2013 Earl Lectures: Lectures, Preachers, Panelists, & Speakers
Worship and Special Events • Logistics • CEUs • Sponsorship/Vendor Tables
New Workshop Tracks: Mental Health Professionals & Social Workers • Parents
Dr. Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M., is Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics, Yale Divinity School and past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.
Dr. Farley is the author of several books including the award-winning Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. Dr. Farley has an accomplished history of speaking out on women's rights and public health issues, both within and outside of the church. She has published more than 100 articles and chapters of books on topics of ethical methodology, medical ethics, sexual ethics, social ethics, historical theological ethics, ethics and spirituality, justice and HIV/AIDS. She has lectured widely in the United States, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Western Europe.
Professor Farley is the recipient of eleven honorary degrees and a variety of fellowships and awards, including the 1992 John Courtney Murray Award for Excellence in Theology and the 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for her book, Just Love. She has served on numerous editorial and advisory boards and national ethics committees. She was a founding member of Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Bioethics Committee; and she served for eight years as Co-director of the Yale University Interdisciplinary Bioethics Center. She was Director of Yale Divinity School’s Women’s Initiative: Gender, Faith, and Responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa. She is past president of both the Society of Christian Ethics and the Catholic Theological Society of America.
Keynote: Family Matters: Justice and Hope
Margaret Farley in the New York Times, June 4, 2012
Stephanie Coontz is an author, historian, and faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She also serves as Co-Chair and Director of Research and Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-profit, nonpartisan association of family researchers and practitioners based at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Ms. Coontz is the author of the award-winning Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families, and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families. She also wrote A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s and edited American Families: A Multicultural Reader. She has also published many popular and academic articles and appeared in numerous conference and media programs. Her writings have been translated into French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Czech, German, Norwegian, Turkish, Greek, Chinese, Ukrainian, and Japanese.
A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Coontz has also taught at Kobe University in Japan and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. In 2004, she received the Council on Contemporary Families first ever "Visionary Leadership" Award. In 1995 she accepted the Dale Richmond Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for her "outstanding contributions to the field of child development." She also received the 2001-02 "Friend of the Family" award from the Illinois Council on Family Relations. She served as a marriage consultant to The Ladies Home Journal from 2006-2009 and consulted with the Pew Research Center in developing their questionnaire for their 2010 report on the state of marriage and family life in America, as well as with Match.com for its 2011 survey on singles.
Workshop: Working with the Media
Stephanie Coontz in USA Today, July 25, 2012
The Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre is Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado was elected President of the Society of Christian Ethics in 2012. Dr. De La Torre has received several national book awards and is a frequent speaker at national scholarly religious conferences focusing upon topics concerning the intersection of race, class, and gender within religion.
Since obtaining his doctorate in 1999, Dr. De La Torre has authored numerous articles and books, including the award-winning Reading the Bible from the Margins, (Orbis, 2002); Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004); and Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins, (Orbis, 2004). Within the academy he has served as a director to the Society of Christian Ethics and the American Academy of Religion. Additionally, he has been co-chair of the Ethics Section at the American Academy of Religion.In 2012 he received a Fulbright, teaching a course on post-colonialism and Christianity in Indonesia.
Dr. De La Torre has been an expert commentator concerning ethical issues (mainly Hispanic religiosity, LGBT civil rights, and immigration rights) on several local, national, and international media outlets. A scholar-activist, Dr. De La Torre has written numerous articles in popular media. He writes monthly columns for Ethics Daily that continuously creates controversies for his unique approach of religiously analyzing social issues from the perspective of the dispossessed and disenfranchised.
Keynote: Focus on the Undocumented Family
The Rev. Barbara J. Essex is best-selling author of such works as: Krazy Kinfolk: Exploring Dysfunctional Families in the Bible; Bad Girls of the Bible: Exploring Biblical Women of Questionable Virtue; and Women in the Bible: Insights Bible Study for Growing Faith. She has served as Minister for Higher and Theological Education at the United Church of Christ, and for ten years as the Minister and Director of Pastoral Services at Pacific School of Religion. Essex also was professor of philosophy and religion at Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, CA and has served as adjunct faculty for the Hartford Seminary’s Women Leadership Institute in Connecticut since the late 1990s.
