Rev. Emily McGinley is the Executive Pastor of Urban Village Church, a multi-site congregation with five worshiping locations throughout Chicago. In addition to having planted the South Side (Hyde Park-Woodlawn) location of Urban Village Church, Rev. McGinly has extensive experience working across diverse networks and Christian traditions. She has preached and presented nationally on a variety of topics, including vocational discernment, preaching, church planting, social media in ministry, inclusive evangelism, and anti-racist church leadership. In addition to coaching individuals and congregations, she is a contributing writer to the book, Inter-Cultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World and Finding Peace in an Anxious World. She became a Christian in the non-denominational evangelical tradition in Puyallup, WA, before entering ordained ministry in the PC(USA). Her commitment to building gospel-shaped inclusive spaces that nurture, challenge, and practice radical hospitality has helped cultivate beloved community at UVC and beyond.
Bio coming soon!
Tanya Erzen is an Associate Research Professor in Religious Studies, Crime, Law and Justice, and Gender Queer Studies at the University of Puget Sound. She is the Founder and Faculty Director of the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, an organization that provides college classes to women in Washington prisons and seeks to educate the public about educational justice, access and incarceration. She has written books on faith-based groups in American prisons, the religious politics of the ex-gay movement, police brutality in New York City, and feminism and the Twilight series. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, The Nation, The Boston Globe, Inside Highered, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Religion Dispatches, The Revealer, Bookforum, and various academic journals. She has been a speaker for Humanities Washington, a Soros Justice Media fellow from the Open Society Foundation, and a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence. She has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Mellon Foundation, American Association of University Women, and the Social Science Research Council. She has been interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air, MSNBC, BookSpan, and numerous radio shows as well as doing a TEDx about higher education in prison.
Deirdre Gabbay is director of The Shmita Project Northwest, an organization dedicated to bringing attention to the Hebrew calendar's seven-year Shmita cycle which centers on the relationship between the earth and the wellbeing of the human and more-than-human world, through education, inspiration, community-building, and programmatic support. She founded Ahavat v'Avodat HaAdamah, "Love and Service of the Earth," in 2015 to establish an environmental presence for the Pacific Northwest rooted in Jewish text, tradition, and practice, specifically to support a response to climate change. Deirdre is a member of Congregation Beth Shalom and a board member of Washington Interfaith Power & Light/Earth Ministry. She blogs at www.shmitainseattle.com, where all of her divrei Torah (sermons) can be found.
The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton is the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett Washington. Rachel was raised in a mixed-race heritage of First Nations (Shackan, BC) Pennsylvania Dutch, and Scots-Irish. She has 25 years of experience in working with diverse communities, served as a chaplain in a hospital setting, and helped organizations recover from community and organizational trauma. She is the facilitator of Circles of Color in the Episcopal Church in Western Washington.
Cooper Sherry is a full-time church music director living in the Pacific Northwest. He has served at St. Mark's Lutheran in Tacoma for many years where he directs choirs for children, teens, and adults, accompanies worship for multiple weekly services, and since 2020 produces mountains of virtual and recorded content for online worship each month. He is married to Sarah Moore Sherry with whom he has written many hymns for congregations, and himself has written numerous pieces for choir, piano, and organ. His passion is getting people excited about singing together. Be ready - he's going to ask you to be in choir!