of the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, a justice advocacy group within the Episcopal Church. Terri spent sixteen years away from the institutional church but made her way back as a young wife and mom. This hiatus gives her some perspective on the challenges of the church today. Married more than half her life to the same man they have raised two children, a daughter and a son. In her free time Terri likes to practice yoga, walk her dogs, knit, and read. She has been a member of the RevGals since 2006 and served on our board until 2013.
Terri blogs at Seeking Authentic Voice.
Julie Rennick was born in England but made Scotland her home in the late 1980s. She was a stay at home mum to her three boys, before going back into work in the 90s. Raised a Roman Catholic, she settled her restless spirit by moving to the Church of Scotland; she trained as a lay preacher (Reader) and then could deny the Spirit’s prompting no longer, so applied to train for full time ministry in 2001. She is still astonished that she was accepted! Ordained to her first pastoral charge in 2005, she translated to a small country parish in 2011 where she ministers to a village in the Scottish Borders. She loves to write, to explore the power of words, and to let the hand of the Creator inspire through the amazing countryside she lives in.
Rev. Lia Scholl is not-that-kind-of-Baptist preacher and pastor in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (U.S.) and is the author of I Heart Sex Workers (Chalice Press, 2013).
Pastor Julia Seymour has been the ordained minister at Lutheran Church of Hope (ELCA), Anchorage, Alaska since August 2008. A participant in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1996, Julia was christened in the Assembly of God tradition, baptized in the Southern Baptist Convention, influenced by reformed Judaism, and confirmed in the Episcopal Church (USA). She believes strongly in ecumenical and interfaith cooperation.
Julia enjoys reading, writing, crochet, and outdoor activities. She lives with her husband, their two young children, and their devoted Labrador retriever in Alaska.
Angela Shannon is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She currently serves as the associate pastor of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas. Angela enjoys “flipping congregations.” This means she is passionate about teaching congregations how to live fully as communities of faith.
Angela is a Benedictine Oblate. She enjoys gardening, reading and zentangle. She is cat mom to a very spoiled orange tabby cat, Hiram.
Monica Smith (aka esperanza) is a Presbyterian supply preacher, a mama of two girls, and wife to a Methodist pastor. She has worked in churches of all sizes and shapes over the course of 13 years of ordained ministry. Procastinating sewing projects, arbitrating toy disputes, and reading occupy what’s left of her free time. Her vices are chocolate, diet Coke, old-fashioned popcorn, and trashy novels.
Monica is not a blogger, but she is a longtime member of the Preacher Party family and is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
Martha Spong – Webmaster, The Pastoral is Political
Martha Spong is the Executive Director of RevGalBlogPals, a writer, and a United Church of Christ pastor who specializes in transitional/interim ministry. For RevGals, she is one part Webmaster, one part Social Media Minister, one part event planner and one part Dreamer of What Might Lie Ahead. In her spare time, Martha knits a lot for people she loves, including her wife, Kathryn Johnston, a Presbyterian pastor. They have four “hers and hers” children, two cats, and a quickly-becoming-big dog.
Rev. Sharon M. Temple is a retired United Church of Christ living in Austin, TX. Sharon convenes our Ask the Matriarch feature, writes for The Pastor is Political, and serves on the RevGals board.
Rev. Michelle L. Torigian is the pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Old Blue Rock Road in Cincinnati, Ohio. As this is her first call to ministry, Torigian worked in fundraising and marketing for non-profits as her previous career before seminary. She is the author of a number of articles on the Huffington Post Religion page including “Between Childless and Childfree,” a reflection for Mother’s Day. To help capture God’s presence in the small moments in life, Torigian pulls out her phone and Instagrams the unique view in front of her.
Torigian regularly posts her musings on current events, justice issues, pop culture and theology at www.michelletorigian.com, and she is among the contributors to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).
Rev. Deborah (Deb) Vaughn is a professional chaplain working in the Washington, DC area where she lives with her husband, various numbers of cats, and young adult daughters. Her many interests include music, public speaking, photography, blogging, and baking a mean loaf of bread. She is an occasional gardener and an avid Ohio State football fan.
Once in a while, she catches up on the laundry.
Gord describes himself on his Twitter account as “Cleric, father, husband, rabble-rouser”. And to be truthful he thinks he could probably do all of those things better. Gord has been an Ordained Minister in the United Church of Canada since 2001. For the first nine years he served in a resource town in Northwestern Ontario and more recently in Northern Alberta. He shares his life with his partner Patty, their four daughters, and a female dog with a severe anxiety disorder. Some days he feels a little bit outnumbered.