Her other professional work includes serving as Program Director and Co-Convener for the National Religious Leadership Program, co-sponsored by Pacific School of Religion and Hartford Seminary. She has provided consultant assistance in the areas of leadership, education, spirituality, and program development and evaluation for individuals, diverse congregations, denominational agencies, seminaries and other institutions across the nation. She pastored and served on the staffs of several churches in the Chicagoland area.
Workshop: Sister Act: Leah and Rachel
Wendy Atkins-Pattenson earned a Master of Theological Studies at Harvard University and has a B.A. degree from University of Redlands in Psychology and Language Therapy. A graduate of New Ventures West Professional Coaching Course, she is a Certified Integral Coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. Prior to establishing her practice in coaching and consulting, she was a Senior Vice President at Ketchum Public Relations in Employee Relations and was responsible for Learning and Development, Performance Management and Career Management.
Workshop: Parenting from Our Authentic Selves
Writer/Director/Workshop and Retreat Leader Lizann Bassham has a B.A. in Psychology from SFSU and an M.Div. from PSR, and is an ordained minister of The United Church of Christ. Lizann has taught courses for the GTU and PSR and written curriculum on religion and the arts, sexuality and spirituality, and youth ministry. She has worked with Progressive, Evangelical, and Catholic groups, has been a guest Cantor for a Reconstructionist Synagogue, and has a background in Wiccan art and practice. Her plays, “Stories Seldom Told,” “Breastify!” and “Voices,” and her novels, "Barefoot" and "One of Another," explore issues of family, community, and connection in our broken but beautiful world. Once, quite by accident she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A.
Rev. Rachel Bauman received a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in 2012 and is now serving as Minister of Community Life at First Congregational Church of Berkeley where her primary area of responsibility is children, youth and family ministries. Prior to entering the ministry Rachel worked in higher education and student affairs after receiving a Master of Education from the University of Vermont in 1995.
Workshop: Parenting from Our Authentic Selves
Jon L. Berquist, Ph.D., is president of Disciples Seminary Foundation. He has taught Hebrew Bible at a number of seminaries, including Pacific School of Religion, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He is the author of ten books in biblical studies and religion, including Reclaiming Her Story: The Witness of Women in the Old Testament and Judaism in Persia’s Shadow: A Social and Historical Approach.
Jorge Blandón, Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative (FII), is dedicated to supporting the self-determination of working-poor families and communities. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded and achieved national recognition for its innovative, strength-based approach to catalyzing economic and social mobility. FII has shown that investing in people's strengths and initiative delivers stronger, more sustainable outcomes. Prior to joining The Family Independence Initiative in 2009, Jorge worked for seven years in the financial securitization sector where he honed his expertise in underwriting bond financings for U.S. municipal entities, investor owned and publicly owned utilities, as well as infrastructure projects in the U.S. and Latin America. He holds an M.A. in International Relations with a focus in Business Management from the University of California in San Diego and has a B.A. from Amherst College. Jorge is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow from Princeton University.
Workshop: The Family Independence Initiative
Rev. Adam Blons is an ordained UCC minister with over 10 years of pastoral ministry experience with diverse families in the Bay Area. He is passionate about involving children in worship, providing practical spiritual support to parents, and using the Arts to enliven worship for all ages. Currently taking a break from parish ministry, he is a stay-at-home Dad to his two children, ages 6 and 3. He and his partner live in Berkeley.
Dr. Robert Brooks has a BA, Magna cum laude in English Lit, Cum laude in General Studies from U. of Colorado, Boulder, 1958; M. Ed., in Student Services Administration & Counseling, Ohio University, 1967; Education Specialist, University of New Mexico, 1977; Ph.D. in Administration of Higher Education, University of New Mexico, 1987. He worked for 30+ years running University Residence Halls at CU, OU, & Cal. State, Fresno, also worked in Counseling at Fresno, primarily with Foreign Students & teaching half time (both graduate & undergraduate levels). He did private Educational Consulting & served as Teaching Associate at U. of New Mexico while working on doctorate. Robert is the Past President of California Association of College and University Housing officers; multiple committee assignments for Association of College and University Housing Officers, committee work for National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, active member of Society for International Education, Training and Research. He taught Methods of Research & Disciplined Inquiry for the Say Brook Institute in San Francisco, and is currently retired.
