I’m a Pastor.
I’ve been in ministry for three decades, and have 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 EDT.
I’m an Author.
I’ve written many articles and three books, and have won various awards. Check out the articles linked here. You can read two cover stories for Christian Century, a feature article (about abortion) for Sojourners, and an op-ed (about sexual purity and the Virgin Mary) for the Washington Post. That last one generated lots of controversy! Other linked bylines include Religion News Service, Patheos, and Feasting on the Word.
The #MeToo Reckoning: Facing the Church’s Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct weaves together memoir, journalistic writing, and scriptural reflection to explore true stories of Protestant churches which failed to respond to sexual abuse in their midst. The braiding of contemporary stories of abuse 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.
Ruined tells my story of being sexually assaulted while I was a college senior, and of wrestling with my faith afterward. Some thirty-five years after that trauma, I felt the Spirit calling me to dive deeply into the impact of that event. Using my lenses as a survivor, pastor, and mother, I explore questions such as: Why did that event change my life so completely? What, exactly, was ruined? And how did my faith inform my understanding, in ways both negative and positive?
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.
Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land is a spiritual travel memoir that 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. It’s available in Kindle from Amazon and POD (print on demand) from the publisher.
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 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.