2016 National Gathering Ignite: Jeff Krehbiel and Don Meeks

Jeff Krehbiel and Don Meeks of National Capital Presbytery share about the “Can We Talk?” conversation they host during presbytery meetings to facilitate discussion among colleagues who may differ on various topics.

2016 National Gathering Testimony: Jessica Vazquez Torres

Jessica Vazquez Torres provides testimony at the 2016 National Gathering.

Jessica Vazquez Torres is a proven leader with 15 years experience in antiracism, anti-oppression, and cultural competency workshop development and facilitation. Jessica, a 1.5-Generation ESL Queer Latina of Puerto Rican descent, holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Her published works as an author include co-authoring a four-session adult study on the history of racism in the United States. Jessica has presented twice at the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Studies annual meeting. Her papers were titled: “Does Moral Injury Have a Color? On Moral Injury and Race in the United States” (2014) and “Race and Virtue: The Practice and Ethics of Race Based Caucusing” (2012).

2016 National Gathering Ignite: Miriam Mauritzen

Miriam Mauritzen, associate pastor at First Presbyterian Kalispell, Montana, shares about Serious Ju Ju, a skateboard ministry the church has become involved with.

Learn more about Serious Ju Ju from their website.

2016 National Gathering Ignite: Michael Mair

Michael Mair, pastor in the Church of Scotland, shares his ideas on what makes sacred space at the 2016 National Gathering.

2016 National Gathering Tuesday Morning Sermon: Aisha Brooks-Lytle

Aisha Brooks-Lytle preaches during Tuesday morning worship at the 2016 National Gathering.

Liturgist: Katie Sundermeier
Sermon: “You’ve Got to Go Through It”

Aisha Brooks-Lytle (A.K.A “Pastor Eesh”) is Minister of Mission at Wayne Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. A native Philadelphian, she graduated from Central High School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Music from Temple University (’99). She obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary (’05) and has served in several churches in the tri-state area through her music ministry and in her ministry of preaching, teaching, and pastoral care.

2016 National Gathering Testimony: Presidents Elizabeth Kiss and Leann Van Dyk

Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College, and Leann Van Dyk, president of Columbia Theological Seminary, provide testimony about their leadership experience at the 2016 National Gathering.

Elizabeth Kiss is president of Agnes Scott College. During her tenure, she has launched Agnes Advantage, supporting study abroad, internships and mentored research; new undergraduate programs in neuroscience, public health, and environmental and sustainability studies; the fielding of the first women’s collegiate varsity lacrosse team in Georgia; and the largest first-year class in college history. She is a graduate of Davidson College  and received a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in philosophy from Oxford University in England.

Leanne Van Dyk currently serves as President and Professor of Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary. She holds degrees from Calvin College (B.A.), Western Michigan University (M.A.), Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Princeton Theological Seminary where she earned her Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, magna cum laude. Before teaching at Western Theological Seminary, she previously taught at San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Van Dyk’s other professional experience includes serving as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological School (ATS); as a co-moderator of a colloquy on Reformed Theology and Worship sponsored by the Institute of Reformed Theology; as a member of the Wabash Center’s Consultation on Theological Education; and on various projects with the Office of Theology and Worship for the Presbyterian Church (USA). One of her efforts remembered by many in the PC(USA) was a member of the Catechism Committee which completed its work in 1998. She also participated in the Re-Forming Ministry project with the Office of Theology and Worship. She has served on the editorial boards of Perspectives, the Journal of Reformed Thought, and the Scottish Journal of Theology. Dr. Van Dyk has published several books, including A More Profound Alleluia: Theology and Worship in Harmony for which she was also editor (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005); Believing in Jesus Christ, part of the “Foundations” series sponsored by the Office of Theology and Worship of the PC(USA) (Geneva Press, 2002); and The Desire of Divine Love: The Atonement Theology of John McLeod Campbell (Peter Lang Publishers, 1995).

2016 National Gathering Ignite: George Anderson and Lori Raible

George Anderson and Lori Raible share their experiences with new pastor support at the 2016 National Gathering.

2016 National Gathering Allan Boesak Keynote

Allan Boesak presented our Monday evening keynote at the 2016 National Gathering. You can find a PDF transcript of his keynote here in addition to the recording.

Allan Aubrey Boesak was born in Kakamas, Northern Cape, South Africa in 1946, studied at the University of the Western Cape and received his PhD in Theology from the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands in 1976. 1976 also marks the Soweto Uprisings and Allan Boesak’s entry into public life in South Africa. Dr Boesak served the church and the ecumenical movement in various senior capacities since 1978, including as President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the first person from the global South and youngest ever to be elected into that position. Under his leadership this world body adopted the “apartheid is a heresy” declaration and suspended the two Dutch Reformed Churches from membership for their theological and moral support for and justification of the apartheid system. In 1983 Allan Boesak called for the formation of the United Democratic Front, which became the largest organised, non-racial, nonviolent anti-apartheid movement in the history of the country. Allan Boesak became its most visible leader and spokesperson until its closure by the ANC in 1991. Dr. Boesak is a preacher and teacher, and remains deeply and passionately involved in global struggles for human rights, social, economic and ecological justice, gender and sexual justice across the world. His most recent publication, Kairos, Crisis, and Global Apartheid, the Challenge for Prophetic Resistance, was published by Palgrave McMillan, 2015. Dr. Boesak is the first holder of the Desmond Tutu Chair for Peace, Global Justice and Reconciliation Studies, and founding director of the Desmond Tutu Centre for Reconciliation and Global Justice at Christian Theological Seminary and Butler University in Indianapolis.

2016 National Gathering NEXT Church Update

Lori Archer Raible and Andrew Foster Connors, NEXT Church executive team members, share what NEXT Church accomplished in 2015 and aims to accomplish in 2016.

2016 National Gathering Testimony: Alison Harrington

Rev. Alison J. Harrington currently serves Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She has experience in community organizing against the prison industrial complex and as a prison chaplain. Alison has served the denomination as a Global Youth Intern to Ethiopia, a Young Adult Volunteer to Belfast Northern Ireland, and has traveled on peace and justice delegations to Chiapas, Colombia, and Cuba. She has been named one of Tucson’s 40 under 40, a Beatitudes Society Fellow, a recipient of the Beatitudes Society Brave Preacher Award, and one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the Center for American Progress.