Workshop: Building Family Among Senior Populations
The Rev. Dr. Peter Yuichi Clark is professor of pastoral care at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, a GTU member school, and manager of spiritual care services at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. He is an ordained American Baptist minister, a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains, and a certified supervisor in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Peter holds a B.A. degree from Baylor University in Waco, TX; a M.Div. degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY; and a Ph.D. degree in religious studies from Emory University in Atlanta. Among his research, writing, and teaching interests are spiritual care in Asian American and Pacific Islander populations, the dynamics of aging and religious faith, the implications of Buddhist-Christian interreligious dialogue for pastoral caregiving, spiritual assessment based on the capacity for hoping/hopefulness, and cultural sensitivity and humility.
The Rev. Dr. Toni Dunbar is an ordained clergyperson in the United Church of Christ, and a PSR alum through its CMS, M.Div and D.Min programs. She is the pastor of Adult Education at City of Refuge UCC in San Francisco and the founder of Refuge Institute, offering practical ministry education for clergy and community. She is a career specialist in ministry and nonprofit program development for persons living with HIV, the urban American poor, same-gender-loving and Transgender persons, and the incarcerated. Toni is the former chaplain of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department and current director of a therapeutic alternative-to-detention program for juvenile offenders. She is the author of BLESSED! Sermons from the Edge and a contributor to The Sky is Crying: Race, Class and Natural Disaster, Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan, ed.
Workshop: Livin' for the City
Karen has a private practice in San Francisco, where she provides psychotherapy, spiritual direction, supervision and mentoring. She is a core faculty member in the Spiritual Guidance Program at Sofia University (formerly the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology), adjunct faculty at Starr King School for the Ministry, as well as community faculty member at the University of California-San Francisco in the Department of OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences.
Doretha Williams-Flournoy, MS has over 25 years experience implementing community based mental health and healthcare services, program planning and administration, and public policy. Currently she serves as the Deputy Director for the California Institute for Mental Health. As a deputy director and member of the executive management team her portfolio includes the provision of statewide technical assistance and training programs focused on prevention and early intervention, reducing disparities, and integration of primary care and behavioral health.
Well-loved by her students for her insight, humor and passion for teaching, Dr. Isa Gucciardi is the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, a non profit organization dedicated to consciousness education. Isa pioneered the spiritual counseling model of Depth Hypnosis in the mid-nineties and she has trained hundreds of practitioners in the model since that time. Isa has degrees and certificates in Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology, Comparative Religion and Transpersonal Psychology. Dr. Gucciardi spent much of her childhood in Hawaii and teaches classes based in the Huna tradition there. She has an active private Depth Hypnosis practice in addition to teaching at the Sacred Stream Center in Berkeley, CA, throughout the United States and abroad.
Dr. David Hall is a Trustee of the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness, a 12 year old organization of UU poly folk to help their churches learn to welcome polyamorous people in their church community. He is also the Publisher of the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality www.ejhs.org and a faculty member of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco and an adjunct professor at the University of the Pacific.
Rev. Gina Rose Halpern D.Min., BCCC is the founder of The Chaplaincy Institute and Interfaith Seminary in Berkeley California. Gina Rose is author and illustrator of "To Heal the Broken Heart," and the bilingual children's book "Where is Tibet?" Gina Rose is a board certified clinical chaplain and member of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP.) She is currently the chaplain for Kaiser Vacaville.
Sifa Hingano is the pastor of Genesis United Methodist Church in San Jose.
Workshop: Polynesian Dance
Robert H. Hopcke is licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Berkeley, California, with degrees in Theology from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and clinical counseling from California State University, Hayward. The author of numerous books in psychology and spirituality, he received his training from Spiritual Directors International in Burlingame, California and currently is adjunct faculty at Sofia University where he teaches in the both the Counseling and Spiritual Guidance programs.
