Wanda Deifelt is a Brazilian Lutheran pastor and educator currently teaching at Luther College in Decorah, IA. Prior to that, she taught at Escola Superior de Teologia (the Lutheran Seminary in Brazil), where she was responsible for the Chair of Feminist Theology. Her teaching covers the Christian tradition, particularly the teachings of Martin Luther, as well as the intersection between religions and different fields of knowledge, such as literature and art.
Daniel Castillo is Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland, where he also contributes to the Environmental Studies and Peace & Justice Studies programs. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame in 2014. While at Notre Dame, Dan's research was funded through the National Science Foundation, allowing him to explore aspects of the planetary eco-social emergency from a multidisciplinary perspective. Dan's teaching and research focus on the intersection of liberation theology, environmental ethics, and the theological interpretation of scripture. He has published essays in these areas in journals such as Theological Studies, Political Theology, and Scriptura. Dan recently published his first book entitled An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology (Orbis Books), which explores the relationship between salvation, liberation, and care for creation. He lives in Baltimore with his wife Erika and their two children Frances and Martin.
Paul Griffith is a lifelong religious educator with a particular focus on social & ecological justice. Paul is a Colombian-American who was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, and remains a practicing “Vatican II Catholic” with a commitment to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue. He has formulated and directed numerous retreats, workshops, and spiritual formation classes for both adolescents and adults, and his day-to-day ministry has been faith formation in the classroom for the last 25 years. He earned his M.A. in Systematic Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and currently teaches theology at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. Paul is also a professional photographer, an avid mountaineer, skier, musician, and traveler. He lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, Kamala, and his kids, Landon (13) and Lily (10).
Ruth Lee is an artist who focused on abstract acrylic painting before using art as a tool to explore her spirituality and religion with more depth. She began creating art that interpreted or responded to poetry and scripture texts to be included as visual elements for enhancing group worship. Ruth has invited artists of varied mediums and expertise to explore creating art as part of their spiritual journey and has often nudged them into sharing with a wider community. Recognizing that within the Lutheran church historical symbols often reflect a white bias, Ruth is currently raising awareness and asking questions. How do we move away from a visual portrayal of white being holy and God-like, and black being evil and sinful? How can Jubilee be represented visually in a way that is affirming for all people? Ruth lives in Edmonds with her husband Tom and orange cat Mugsy. When not painting, she loves to golf, garden, play games, and especially travel. She is a self-confessed National Park nerd who seeks out new stamps for her National Parks book when visiting.
In his 12 years as a parish pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chris has long been drawn to challenges, and his service as pastor and developer for the Living Stones Prison Congregation is no exception. At Living Stones, he is entrusted with the spiritual needs of a unique ministry: a pair of worship communities housed within the walls of two Washington state prisons, open to inmate, volunteer, and visitor alike. Chris spends his time ministering directly to the members of these worship communities, developing reentry resources and opportunities, and sharing stories from "the inside" with outside congregations and community groups. He lives happily with the funniest woman on earth, two inquisitive young children, and a pair of loyal - but dense - Labrador retrievers. In his spare time, he produces and performs with a local theatre and film company.
Since 2005, Chris has been a gang pastor and chaplain in Skagit County Jail, Juvenile Detention, and several WA State prisons. Formerly with Tierra Nueva, he co-founded Underground Coffee, using artisan coffee roasting to interrupt mass incarceration and promote a new employment culture that celebrates the transferrable skills men and women gained in the illegal economy. He co-founded Underground Ministries in 2017 with a former gang member/prisoner who became a close friend and teacher. Though he opted for an MFA in creative writing instead of seminary, Chris is grateful to nevertheless have been commissioned recently as a Presbyterian (USA) pastor. He is also a teaching writer with Ally Underground Writing and is the author of WANTED.
While Steve Wolbrecht's day job is in IT, his vocation is in music. He is the lead composer for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment - a film and media company he helped start - and has scored a dozen feature and short films to date. He routinely serves as a substitute accompanist for Lutheran churches in the Tacoma, WA area, and has been serving as village musician at every opportunity since wintering at Holden from 99-00. Steve enjoys putting new twists on traditional tunes, adding jazz and modern elements to well-known songs and hymns.
Ron Pangborn, multi-instrumentalist and worship leader, has been an active member of the Detroit musical community for over 50 years. As a drummer, he has performed or recorded with internationally known artists in multiple genres. He is the Music Director of Hope Community Church in Detroit, Michigan, and produces podcasts and web content for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. Ron, his wife Pamela, and daughter Jules have been coming to Holden for over 20 years as both staff and guests. They are looking forward to introducing their new granddaughter, Esther Rose to the Village!