I was that kid who the teacher called on to stay inside during recess to help students who needed extra time taking tests. No wonder I grew up to be a minister! Ever since college I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to serving God and helping others. I majored in religious studies in college at Trinity University, graduated with a Master of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary, and also received a Master of Social Work degree at Rutgers University. Ministry and Social Work blend together my two passions of loving God and loving my neighbors. I was ordained into Christian ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 2002 and began serving as a local church pastor in 2003. I’ve served large and small congregations in Brooklyn, Minneapolis, and New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 2011, I earned my Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary with a focus on revitalizing the local church. My thesis is entitled, “The Challenges to Building a Beloved Community on Facebook.” I served the church as a Regional Minister, providing support and guidance to dozens of congregations in the United Church of Christ throughout central and western Florida. From 2014-2018, I served as Vice President for Seminary Advancement at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.
In 2018, I was called to serve as the first woman Senior Pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ of Indianapolis. In addition, I serve on the National Staff of The United Church of Christ as the Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice. I am an active community volunteer and serves locally on the board of the Faith and Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary to end poverty and I am the UCC Denominational Representative for Bread for the World Indiana Chapter. I serve nationally as a Trustee of Piedmont University, and as Director of Bethany Fellows, Mental Health America, and as Executive Committee for Pathways to Promise. I am the Open and Affirming LGBTQ Consultant and a member of the Mental Health Ministry Team for the Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC. I am the past President of the Southeast Association of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC.
I received the Princeton Engle Preaching Prize for excellence in preaching and the Bob and Joyce Dell Award for Mental Health Education from the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network for my “outstanding authorship and leadership in breaking the silence about mental illness in family and in church and offering healing and hope.” I am a widely published author in journals, magazines, and books. I am excited about sharing part of the story about my family, faith, and mental illness with the world in my first book, Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church. (Chalice Press, 2014). The stories continue in my second book, Blessed Union: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness and Marriage (Chalice Press, 2021) and my third book, Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Children, and Teens (Chalice Press, 2022). I continue to be amazed at the resilience and strength of family bonds, as I give thanks for my own family nearly every day.
I’d love to partner with you to share hope and healing. To schedule a conversation or speaking engagement please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org