Jay Emerson Johnson, a theologian and Episcopal priest, has worked for the Center since 2003 in various capacities, most recently as Senior Director, Academic Research & Resources. In 2008 he joined the core doctoral faculty of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) and teaches courses at Pacific School of Religion and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, both member schools of the GTU.
From 2001 to 2007, Jay served as the co-chair of the Gay Men's Issues in Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion. Since 2006 he has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Theology and Sexuality. He has also served as a parish priest in the Episcopal Dioceses of Chicago and California and is currently a clergy associate at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Berkeley. Jay's first book, Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope, was published in 2005.
Kristi Laughlin has worked in the area of economic justice and immigrant rights for fifteen years in the Bay Area. She is currently the Director of the East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, a project of EBASE, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy. She is on the Board of CLUE- CA, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice which seeks to build faith-based movement for economic justice throughout California. She earned her masters degree in Ethics and Social Theory from the Graduate Theological Union in 2007, where she examined the role of faith communities in supporting the campaigns of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farmworker association in Florida. She is a practicing Catholic and a lay associate of the RSCJ (Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) and lives in a small co-housing community in Oakland.
The Rev. Cheri Lovell serves as Director of Marketing & Strategic Initiatives for United Church Funds, the investment division of the United Church of Christ, where her role includes development of the ministry's educational programs. Following an early career in banking and investments, Cheri earned a Master of Divinity at Emory University and was ordained into the UCC in 1998 to serve the Cornerstone Fund in Cleveland. She resides in New York City.
Workshop: Thinking Financially Across Generations
The Rev. Carol Luther is a spiritual educator. Over the past thirteen years, as Chaplain at St. Paul's School in Oakland, and Vicar at Church of the Redeemer in San Rafael, together with colleagues and students, she has developed a spiritual curriculum that weaves the disparate threads of contemporary education and offers a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary fusion of religion, psychology and hard science. She holds degrees in classics and divinity, and a certificate in dreamwork. She is an Episcopal priest, storyteller and preacher, and has worked with children and youth for over twenty years. She is at work on a novel based on the Holy Grail legend, and, whenever possible, goes to Alaska.
Sally N. MacNichol has been an anti-violence activist and educator for over 20 years. She is currently Co Executive Director at CONNECT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing interpersonal violence and promoting gender justice through transformative education, community mobilization and legal advocacy. She has counseled victim-survivors of domestic violence, facilitated empowerment groups, co-facilitated groups for abusive partners, and trained hundreds of child welfare workers, religious leaders and people of faith on how to more effectively assist families struggling with domestic violence. In 2004, she developed and now directs CONNECT Faith which provides education and technical assistance to religious and lay leaders, and their congregations. She hosts a monthly interfaith theological round table for people of faith who are working to end intimate violence. Sally also leads the CONNECT Faith CSA collaborative dedicated to helping faith communities prevent child sexual abuse. MacNichol earned her Masters of Divinity degree and Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary.
Annette Mahoney is a Professor of Psychology at Bowling Green State University. She was elected Fellow of the APA in 2011 and was the 2011 recipient of the William C. Bier Award from Division 36 of APA. She obtained dual B.A. degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston. Her scientific work on positive and negative roles that religion and spirituality play for marriage, parenting, divorce and family life has appeared in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Child Clinical Psychology, The International Journal of the Psychology of Religion, and Review of Religious Research, among other outlets. She has received funding from the Templeton Foundation, Fetzer Foundation, and Ohio Department of Mental Health. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist who maintains a small private counseling and consulting practice.
Dr. Marcia McFee is an internationally-known worship consultant, professor, designer and leader of worship. She received her PhD from the GTU and has been dedicated to continued education for clergy and worship volunteers for 20 years through workshops and retreats. Dr. McFee just launched the new Worship Design Studio online program of continued education, inspiration and a first-ever Design App for step-by-step help with the worship design process for teams. http://worshipdesignstudio.com
Kathi McShane is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the Pacific School of Religion and the Executive Director of PSR’s Commission on Strategic Direction.
