I’m a Pastor.
I’ve been in ministry for three decades. I’ve served churches in upstate New York, rural Illinois, and suburban Maryland. Currently I’m the Transitional Pastor at The Palisades Community Church in Washington, DC. I invite you to worship with us via Zoom any Sunday at 10:00 ET.
I’m an Author.
I’ve written many articles and three books. My writing has won various awards. Many articles are linked here. Find my two cover stories for Christian Century. Read a feature article (about abortion) for Sojourners. Check out an op-ed (about sexual purity and the Virgin Mary) for the Washington Post — it generated lots of controversy! Other linked bylines include Religion News Service, Patheos, and Feasting on the Word.
Check out the subtitle! This book weaves together memoir, journalistic writing, and scriptural reflection. It explores true stories of Protestant churches which failed to respond appropriately to sexual abuse in their midst. The braiding of contemporary stories with ancient scripture is eye-opening, inspiring, and hopeful. I’m proud that Publishers Weekly named it one of the Five Best Religion Books for 2020. It’s available in paperback, eBook and audio. It’s being translated into Korean.
This memoir describes a traumatic sexual assault that happened to me decades ago, while I was a college senior. The account goes well beyond the night of the attack — I wrestled with my faith for the next decade. Certain questions haunted me. Decades later, I used my lenses as a survivor, pastor, and mother to explore those questions. Why did that assault change my life so completely? How did my faith inform my understanding of that night? What, exactly, was ruined? I’m proud that this memoir was named 2017 Book of the Year by Christianity Today Women. It’s available in paperback, eBook and audio.
This spiritual travel memoir chronicles my transformative two-week pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine. Readers journey alongside me as we experience both the outer terrain of the Holy Land and the interior questions that arise from pursuing the Holy One. It’s a personal book, with many light moments. Readers tell me it helped them prepare for a pilgrimage, or was a pleasant substitute for a trip they were unable to take. Named by Hearts & Minds Bookstore as “Best Travelogue of 2012.”
I’m Available to Speak.
Pre-pandemic, I traveled widely to urge faith communities to reconsider their response to sexual abuse. Now I’m doing workshops online. Feel free to contact me to collaborate on an event.
I’m also a Person.
I live in northern Virginia with my husband, Doug, who recently retired from teaching sixth grade Science. We have two daughters, Hannah and Clara. (The picture is from March 2019 when we celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday and took a quick detour to see an icy Lake Michigan.)
Besides writing and reading, my favorite things include walking in the woods, watching live performances (oh how I miss them!), and enjoying my husband’s good cooking.
We have a cat. It’s my understanding that cat ownership is mandatory for writers. Meet Wrangler, a successful Rescue Kitty.