The Rev. Shawna Bowman is a pastor and a theological and liturgical visual artist. She pastors a quirky and radically gracious community called Friendship Presbyterian Church that spent several years convening in the Norwood Park METRA Station of Chicago. Shawna is also a co-founder of Creation Lab, an art collective and a working studio space at the intersection of creativity, spirituality, and prophetic imagination.
Vera White served as the National Coordinator of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement until her retirement in 2018. One addition to her job description turned into an opportunity to lead a nationwide initiative that continues to shape in profound ways the way the church looks in the 21st century.
The Rev. Gad Mpoyo was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the Pastor and founder of Shalom International Ministry, which is based in Clarkston, perhaps the most ethnically diverse city in the United States.
The Rev. Abby King-Kaiser is an artist and new worshiping community leader living in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. At Xavier University, she is the Associate Director of the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, and also directs Common Ground, the Protestant worshipping community at Xavier. Last year she began convening a gathering of friends and colleagues on Sunday mornings for Church-Ish.
Dr. Bethany McKinney Fox is the co-founder of the Beloved Everybody Church, an ability-inclusive church in Los Angeles. It celebrated its one-year anniversary this fall. She also serves as Director of Spiritual Formation for Cyclical LA and is the author of the new book Disability and the Way of Jesus (IVP Academic).
Dr. Angela Boyd Wyatt is the founder of the Spiritual Wellness Center, which explores learning that engages the mind, heart and soul to help people live out their truest and highest expression of themselves and to discover purpose and meaning for life’s spiritual journey. Angela’s interests include spiritual development, evolving relationships with the sacred, and servant leadership.
Nick Pickrell is the organizer of the Open Table, a new worshiping community in his hometown of Kansas City. The Open Table’s mission is to be a place of reconciliation in a city divided. Their recent gatherings have centered around topics like Cultivating Authenticity, Sex and the Sacred, White Fragility, and a Palm Sunday experience as Political Theater. Nick is also an actor and long-time participate in the Catholic Worker Movement. He co-curates the Open Table with Wendie Brockhaus.