MUSICAL LEADERSHIP AND MISSION FORMATION
Glocal Musicians of the ELCA Music and worship leadership is provided by the Glocal Musicians of the ELCA. The musicians were formed by the Mission Formation Team in ELCA Global Mission to provide musical leadership for the Glocal Mission Gatherings hosted by congregations and other Christian communities throughout North America and the Caribbean. Through its intentional diversity—including representation from many countries, denominations, and several cultures—the group embodies ways to stand in mutual solidarity while amplifying marginalized voices.
In addition to offering worship that includes global voices, the musicians are committed to forming local leaders seeking to introduce global themes in their communities. The songs they teach are grounded in the community stories that raise awareness and inspire advocacy. The musicians embody what it means to be Glocal—simultaneously global and local—so we can accompany one another across cultures, even in our own neighborhoods.
Dr. Ann Milliken Pederson teaches Christian theology, with particular emphases in religion and medical sciences, feminist theologies, and Lutheran constructive theology. Pederson is currently working with colleagues at both Augustana University and Gettysburg Seminary to integrate science into seminary education. More about this work can be found at: http://www.scienceforseminaries.org/lutheran-theological-seminary-at-gettysburg/. The American Association for the Advance of Science funded 10 of these grants. She is also an adjunct associate professor in the section for ethics and humanities at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota. Pederson has written four books: Where in the World is God? Variations on a Theme (Chalice Press, 1998), God, Creation, and All That Jazz (Chalice Press, 2001), The Music of Creation, co-authored with the Rev. Dr. Canon Arthur Peacocke, (Fortress Press, 2006), and The Geography of God’s Incarnation: Landscapes and Narratives of Faith(Wipf and Stock, 2013), and her latest book, Our Bodies Are Selves, co-authored with Philip Hefner and Susan Barreto will be published by Wipf and Stock late in 2015. She has also authored entries in the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, and numerous articles in Zygon, Word and World, and other periodicals. She received her doctorate in theology from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Jennifer Crist holds a Masters Degree in Neuroscience and Anatomy from the Penn State College of Medicine and has co-authored four papers in the field, including one in The Journal of Neuroscience. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters of Divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and is serving as a mission developer with Communities of Hope, an emerging faith community. Having been a program coordinator at the women’s shelter Shalom House and a court-appointed child’s advocate for Cumberland County, Jennifer was recognized by the Jefferson Awards Foundation in 2006 for her service work in both Pennsylvania and Guatemala. As a third-degree black belt, Jennifer enjoys teaching and competing in kung fu, and she is passionate about helping people find personally meaningful ways to serve others.
Cricket Hunter has degrees in biology and education and has been both a middle school science teacher and a recruiter for Teach for America. She is a member of Grace Lutheran Church in State College, where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Cricket has been with Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light since the fall of 2010. In her own words: “PA IPL represents, for me, an integration of the science that has long interested and concerned me with a faith-based imperative to care for the earth and (perhaps even more urgently) for our poorer brothers and sisters: those who inevitably bear the brunt of our human experiment in constantly expanding consumption.”
Jeff Garis is the Outreach and Engagement Director for PBPC. Jeff received a BA in English from Messiah College, and has more than a decade and a half of experience working with advocacy organizations in Pennsylvania. Before joining PBPC in 2013, he worked with diverse coalitions for several years as the field director for Pennsylvania Voice and the state political director for America Votes. He spent four years as the executive director of Penn Action, and served as the director of a statewide death penalty reform organization for seven years.
Barbara (Macholz) Grimaldi is the director of development and communications for the Public Interest Law Center (www.pubintlaw.org). The Public Interest Law Center uses legal and advocacy strategies to increase access to the material resources all people need including a high-quality public education, employment, housing, health care, healthy environments and the unencumbered right to vote. Prior to joining the law center in 2013, Barb worked for the Better Government Association in Chicago, IL, and as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer in New York. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Narberth, PA.
John Kahler has been telling stories – and telling others’ stories – through different media for over 30 years, both as a communications staff member and manager, and as a freelance producer of content – through writing, images (still and motion), and audio on subjects as far ranging as medicine, adoption, religion, education, advocacy, music, elder abuse, and marathon running. While digital technologies including smartphones and the Internet have made both creation and distribution of content more ubiquitous and readily available, and perhaps easier to create, storytelling today is as basic as when our ancestors told stories around the campfire and with scratched art on cave walls.
Matthew Lenahan was ordained in the Lower Susquehanna Synod in 2001. He has served as associate pastor at Grace, Lancaster (2001-2005) and serves as pastor of Zion, Akron (2005-present). Matt has served on the LAMPA policy council and chaired that group. Matt is also called as mission developer of Peter’s Porch Communities (a synodically authorized worshiping community focused on disciple-making, loving people in poverty, and eating together). Matt helped to start Hunger Free Lancaster County in 2010 and continues to serve on the board. Matt is married to Cherie and they have three fantastic sons; Jonah, Luke, ad Elijah. They live in Lititz, Lancaster County.
Sara Nicholas is the director of the Office of Policy and Planning for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). She worked for DCNR previously n the same position, as well as in the Office of Science and Conservation and Bureau of Forestry. She has worked for a number of nonprofit conservation organizations, including American Rivers, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Sara has a master’s degree in environmental studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Rachel Reyna has worked for the PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry since 2001. She is currently Chief of Rural and Community Forestry, a section that works in the rural-to-urban continuum administering voluntary programs that focus on land that is not owned by the state. The major program areas she supervises are TreeVitalize (DCNR’s urban and community forestry program), Woodland Stewardship, and Agroforestry. Ms Reyna has a BS in Forestry from Louisiana State University and a Masters of Agriculture in Forestry from Penn State.
