I get by with a little help from my friends
Mentor of the Month
Jesus the Evangelist
“‘Winning people to Jesus’ is what I was taught and it left me constantly wanting more, praying for better, striving for success, feeling like a failure, and hurting others. I came to realize that this is not evangelism. It’s legalism. And, legalism kills.”
In 2003, Mark Van Steenwyk and his wife Amy founded the Mennonite Worker (formerly Missio Dei), where they still reside. The Mennonite Worker is committed to hospitality, simplicity, prayer, peacemaking, and resistance. He’s the author of A Wolf at the Gate, The unKingdom of God and That Holy Anarchist. He’s nurtured and networked with groups around North America that are exploring the radical implications of Jesus’ life and teaching.
Reba Riley is the author of Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing in 30 Religions (Chalice Press, April 2015) in which she explored thirty religions in her thirtieth year (including fasting). She is the PTCS blogger at Patheos.com. When her article naming Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome went viral, she also became the accidental founder of the PTCS community.
Slim Moon started Kill Rock Stars Records in 1991. He has helped launch the musical careers of many bands and solo artists, including The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, Bikini Kill and many others. Slim has worked in Artists and Repertoire (A&R) for Nonesuch Records and Rykodisc. A musical peer and friend of Kurt Cobain, Slim was embedded in the American grunge and punk scenes, as well as the addictive subculture that accompanied. Now in recovery, he is in seminary and is serving as a minister at at Unitarian-Universalist Church in Portland, OR.
Alan Chambers was the former president of Exodus International and co-founder of Speak. Love. Before coming to Exodus, Chambers served on the pastoral team at Calvary Assembly of God, one of the largest churches in Orlando. In 2013, Chambers repudiated the organization’s mission of employing “ex-gay” or “reparative therapy” in a nearly hour-long talk at the organization’s 38th annual meeting. He co-founded Speak. Love. with two other former Exodus leaders later that year.
Author, speaker and spiritual leader Romal Tune is the embodiment of living beyond the label. After overcoming the setbacks of his upbringing and the destructive choices of his youth, he is now a sought out communicator, community strategist, and education consultant. His platform, one of the most potent and rich stories of hope you’ll ever hear, is REDEMPTION. If it is true that a story must be lived before it is told, Romal’s story of redemption is as genuine as it is moving. With every opportunity he has to impact decision makers or crowds of people around the world, Romal is a cultivator of hope and dignity, moving individuals from setbacks to success, something he knows full well.
Rev. David Moore has served as a pastoral minister for the past 26 years. He is a perpetual student, having taken L.I.F.E. satellite courses in Oxnard in the seventies, attending the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, the Fuller Institute of Church Growth, and several courses in a variety of fields at community colleges, UC Extension, The School of Pastoral Nurture, completed my MMin at St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, CA. He recently completed ThD research on how the process of doctrinal standardization during the church’s first few centuries relates to Christian triumphalism at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Dr. Joe Bessler is a Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Assessment. He has expertise in theology, church and state issues, and in the “historical Jesus.” A Scandalous Jesus: How Three Historic Quests Changed Theology for the Better, focuses on the importance of the historical Jesus and it’s importance specifically in disrupting religious and political systems in order for necessary change to emerge.
Rev. Leroy Barber is an author, speaker and Global Executive Director for the nonprofit, Word Made Flesh. He has dedicated more than 20 years to eradicating poverty, confronting homelessness, restoring local neighborhoods, healing racism, and living what Dr. King called “the beloved community.” Rev. Barber is on the boards of Mission Year and the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He is the author of New Neighbor: An Invitation to Join Beloved Community, and Everyday Missions: How Ordinary People Can Change the World His third book is titled Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and White: Who’s More Precious In God’s Sight?
Hussein Rashid is a proud Muslim and native New Yorker. He is currently a faculty member at Hofstra University and Associate Editor at Religion Dispatches. He is the convener of islamicate and a contributor to Talk Islam and AltMuslimah; his work has appeared at City of Brass, Goat Milk, and CNN.com. He has appeared on CBS Evening News, CNN, Russia Today, Channel 4(UK), State of Belief – Air America Radio, and Iqra TV(Saudi Arabia). He is also an instructor at Quest: A Center for Spiritual Inquiry at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. As a Nizari Ismaili Muslim, he believes his faith guides him to do good in this world, to leave the world in a better state than he found for his, and others’, children.
Sandhya Jha serves as founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations creating access, opportunity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area. She also serves as Director of Interfaith Programs for East Bay Housing Organizations, where she organizes faith communities to advocate for housing as a human right and spiritual mandate throughout California’s Bay Area. Former pastor of First Christian Church of Oakland and former regional staff with Christian Churches of Northern California-Nevada, Sandhya is the author of Room at the Table, the history of people of color in the Disciples of Christ, and she has another book coming out from Chalice Press in March on the subject of race and spirituality in America. She serves as a consultant with Hope Partnership and a core organizer trainer with Reconciliation Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine. He is currently helping to build a family tree of the entire world and holding the biggest family reunion ever in 2015.
Dr. Sarah Morice-Brubaker is an author, associate editor and blogger for Religion Dispatches, and is Assistant Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary. Her areas of study include: Social media in the life of the church; The doctrine of the Trinity; Body image and churches’ response; and Christianity and reproductive health.
Phil Morice-Brubaker is the Coordinator for Roots of Justice, a nonprofit in Tulsa, OK committed to liberation of all persons from oppression, by providing strategies and tools for educating, organizing and renewing persons, institutions and systems. He is the primary caregiver for his and Sarah’s children and he holds a Master’s of Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School.