Eleanor Scott Meyers is retired and living in Claremont, CA at Pilgrim Place—an intentional retirement community for those who have served in the ministry and/or charitable non-profit organizations. Dr. Meyers is an ordained minister in the UCC and has been a campus minister, parish minister and theological educator (Professor of Church & Society at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, Dean of Faculty and Professor, Saint Paul School of Theology in KC,MO, and President of Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley). She has two grown children and two grandchildren in college in the Upper Midwest. Dr. Meyers holds a Divinity degree from Yale and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Sociology.
Rev. Jim Mitulski PSR's co-director of worship and a campus pastor, as well as being pastor of New Spirit Community Church (www.newspiritchurch.org)which meets in the PSR chapel. Jim has been a pastor for 27 years, serving churches in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as being a Merrill Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. He was pastor of the Metropolitain Community Church in San Francisco during the AIDS years from 1985-2000 and performed many weddings, in addition to many funerals. He holds a BA from Columbia University, an M.Div. from PSR, an honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Starr King School for the Ministry.
Workshop: Inclusive Wedding Ceremonies
After a decade in HIV/AIDS education and program development, Murphy-Stephans became an independent social health and justice consultant, educator and writer. For the past 14 years Murphy-Stephans has worked on a variety of issues at the intersection of social justice and health, with a particular focus on the prevention of child sexual abuse since 2002. She has collaborated with important, progressive leaders in the movement to end child sexual abuse including the Ms. Foundation for Women, Stop it NOW! and Oakland-based generationFIVE. Since graduating from Union Theological Seminary in 2011, Murphy-Stephans has worked with MacNichol and the CONNECT Faith CSA collaborative while simultaneously moving towards ordination in the UCC. Murphy-Stephans lives in Oakland with her partner and two children.
Zachary is an attorney from Oakland, California. He is formerly a Soros Justice Fellow and the director of Books Not Bars, a campaign of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. For 7 years, he worked to build California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth. The campaign contributed to efforts to close 3 youth prisons in the state, passed legislation to enable families to stay in contact with their loved ones and defeated Prop 6 -- one of the state’s most destructive and ineffective ballot measures. He attended the Labor Community Strategy Center’s National School for Strategic Organizing in Los Angeles, California, is a former board member at Witness for Peace and Just Cause Oakland and is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University School of Law.
Workshop: Justice for Families
Penny V. Phillips is a full-time Staff Chaplain with the Palo Alto Veterans’ Hospital. She has been part of the PAVA Chaplaincy Services for more than 17 years and currently serves in the Hospice and Palliative Care Center, providing Spiritual Care and Pastoral Support as well as Bereavement Care. She also works as Volunteer Liaison for the 25-bed inpatient center. Penny has Board Certification as a Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and is on the Faculty of the PAVA Palliative Care Fellowship Program. She graduated from Pacific School of Religion and her ordination is in the United Church of Chris.
Penny has presented on “Veteran Cultures” and “Veteran Spiritual Issues at the End of Life” and other Veteran topics at the California Hospice Foundation Annual Meetings from 2005 to 2011. She has presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professional Chaplains on “Veterans and their Spirituality”. She particularly enjoys collaborating in presentations with her PAVA Hospice Care Team colleagues
Bishop Bonnie Radden, MS pastors Refiner’s Fire Fellowship in Long Beach, CA and serves as the West Coast Bishop for The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries under the direction of Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder. Bishop Radden has worked teaching and providing mental health services focusing on prevention and early intervention for more than 16 years, teaching a curriculum she wrote entitled, “Inside Out.”
Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW is a clinical social worker who has worked on LGBT health and mental health for nearly 40 years. As Director of the Family Acceptance Project at SF State University, she conducted the first comprehensive study of how family reactions to their LGBT children – including religious condemnation and support – affect their LGBT children’s health, mental health and well-being.
Dr. Ryan and her team have applied this research to help ethnically and religiously diverse families support their LGBT children across disciplines and systems of care. This includes developing a new family model of wellness, prevention and care to strengthen families, decrease health risks, and promote well-being for LGBT children and adolescents – in the context of family, culture and faith; developing research and faith-based materials to help families support their LGBT children; and training clergy, faith leaders and religious institutions on this evidence-based approach.
Dr. Ryan’s work has been widely recognized by professional and community groups including the American Psychological Association, Division 44 which gave her the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for groundbreaking research on LGBT youth and families. Dr. Ryan is working with agencies, faith communities, organizations, and providers to develop an international movement of family acceptance to promote wellness and healthy futures for LGBT children, youth and young adults.
Workshop: The Family Acceptance Project
After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale University in the history of medieval and Latin America Christianity and after teaching at the University of New Hampshire, Trinity College, and Yale, Professor Schlager was hired as one of the original staff members of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) in 2000, of which he is now executive director. Dr. Schlager’s research interests include queer studies, the history of Christianity, LGBT pastoral care, and medieval social and religious history. He has published articles on ancient church history, medieval hagiography, the history of sexuality, and the history of education, and co-authored a book with David Kundtz, Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk: LGBT Pastoral Care (2007)
Workshop: Queer Families in History
Laura S. Scott is author of Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice (Seal Press, 2009), and the director of The Childless by Choice Project documentary film (2011). These projects were informed by a survey conducted by Scott and five years of research on the voluntarily childless in North America, an interest that continues in her work as a coach with a specialty in reproductive decision-making. Laura Scott is a Certified Professional coach, Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, and President of 180 Coaching, based in Tampa, Florida, serving executives, leaders and teams, and clients in transition in North America and abroad.
Rev. Roland Stringfellow earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Indiana University. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary and in 1990 became a licensed minister in the Baptist Church. In 2005, Roland was ordained with the Metropolitan Community Church and in 2006 he earned his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion with a certificate in Religion and Sexuality. In 2011, Roland became licensed with the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship churches, a predominately African-American denomination with an outreach to LGBT individuals. He has worked as a pastor in Indiana and California.
Rev. Lauren Van Ham serves as Dean of Interfaith Studies at ChI (The Chaplaincy Institute, an Interfaith Seminary and Community), located in North Berkeley. She was ordained with the very first cohort of ChI ordinands in 1999, and completed the interfaith Spiritual Direction program in 2006. Before joining the ChI staff in 2010, Lauren served for eight years, as a staff chaplain at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco. From there, she moved to a corporate environment, where she custom-designed employee programs for multi-national companies committed to sustainability and culture change. As part of her evolving call and commitment to "eco-chaplaincy”, Lauren served as Executive Director for Green Sangha (a non-profit dedicated to spiritually-engaged environmental activism) from 2004-2006 and currently chairs Fair Trade Berkeley, a group whose dedication helped make Berkeley the 19th Fair Trade Town in the U.S. As an interfaith spiritual director and minister, Lauren tends a private practice, serving individuals, couples, and adolescents. She holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, and Naropa University.
Workshop: Working with Multi-faith Families
Rev. Michael Yoshii has served as pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church (BVUMC) in Alameda, California since 1988. Buena Vista UMC is 113 years old and has historically served the Japanese American population in Alameda and the East Bay. BVUMC currently serves a broad pan-Asian and multi-cultural constituency. BVUMC has been engaged in a range of ministries over the years including affordable housing advocacy, racial justice and equity in the local schools and community institutions, and advocacy for the LGBTQ community. Buena Vista is currently engaged in a local partnership with the Growing Youth Project, an urban farm project at the Alameda Point Collaborative, serving families in transitional housing. BVUMC is also currently engaged in a partnership with the West Bank Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin and involved in advocacy for a just end to the military occupation of Palestinian territories. Rev. Yoshii serves on the Board of Directors for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, is Co-Chair of the Philippine Solidarity Task Force, and a member of the Israel-Palestine Task Force for the California Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Yoshii has received numerous awards for his leadership including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Pacific School of Religion (2002), the National Education Association Human & Civil Rights Award (2004), the Bishop Melvin Talbert Racial Justice Award from the California Nevada United Methodist Church (2005), the Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly Peace and Justice Award from the Cal-Nevada Methodist Federation for Social Action (2010), and most recently Recognition from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Human Relations Commission (2011).