Shea M. Rhodes,Esq., is the director of the Institute toAddress Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSEInstitute) at Villanova University School of Law. Throughout her career, Ms. Rhodes has worked with survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking, prostitution, and commercial sexual exploitation, including operating her own law practice where she represents victims and survivors. Ms. Rhodes served as an Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia for almost ten years where she helped to found Project Dawn Court, a diversion programf or women who have been repeatedly charged and convicted of the crime of prostitution, a primary mode of sex trafficking, and developed a Law Enforcement Working Group to facilitate collaborative investigation and prosecution of cases of human trafficking between local, state, and federal agencies in Philadelphia region. Before joining the District Attorney’s office, Ms. Rhodes served as a staff attorney for the Crime Victim’s Law Project where she provided legal assistance advocacy for adult andc hild victims of rape, sexual assault, and stalking. Ms. Rhodes currently serves on Board of Directors for Dawn’s Place, the Greater Philadelphia region’s only residential treatment program for women who are victims of sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation, and sits on the Oversight Committee for the Project Dawn Court. She also provides the administration for the Pennsylvania Alliance Against Traffickingin Humans, an initiative of Pennsylvania’s community partners, victim service organizations, and law enforcement to implement Act105, Pennsylvania’s comprehensive human trafficking legislation. Ms. Rhodes also sits on the Pennsylvania Anti-‐Human Trafficking Advocacy Work Group and is a member of Philadelphia’s Anti-‐Trafficking Coalition. Ms. Rhodes is a graduate of Villanova Law School and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas. She is the owner and Principal Attorney of the Law Offices of Shea M. Rhodes, LLC, specializing in working with survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation, rostitution, and Human Trafficking on criminal, adjudicatory and child dependency matters, with a practice area in the Greater Philadelphia region
Charlie Roberts is 30-year veteran of youth and family ministry at the congregation, regional (synod), and churchwide level. He has helped foster service-learning ministries in Haiti, Mexico, New Orleans, and Detroit, as well as central Pennsylvania. He currently serves as the Director for Children, Youth & Family Ministry for the Lower Susquehanna Synod, a regional expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), serving about 240 congregations.
The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Ph.D., is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America serving as the Pastor of United in Christ Lutheran Church in rural Lewisburg, PA, in the Upper Susquehanna Synod (USS). She earned her both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and completed her dissertation focusing on homiletics (preaching) and ecological theology (caring for God’s creation). Her new book, Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecological Theology and Homiletics (Chalice Press, 2015) is available at www.chalicepress.com. Dr. Schade is an adjunct religion and philosophy instructor at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, and Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA, teaching courses on ethics, religion, gender and ecology.
Schade has served three politically diverse congregations in suburban, urban and rural settings. She is an anti-fracking and climate activist and advocate for environmental justice issues, and is a trained workshop leader for Lutherans Restoring Creation, a grassroots movement helping congregations learn how to “go green.” She served on the bishop-appointed bi-partisan task group to address justice issues surrounding fracking in Pennsylvania, was the primary author of two resolutions and a memorial regarding shale gas drilling, one of which called for a moratorium on slickwater horizontal hydraulic fracturing, which were approved by the 2012 USS Synod Assembly. She has also presented memorials and resolutions calling for the closing of the “Halliburton Loopholes” exempting the gas industry from federal regulations protecting streams, water and air; as well as motions to urge the ELCA to divest from fossil fuels. All the motions passed at the synod assemblies. As a community organizer, Schade served as the coordinator of a local grassroots effort to halt plans for a proposed tire incinerator in Union County. She has helped to organize and been a speaker at press conferences, protests and rallies about the dangers and injustices of the shale gas industry, and has been featured on local radio talk shows and interfaith workshops on care-of-creation issues.
Samples of her sermons, book and film reviews and other writings can be found on her blog: www.ecopreacher.blogspot.com. She and her husband Jim live in Milton, PA, with their children Rachel (age 12) and Benjamin (age 9).
Mark Staples is a story teller at heart. He has spent much of his career as a photojournalist or communications executive in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America, the ELCA’s predecessor body, serving on the staffs of The Lutheran magazine and then The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He is also an award-winning video producer. Writing assignments have taken him to 16 countries and 30 U.S. states. For 10 years, he taught Marketing Fundamentals to hundreds of non-profit executives from the Delaware Valley on behalf of the La Salle University Nonprofit Center. Currently he is a free lance senior writer for International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches — USA.
Gilson Waldkoenig, PhD (University of Chicago, 1994) has since 1995 taught Church in Society and directed the Town and Country Church Institute (TCCI) at Gettysburg Seminary. He published “Ecological Restoration and Scenes of Grace” in Journal of Lutheran Ethics http://www.elca.org/JLE/Articles/1073 and “From Commodity to Community: Churches and the Land They Own” in The Cresset http://thecresset.org/2013/Trinity/Waldkoenig_T13.html. See his course “Environment & Religion in Northern Appalachia” at https://vimeo.com/91113288 and be sure to click www.tcci.live.