We’re excited to welcome a variety of faith leaders and policy experts to our Lutheran Day to inspire and inform our advocacy as Church together!

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton was reelected to serve a second six-year term as ELCA presiding bishop at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Eaton is the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop and was first elected at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the College of Wooster.

Eaton was ordained in 1981 and served three different congregations in Ohio before being elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod in 2006. She was reelected synod bishop in May 2013, shortly before her election as ELCA presiding bishop.

Eaton’s four emphases for the ELCA are: We are church; We are Lutheran; We are church together; We are church for the sake of the world. These four emphases are fundamental to identifying who the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is.

In 2015, under Eaton’s leadership, the ELCA underwent an extensive vision process to help this church journey faithfully and effectively together in the years ahead. The process resulted in Future Directions 2025, a strategic framework that helps shared leadership across the ELCA realize common aspirations and better face the challenges of this church.

In addition, with Eaton’s guidance, the ELCA launched Bishop Eaton’s Leadership Initiative, which encourages all ELCA members to seek out and inspire gifted people in our congregations and communities to consider a call to the ministry of the gospel.

As chief ecumenical officer of the ELCA, she represents this church in a wide range of ecumenical and interfaith settings. She is vice president for North America on the Council of the Lutheran World Federation and serves on the governing board and development committee of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and on the Religions for Peace USA Council of Presidents.

As presiding bishop, Eaton travels extensively, representing the ELCA in a variety of capacities. This has included a visit to a Syrian refugee camp; commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with Lutherans from around the world in Namibia; participating in an ecumenical service to commemorate the Reformation in the Lund, Sweden, cathedral with Pope Francis; visiting with migrants in Honduras; and attending the fifth consultation of women pastors and theologians in Tanzania.

Eaton’s husband is the Rev. T. Conrad Selnick, an Episcopal priest. They are parents of two adult children, Rebeckah and Susannah.

Rev. Khader El-Yateem is a highly respected Arab-American faith leader, community organizer, homeowner, and father of four who serves as the Executive Director of the Service and Justice Home Area of the ELCA. Rev. El-Yateem was born in Bethlehem in 1968, and emigrated to the United States in 1992. He holds a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt.

Rev. El-Yateem is the founder of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church, where he worked to connect congregants and community members to vital services and resources and helped immigrant families establish themselves in their new home. His 7 years working in the Patient Relations department of Maimonides Medical Center also made him the liaison to hundreds of area families, helping them navigate the often complicated healthcare system and connecting them to culturally sensitive and quality health services.

Rev. El-Yateem served on Community Board 10, as well as the boards of St Nicholas Home, Lutheran Augustana Home, and the Arab American Association of New York. He was also a Clergy Liaison for the New York Police Department – helping to ensure a collaborative and productive relationship between community members and the local precinct.

Rev. El-Yateem’s primary focus was to promote open dialogue and unity, especially among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. To that end, after the tragic events of 9/11, he co-founded the Bay Ridge Unity Task Force to promote unity and cooperation in the neighborhood. He is a skilled mediator who champions difficult issues, including combating drug use among neighborhood youth, building police community relations, and advocating for affordable housing in the district. He most recently served as the Assistant to the Bishop and the Director for Evangelical Mission in the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the ELCA. He is married to his wife Grace and they have 4 children: Rowan, Janette, Naim and Isabelle.

The Rev. Amy E. Reumann serves as ELCA Senior Director for Witness in Society in Washington, D.C. Her leadership directs staff and church advocacy in federal public policy, through the ELCA-affiliated state public policy office (sppo) network, at the United Nations through Lutheran Office for World Community representation, and with the ELCA Corporate Social Responsibility program. She was born in Philadelphia and has served as a parish pastor, Assistant to the Bishop in Milwaukee, Wis., director of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania and is a former intern at the Lutheran Office for World Community. Reumann is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (M.Div) and the General Theological Seminary, New York City (STM in Spiritual Direction). She was awarded a GreenFaith Fellowship in religious-environmental leadership and a Louisville Institute Pastoral Studies Grant on “Public Testimony as a Faith Practice.” Reumann is a Master Gardener, manager at an urban farm and loves to garden, quilt, hike and read mysteries. 

Hank Butler is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) since January 2007. Prior to his leadership of the PJC, Butler worked in Human Resources/ Labor Relations for the County of York (5 years) and as a lobbyist in Pennsylvania for the York County Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) for 12 years.

