I grew up in Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM), attended and then provided leadership in many areas of the youth program (including clerking Friends Youth Executive Council in college), served as Peace Education Coordinator, and ministered in a variety of youth ministry and pastoral internships. Meetings I have regularly attended include Newberg Friends, Netarts, and North Valley. In 2009, I received a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. While there, I sojourned with Princeton Monthly Meeting (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting). Since 2011, I have worked as adjunct faculty at George Fox University and its seminary, and I am currently finishing up a PhD in environmental studies with a focus on ecotheology.
The community of NWYM has shaped me in many ways, and it is with sadness that I leave that group, but it also feels freeing. I worked internally in NWYM to attempt to get our language and practice on LGBTQ+ relationships changed, and to speak for unity when the elders decided to “release” West Hills. Now that unity is no longer an option, I feel free and joyous about the opportunity to dream and grow, to be stretched and challenged together, and to open ourselves fully to the leading of the Holy Spirit in and through one another. I hope that we can do the deep work of reconciliation regarding treatment of LGBTQ+ people, and in discerning what we are “for.” My personal vision is that we will begin working on reconciliation between people groups, God, and creation, attending to the intersection of injustices we face, and our own participation in the causes of these injustices. In what ways are we being invited to love God and our neighbors?
The church is in an important period of reformation, I believe. We are just one small part of it, and there are many feeling the pull to a radically inclusive, loving, justice-filled, Spirit-led, creative, joyful and hopeful community, solidly grounded in Christ. I feel we are in line with the work of the the Present Teacher in the world right now. May we be faithful. I am excited to begin this new venture with all of you.
Co-clerk, Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends