Desi Allevato always knew she was looking for something, but wasn’t sure what. She found her husband Frank in grad school, and later, thankfully, found her way OUT of her PhD program. In 2012 she and Frank walked into the Easter Sunday service at Church of Our Savior just up the road from their house and she found God. Or God found her; she’s not sure which yet. While very pregnant wit their son John Paul, Desi was baptized in July that same year. The following year she and Frank were confirmed on her 36th birthday. Since then, Desi’s done her best to balance raising a family, sustaining a loving marriage, working full-time, and growing into a faith and love of Jesus that manages to change her life every single day. Desi works as a digital product manager in Charlottesville, VA.
Meredith Baker and her family attend Redeemer Episcopal Midlothian in Virginia. She has written about the history of the Episcopal Church of Virginia in The Richmond Theater Fire: the Early Republic’s First Great Disaster (LSU Press, 2012).
Lindsay Barrett-Adler serves as Development Associate at Forward Movement, turning her mother’s gentle reminders to write prompt thank you notes and share a gift’s impact into a career. Lindsay holds degrees from Capital University and Princeton Theological Seminary, where she met her husband, Paul, an Episcopal priest. When not chasing around her two daughters, you’ll find Lindsay singing “Fly Eagles Fly,” taking photos, or trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.
Elizabeth Bentrup loves ideas, connecting, and getting things done. An enthusiast for creation, health, and education, she’s made the rounds as a clergy spouse and two boys in Virginia, Texas, and now, South Carolina, and now back in Texas, her homeland. With an interest in civic responsibility and systems, you will often find her sipping coffee and reading the headlines in an actual newspaper, watching CBS Sunday Morning, or lounged out watching college football. When she can, she gets away to beautiful places and live concerts.
Meaghan Brower has been the director of the Episcopal Conference Center in Rhode Island since 2012. After graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2007 Meaghan worked as the Associate Rector at Emmanuel Church in Southern Pines, NC. From there she and her husband Jonathan took some time off to travel and discern God’s will in their lives. They were delighted that discernment brought them back in their home state of Rhode Island where Meaghan works at camp and Jonathan works as a furniture maker. They have three children.
Susan Caldwell joined Saint Michael and All Angels, Corona del Mar, California in May of 2012 as their Director of Christian Education. She has a heart for working with children, youth, and adults to build and launch new ministry programs. Susan holds two California Teaching Credentials, a Multiple Subject and a Single Subject. She enjoys Youth Confirmation and teaching Baptism classes for parents, as well as leading the small group studies “The Bible Challenge” and “The Inklings.” She has developed an innovative Vacation Bible School program entitled “Journey with the Saints” which takes place each summer. Susan is working on her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Specialization Organizational Change. In her spare time, Susan enjoys writing, gardening, water-coloring, and being near the ocean.
Sarah Carr is a stay at home mom who often wonders if all those communication studies at university were simply for this calling: parenting six children alongside her headmaster/priest husband. Late at night she can be found surrounded by stacks of shortbread and piping bags of icing filling cookie orders for her home business, listening to podcasts about the enneagram and, most recently, middle school and young adult fiction to stock the shelves of the bookstore she and her husband opened with friends in their hometown of Oklahoma City.
Christina (Tina) Clark serves as Director of Christian Formation at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado, and is the author of the resource book Arts Camp: A Creative, Customizable Alternative to Vacation Bible School and Beyond and of the novel Little Gods on Earth. Tina lives in Denver, has two teenage sons, and loves all things church, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Tina’s calling is to create meaningful formational experiences for all ages, from Godly Play for little ones about to be baptized to exploring all aspects of faith with teens and adults. A staunch advocate for social justice, Tina yearns to walk every day in the Baptismal Covenant to seek and serve Christ by striving for justice and peace among all people and respecting the dignity of every human being…even the ones with whom she ardently disagrees.
Ben Day is the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Kennesaw, GA. He is an avid reader, cyclist, and runner. He is also a single father to a wonderful young son, Marshall. They share their home with two rescue dogs, Becket and Augustine—both named after Archbishops of Canterbury!
Dorian Del Priore is an Episcopal priest currently serving as the Priest in Charge at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Simpsonville, SC. A graduate of the University of South Carolina and Virginia Theological Seminary, he has been involved in youth ministry for more than 25 years. He also has a love for chaplaincy, both in college and summer camp settings. Dorian is a husband to Lauren and a father to Jordan and Brynn. They have a particular heart for rescuing Great Danes, with four in their current herd, along with their two tabby cats. He loves photography, swimming, hiking, camping, and ice cream, especially butter pecan.
Miguel Escobar is Director of Anglican Studies at Episcopal Divinity School at Union. There he is working with the Dean Kelly Brown Douglas to transform theological education by providing innovative public programming and classroom instruction that reimagines faith in the public square and trains Episcopal faith leaders for progressive activism. Previously, Miguel served as managing program director for leadership, communications and external affairs at the Episcopal Church Foundation. He earned a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in 2007 and served as communications assistant to then-Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori from 2007 to 2010. Miguel is a member of the board of directors of Forward Movement and serves on the advisory council of Duke Divinity School’s Leadership programs and Episcopal Relief and Development’s church programs committee. He grew up in the Texas hill and now lives in Brooklyn where he’s a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Park Slope.
Margaret Ellsworth works as Marketing Coordinator at Forward Movement. She studied interfaith worship and the arts at Claremont School of Theology. Today she puts that work into practice by singing and praying with her two small children. Margaret lives in Boise, Idaho with her family.
Elizabeth Felicetti, the rector of St. David’s Episcopal in Richmond, Virginia, wrote the 2023 Forward Movement Good Book Club Bible study guides and emails on Ruth and Esther. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines such as The Atlantic and Christian Century, and her books Unexpected Abundance: The Fruitful Lives of Women Without Children and Irreverent Prayers (co-authored with Grow Christians writer Samantha Vincent-Alexander) are forthcoming from Eerdmans.
Ann Benton Fraser is a priest serving as an associate rector at historic St. Mark’s in downtown San Antonio, TX. She lives with her husband Andrew, who is a fellow Louisiana native, and their three children (two Mississippians and a Texan). She spends time reading, being outside, and learning from her children. Either indecisive or decidedly adaptable, she likes Game of Thrones and Call the Midwife, using scissors and glue, making messes and cleaning up messes, quiet and chaos, things Protestant and Catholic.
Tim Gavin is an Episcopal priest who loves life and spending time with his wife, Joyce, and their two golden retrievers. He serves as the Head Chaplain at The Episcopal Academy, located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. In addition to providing pastoral care, he teaches biblical literature, leads worship services, and oversees the community service program. He, also, coordinates the school’s partnership program with St. Marc’s School in the Central Plateau of Haiti, which he visits three to four times a year. As a result of his work in Haiti, he enjoys studying Haitian literature, history, and language (Creole). In addition to his work as a school chaplain, he serves as an associate priest at St. Alban’s Church in Newtown Square. Tim is a poet and the author of Lyrics from the Central Plateau. His poems have appeared most recently in The Anglican Theological Review, Blue Mountain Review, Cresset, Pacific Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry South, and others. Tim enjoys praying, reading, writing, and distance running.
The Rev. Sarah Kinney Gaventa is the Dean of Students at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is mother to Charlie, and wife to the Rev. Matthew Gaventa, Head of Staff at University Presbyterian Church, in Austin, TX. Her mother was Pamela Kinney, a brilliant and creative elementary school teacher who had an encyclopedic knowledge of Broadway musicals and Greek mythology. She was also a very, very good mother.
Emily Gowdy Canady has been a lay professional in the Episcopal Church for more than 20 years. In that time she served parishes in Alabama and Washington, DC as a youth minister, as the Diocese of East Carolina’s Program Officer for Youth, College Campus and Young Adult Ministries, and currently as East Carolina’s Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation. In her very spare time, she enjoys running, crafting of all kinds, and cooking. She lives with her husband and two school aged children in New Bern, NC.
Jerusalem Jackson Greer is a writer, family minister, speaker, blogger, and the author of the book At Home in this Life: Finding Peace at the Crossroads of Unraveled Dreams and Beautiful Surprises, and A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. Jerusalem lives with her husband and two sons at the intersection of beauty and mess, on a farm-in-progress in Central Arkansas. Together they are attempting to live a slower version of modern life rooted in their faith. In-between batches of laundry Jerusalem loves to write and speak all the wonderful trouble this pursuit causes her. You can find Jerusalem online at jerusalemgreer.com or on Instagram under the same name.
Charlotte Hand Greeson shares her passion for formation as a manager, editor, and writer for Building Faith. In addition, she assesses curriculum for the Center for Ministry of Teaching and speaks on formation on behalf of the CMT. Charlotte takes seriously Paul’s injunction in his letter to the Romans to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep,” living this out in social media ministry.
Marcus Halley is an ordained Episcopal priest serving as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Minneapolis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johnson C. Smith University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center, and a Master of Sacred Theology from the School of Theology at the University of the South. An avid writer and blogger, Fr. Marcus has contributed to numerous other publications both online and in print.
Christine V. Hides is the Associate Minister for Discipleship at Kenilworth Union Church, and author of the faith formation website, ChristineVHides.com. She holds a B.S. in Social Policy and a M.S.Ed from Northwestern University and a graduate theological studies certificate from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Christine has 25 years of experience teaching children, youth and adults. As an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, she is called to create faith-forming experiences that nurture imagination and inspire participation in God’s peace and justice. She has two daughters in college and lives with her husband in a northern suburb of Chicago, where they enjoy the abundance of forest preserves.
Victoria Hoppes is the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries at Resurrection Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She also serves as the Project Coordinator for Faith @ Home (www.dofaithathome.org). She has ministry experience with youth, family, and camping programs at both the parish and diocesan levels. She holds degrees from Texas Lutheran University and Luther Seminary. She You can follow Victoria on her website, www.ministryincontext.com, or on social media (@vlhoppes).
Sara Irwin was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2004, and serves as Pastor of St John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Carnegie, 5 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. She is mom to Isaiah and Adah, and spouse to the Rev. Noah Evans, rector of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon. She loves tattoos, hiking, and making beer. Sara writes for Mt Lebanon Magazine and blogs at www.saraiwrites.blogspot.
Rachel Jones loves Jesus, her husband, their respective families, barbecue, breakfast tacos, Bob Dylan, baseball, the Book of Jeremiah, trips to the beach, finding money in a jacket pocket, and snagging the shadiest parking spot in the lot—in that exact order. Rachel and Mr. Jones live outside of Cincinnati where she spends much of her day looking for her car keys or putting up preserves, but should probably be updating her blog at https://makeshiftfarms.wordpress.com/
Lauren Kuratko is an Episcopal priest and mother in the Diocese of New York. As a spiritual director, she enjoys looking for God in the humor (and humdrum!) of everyday life and community. Lauren is the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Lauren enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband and three exuberant boys, every single second of quiet she can find, and cheering for Auburn football.
Ryan Kuratko, PhD is the Campus and Young Adult Missioner for Harlem, Uptown, and the Bronx for the Diocese of New York. He likes to ask really basic questions about prayer and spirituality, and he maintains good boundaries with his time mostly so that he can hang out with his kids, cook, and play video games.
Eric J. Liles is a native of the Golden State with deep roots in the Lone Star State. He is a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a dog owner. He is an enneagram type 8 with a 9 wing (aka the momma bear!) and a Myers Briggs INFJ. He received a Bachelors of Arts degree at Texas A&M University, Masters in Divinity at at Virginia Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry at the School of Theology at the University of the South. He plays a little guitar, enjoys traveling, cycling, hiking, and camping, an occasional cigar and distilled beverage. You can follow his ministry through his blog Preaching with Luke
Kit Lonergan is currently serving as Priest for Welcome and Care at Trinity Church Boston. She and her husband are parents to a rescue chocolate lab and two human children. She would desperately like to tell you about her hobbies, but they would currently be listed as: eating leftover food off plastic plates, searching for rogue socks, and wearing sweaters with something unidentifiable smeared on the shoulder in public. Neither crafty nor good with plants, she loves intergenerational ministry, dark humor, the BBC and pie.
Miriam Willard McKenney finds extreme joy parenting her three girls: Nia, Kaia, and Jaiya. She and her husband, David, met at the Union of Black Episcopalians conference in 1981. Miriam works as Forward Movement’s Development Director and is on the Way of Love working group. She was a children’s librarian and school media specialist for 20 years before joining Forward Movement’s staff. She loves to evangelize about her love of outdoor fitness, even in extreme temperatures — as there is no bad weather, just incorrect clothing choices.
Cara Meredith is a writer, speaker, and south-after conversationalist. A former high school English teacher and non-profit outreach director, her writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications. The Color of Life, a spiritual memoir about her journey as a white woman into issues of race and justice, was released in February 2019. She holds a Masters of Theology from Fuller Seminary and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. You can connect with her on her website, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Hugo Olaiz is associate editor for Latino/Hispanic resources at Forward Movement. Hugo grew up in La Plata, Argentina, moving to the U.S. to do graduate studies in Spanish, linguistics, and translation. Hugo now lives in Oxford, Ohio, with his husband John-Charles Duffy and an aging beagle mix named Patches. In his spare time, he loves to entertain friends, edit Wikipedia entries, and watch opera clips on YouTube.
Dr. Derek Olsen is a layman within the Episcopal Church with a doctorate in New Testament. He is the liturgical editor of the St. Augustine’s Prayer Book and the author of Inwardly Digest: The Prayer Book as Guide to a Spiritual Life. Derek has served on the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission for Liturgy & Music. An IT professional by day, he is also the mastermind behind St Bede Productions, which is responsible for the St Bede’s Breviary, Forward Movement’s Daily Prayer site, and the St Bede Blog (formerly haligweorc). He lives in Baltimore with his wife, an Episcopal priest, and their two daughters.
Jamie Osborne is an Episcopal priest currently serving as a chaplain in the Air Force. He and his family live in Nebraska. In addition to nurturing those already in the Episcopal Church, Jamie has a desire to guide young adults and those who are unchurched/ dechurched into a life of faith in the Episcopal tradition. He also spends quite a bit of time wondering what God might be calling the church to be and do in the midst of the cultural, technological, and religious shifts that are happening in the landscape of the United States and the world.
Anna V. Ostenso Moore is the author of the picture books “Today Is a Baptism Day” and “We Gather at This Table” and associate for family ministries at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Minneapolis. Wife, priest, daughter, sister, aunt, godparent, friend, and expectant adoptive mother, she lives in Minneapolis with her husband, David.
Nurya Love Parish is an Episcopal priest, blogger, speaker, and ministry developer. She is the co-founder of Plainsong Farm and the curator of the guide to the Christian food movement. When she is not in front of a computer or at a meeting, she can often be found in the kitchen.
Genevieve Razim is grateful for the generations of church folk who have shared the faith with her. As the Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Austin, TX, she prays for the grace to do the same. Married for 25 years and the mother of two young men, her favorite place to be is at the table with loved ones. Additional reflections can be found at genevieverazim.wordpress.com.
Scott Robinson has one of those résumés that give HR people a migraine. He performed at Renaissance Faires for thirty years. He taught college music for ten. He wrote for newspapers and magazines such as Sojourners, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Parent, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. His music has been recorded on the Naxos label. He worked for five years as a hospice chaplain. He has been a professed member of the Third Order of St. Francis, a religious order within the Episcopal Church, since 2001s. He lives in Philadelphia.
Ben Rockwell enjoys Star Wars, watching superhero shows with his kids, and questioning the idea of “Marriage or Mortgage” with his wife. He spends more time than he should staring at the compost in the backyard and trying to keep his two dogs from eating it. A graduate of the University of Georgia and Virginia Theological Seminary, he has served parishes in both the Diocese of Georgia and the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, where he is currently the Associate Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mobile.
Caroline Rossini is a lifelong Episcopalian and native Nashvillian. In 2009, she came to Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville as the youth minister, and although it is no longer her job, she and her family remain deeply engaged members of the congregation. Now Caroline works part-time in nonprofit finance & operations, but more often than not she can be found riding scooters with her two boys in the driveway or playing on her yoga mat or strolling around Radnor Lake. She is also the creator of @holyfamilyroadtrip on Instagram.
Emily Rutledge is the Children, Youth, & Family Minister at Church of Our Saviour in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is passionate about creating communities of belonging rooted in God’s infinite and inclusive love, consent, and clearance sales. She has absolutely none of life figured out and finds that her Type A personality doesn’t mix well with the surprising nature of existence. She is daily working to live authentically while raising two small humans, holding space for her congregation, and attempting to be (mostly) happily married. You can read about how that is almost working out on her blog It’s a Hot Holy Mess.
Laura Shaver loves her life full of all things boy. She is married to Trevor and together they have three beautiful young sons. Her faith sustains her, the coastal air lifts her spirits, and she finds courage in talking faithful parenting with any mom willing to listen and share. She has worked in Episcopal church communications for the past 12 years. Daily life involves lots of balance among two full-time working parents, active children, and seeking Jesus’ sweet guidance through it all.
Melody Wilson Shobe is an Episcopal priest who has served churches in Rhode Island and Texas. A graduate of Tufts University and Virginia Theological Seminary, Melody had authored and co-authored a number of books and curricula for Forward Movement, including Faithful Questions, Meet the Saints: A Family Storybook, The Path: A Family Storybook, and Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs & Practices (due out Summer 2017). Melody, her husband, and their two daughters live in Dallas, Texas, where she spends her spare time reading stories, building forts, conquering playgrounds, baking cookies, and exploring nature.
A lifelong Episcopalian, Christian Simmers is a wife, mother, and nurse practitioner in the mountain foothills of Central Virginia. After a decade at the hospital bedside, she noticed striking similarities between teaching nursing students how to care for the sick and teaching her daughters to care for the world around them. She blogs about their adventures and her lessons in humility at www.fourgirlseightnames.com.