Since taking the helm of the PJC, Butler has worked, under the leadership and direction of the PJC Board of Directors to bring a strong, sound voice of the Jewish Community to Pennsylvania government. With a state-wide mission and strong legislative agenda, the PJC is striving to move state issues important to the Jewish Communities from both the human services and social justice agendas forward and increasing our presence is state government.

Hank has a BA from Dickinson College and an MBA from York College of Pennsylvania where he was an adjunct professor of Management and Non-Profit Management Studies.

Hank currently resides in York, Pennsylvania with his wife Lisa and their two daughters: Madison and Miranda.

Flora Cardoni is PennEnvironment’s Field Director and Climate Campaign Director. In that capacity, Flora oversees much of PennEnvironment’s climate, clean energy, and grassroots organizing work, directing staff and mobilizing volunteers around the state to fight climate change and promote good clean energy policy in Pennsylvania. She is also a member of Pennsylvania’s Climate Change Advisory Committee.  

In 1987, Sheila began her food banking career with the Washington – Greene Community Action Agency overseeing the food bank program and child and adult care food program. In 1992, she left to operate the Greene County Food Bank later to be known as the Corner Cupboard Food Bank. In early 2001, the membership of Pennsylvania Association Regional Food Banks dba Hunger-Free PA [state association of food banks and charitable food organizations] hired Sheila as their first employee. In 2002, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) was piloted in Southwest Pennsylvania with a caseload of 5,000. In 2003, the program grew to thirty counties and a caseload of over 15,000. The program remained stagnant until 2010 when it expanded to all sixty-seven counties targeted to serve 10% of the seniors eligible for the program. Today the CSFP serves 36,218 seniors each month. Sheila has received several accommodations from USDA for her management of the program in Pennsylvania.

Under Sheila’s leadership in 2010, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System [PASS] Act was unanimously entered into law. In 2014, Sheila began building the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Coalition [PHAC] membership and today there are over one hundred regional and statewide organizations involved in the coalition. The coalition sponsors several task forces working to influence federal and state policy to remove barriers that limit participation in food & nutrition programs. Serving as a statewide voice on hunger issues, Sheila arms the food bank network, organizations, business, and the public with tools to support their efforts for policies that support hungry families on both the state and federal levels.

More recently, she has set her sights on feeding homebound, low-income seniors, launching a creative program where Door Dash delivers meals to them – over two million meals have been delivered. Another newsworthy partnership with the PACE Prescription Assistance Program who proactively contacted and enroll over 12,500 eligible seniors into the PA Senior Food Box Program.

Sheila served on the National CSFP Association Board of Directors from 2005 through 2007 and again in 2015 elected as Treasurer for 2-years. Sheila also served on the board of Hunters Sharing the Harvest as the Secretary/Treasurer from 2002-2008. Sheila had the honor to serve on Governor-elect Wolf’s Agriculture Transition Team. In her tenure, Sheila has served several terms on the Pennsylvania Emergency Food Assistance Advisory Council, the Pennsylvania Emergency Food & Shelter Program State Board and Governor Wolf’s Food Security Partnership.

Sheila received her Bachelor of Science degree from Washington and Jefferson College in 1982 and her Masters in Non-profit Management from Robert Morris University in 2008. Sheila and David are residents of McMurray, they have two sons – Kyle lives with wife and three sons in North Strabane; Eric lives with his partner and son in Hendersonville, PA.

Erin Gabriel spends time working directly with lawmakers at both the state and federal level with a goal of making health care more accessible and affordable for all of Pennsylvania’s families. Prior to joining PHAN’s team, Erin had been involved in disability and health care advocacy for over 15 years. All three of her children have disabilities including her youngest who is medically complex with multiple disabilities. Erin was the National Director of Advocacy for Little Lobbyists, as well as the Pennsylvania State Chapter Leader for Little Lobbyists Pennsylvania: a family led organization advocating for the health care, education, accessibility and inclusion of children with complex medical needs and disabilities. Erin has also worked with state grassroots disability organizations like PA Action Protecting Disability Rights, and groups like PennAutism to educate lawmakers and candidates and to take on issues at the grassroots level, including mounting a successful campaign to stop then Governor Corbett from instituting copayments for disability-related Medicaid services. When Erin is not working in advocacy she enjoys spending time with her family camping, boating and of course taking her youngest to Disney World as often as possible.