Heather Sleightholm is an artist, wife and mother living in northeastern Oklahoma. She sells her paintings through her folk art business and recently illustrated the book Mary Holds My Hand by Michele Chronister. You can read more about her art and exploration of faith through her paintbrush at http://sleightholmfolk. blogspot.com/
Rosemary Thomas lives in Bedford, UK. She has one daughter who loves church, another who finds it boring and a talented husband whose vocation is to make choral singing in church as inclusive as possible. Originally a Methodist, she is now a baptized Anglican and attends her local church where she plays in the worship band and leads junior church. Rosemary comes from a liberal Christian tradition and has been very influenced by the liturgy of the Iona Community in Scotland and Taize style worship of southern France. More recently she has taken an interest in contemplative and centering prayer as a way of carving out time to be still and listen to God when small people clamor for her attention!
Richelle Thompson is a mom of two, a wife of a priest, and the deputy director and managing editor of Forward Movement. With all the balls spinning, sometimes her personal mantra is to keep moving forward, day by day! She lives in Northern Kentucky with her family, a dog, a rabbit, a horse, and an adopted stray cat.
Allison Bird Treacy is the Children’s Program Coordinator at Christ Church Needham, a Godly Play Trainer, and the writer behind the weekly formation newsletter Wiggles & Wonder. Bird discovered her passion for children’s ministry as a young person growing up in an ELCA congregation in Staten Island where she first began teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School in her early teens. She lives with her wife and four cats in Boston and can often be found cooking or participating in jigsaw puzzle contests.
Samantha Vincent-Alexander is the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hampton Virginia. She is married to a priest and they have a son who finds church incredible boring unless she says “hell” in a sermon. Samantha is working with three other clergy women on a book entitled: Grace in the Rearview Mirror. It will be published by Wipf and Stock in the end of 2023. She is also co-authoring a book called: Irreverent Prayers which will be published by Eerdmans in 2024. She has been told she needs a “platform” and now tweets @svincentalexand
The Rev. Erin Jean Warde works as a Teaching Assistant at Tempest Sobriety School and serves as the lifestyle & humor editor at Earth & Altar, a publication in partnership with Forward Movement. She lives in Austin, TX, but she grew up in Alabama and you can hear it when she talks. She studied English and Creative Writing at Troy University and received her M. Div from Seminary of the Southwest. When she is not writing, verbally processing, and laughing, she can be found in a coffee shop or vintage store making new friends.
Anne Marie Holwerda Warner is a Chicago carpenter’s daughter and the author of an unpublished essay collection loosely themed around her Protestant faith that evolved into an Episcopalian one. Her poetry and photography have appeared in gravel, Foliate Oak, Flyway, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, The Feast and Art Prize 10.
Emily Watkins has a Masters in Applied Theology from Regent College in Vancouver and is the Headmaster of The Augustine Academy, a hybrid Charlotte Mason School in the Milwaukee area. She loves spending days by Lake Michigan and doing nature study in the Wisconsin woods with her husband and four sons.
The Rev. Melissa Wilcox lives in a charming walking-town outside of Philadelphia. She lives with her husband, who serves as a rector at Christ Episcopal Church. They make their home in a Victorian “condo” literally attached to the church, with their three lively children–Elias, Adelaide, and Josiah. She serves the church as an assistant rector at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr, PA. Melissa blogs about the intersection of faith and family and sundry other things at www.kradelkids.blogspot.com.
The Rev. Mary Lee Wile has served for over twenty years as a deacon in the Diocese of Maine. A retired high school teacher, her diaconal ministries have included pediatric hospice chaplaincy, prison ministry, spiritual direction, writing (including two children’s books for Forward Movement, two months of Forward Day by Day, and ongoing posts for Grow Christians), and co-facilitating Sacred Ground circles. She also delights in time spent with lively grandchildren.
Carrie Willard lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, two sons, three dogs, and a cat who showed up on her front step one day. Carrie is an attorney who works in university administration. Her writing also appears in Mockingbird and the Anglican Digest. Carrie and her family attend Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston.
Editor: The Rev. Allison Sandlin Liles is a wife, mother, peacemaker, and priest who lives with her family in Dallas. After working as Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Executive Director for six years, Allison re-entered parish ministry in 2018 as the Vicar of St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Hurst, Texas. When she’s not working, it’s almost certain that you’ll find Allison in one of four places: reading on her Kindle in the front yard hammock, volunteering at Operation Kindness Animal Shelter, walking one of her family’s two dogs, or begging her tween/teen children to create/craft/cook with her.