Adam Garber has led CeaseFirePA’s efforts to ensure everyone can live free from gun violence since 2020. Since assuming leadership, he has helped secure more than $200 million to fund community violence prevention programs, advance bipartisan legislation to expand background checks, and new programs to inspect gun dealers.He also spearheaded CeaseFirePA’s Common Agenda to End Gun Violence, a collaboration of 130-plus member coalition, including veterans, physicians, clergy and violence survivors. Garber’s safety credentials were burnished in his prior roles as consumer watchdog for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and deputy director for PennEnvironment.

He lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and daughter, where he enjoys studying the history of social change movements, exploring the city and cooking.

Ariana Genna serves as the South-Central Regional Coordinator for the Office of Environmental Justice at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, focusing on outreach to communities facing disproportionate environmental impacts. Ariana formerly served as the Research Analyst and Legislative Fellow for the Pennsylvania House of Representative’s Local Government Committee.

Ariana received dual degrees in Political Science and Social Justice and Civic Engagement from Lebanon Valley College. While studying at LVC, she also obtained a Certificate in Higher Education in the Common Law from the University of London. Ariana’s undergraduate research focused on climate migration policy and resettlement planning, with a special focus on Central American climate refugees.

Over the past 10 years, Patrick Keenan has developed data and analysis at the Pennsylvania Health Access Network to advance patient-focused solutions to lower prices, improve affordability, reduce access barriers, and drive quality and equity in coverage and access to care. He built PHAN’s statewide consumer assistance program that has enrolled over 25,000 individuals and families in coverage and resolves nearly 10,000 issues a year, especially in disconnected and rural communities. He serves on numerous state workgroups, frequently testifies before state government, and is often quoted in the media. Prior to joining PHAN, he spent more than a decade developing and implementing community-based programs and has a graduate degree in human services.

Ryan Matthews joined HRC as Pennsylvania State Director in October 2019 after 14 years managing statewide and local campaigns and field programs in Pennsylvania and 14 other states. He is a Delaware County native and a crossword puzzle enthusiast.

Naomi is a graduate of California Lutheran University with dual degrees in Political Science and Theology and Christian Leadership. She is from Tanzania and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). Naomi has been a part of the ELCA’s International Women Leaders Program for the past 4 years. Currently serving as a LOWC Fellow Naomi appreciates working at the intersection of international affairs, grassroot diplomacy and faith based networks.

Drew Medvid, originally from North Carolina, has been a Pittsburgher for 8 years. He has served as a Board Member of SisTers PGH, a nonprofit that serves the transgender and lgb residents of Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas. He is currently a statewide organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest lgbt rights organization. Drew is excited to share his experiences uplifting and organizing for his community.

Christine Moffett (she/her) serves as the Program Director for Environment and Energy Policy with the Witness in Society, D.C. office-based team, within the Service and Justice home area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Christine brings a background in both environmental science and political science. She holds a Master of Political Science Degree from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam in Global Environmental Governance, Climate Change and Sustainability. In addition, she brings experience conducting community needs assessments in accompaniment with tribal nations. In this role with the ELCA, she advocates to the federal government around issues of stewardship of creation, environmental justice, climate change, sustainability, among others, all guided by ELCA social teachings. 

Julissa Morales, a passionate advocate, community organizer, and a desire for social justice. Born to immigrant parents, she began organizing at the age of 12, driven by her confusion on how people are denied access to their basic needs.

Now, alongside a network of families at the Movement of Immigrant Leaders in Pennsylvania (MILPA), together they empower communities and advocate for necessary equitable change. Julissa has grown with the movement and now leads the coalition championing the need for equal access to a driver’s license for all residents, regardless of immigration status, in the state of Pennsylvania.

Giovana Oaxaca (she/her/ella) is the Program Director for Migration Policy with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA). From this position, Giovana carries out the church’s public witness on issues related to migration in the U.S. and globally, engagement informed by ELCA social teaching and the experience of Lutheran congregations and ministries, including the ELCA AMMPARO strategy. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics & government, and economics and is fond of exploring and making new dishes.

Jen (she/her) has served as the Community Engagement Manager at the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania since 2022. With personal lived experience with housing instability, Jen has always been grounded in the belief that housing is a human right. She earned her Master’s in Social Work concentrating on community organizing and social action from the University of Pittsburgh and her BA in Psychology from Seton Hill University. Her work with the Housing Alliance centers around amplifying the voices of those with lived experience, voter engagement and education, policy advocacy, and providing evidence based educational opportunities through webinars and the annual Homes Within Reach Conference. Prior to her time with the Housing Alliance, Jen worked in student housing and with a grassroots animal advocacy organization.