I am a Unitarian Universalist Minister, currently serving as Director of Family Ministry at Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church in Hayward, CA and the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Organizer for the CA Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. In addition to my congregationally-based work, I am I am a teacher, facilitator, and public speaker in the broader community on issues of reproductive justice, faith and religion, movement vitality, and the moral/theological legitimacy of progressive politics. Reproductive justice has been the soil of my theological work, starting from the human suffering that is revealed and addressed (or not addressed) through abortion provision.
Prior to pursuing liberal religious ministry, I worked at the National Abortion Federation and Howard University. I currently serve on the board of directors of the Abortion Conversation Project, am a member of the Center for American Progress’ Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, and a member of the Reproductive Health Technologies’ Project Speaker Bureau on Abortion Access and Reproductive Equity.
My Ministerial Vision:
I am called to a ministry serving both liberal religious and reproductive justice communities, using wisdom from both to enrich the other. Liberal religion struggles to fulfill its dreams of multicultural community, fearful of challenging it’s modern, rationalist, individualist, and empirical roots; fearful of embodied living that call us to reconcile the violent realities of liberal modern tradition. Reproductive freedom communities, particularly those who claim a prochoice affiliation, struggle to claim, authoritatively and persuasively, the spiritual and moral legitimacy of all women’s childbearing decisions.
Liberal religious communities offer moral and spiritual resources to embrace plurality, difference, and complexity. Reproductive justice communities are more adept at messy, embodied engagement with the realities of life, birth, death, and justice. I’m called to be a bridge-builder between liberal religion and reproductive justice communities, facilitating spiritual, moral, and relational synergies that can free progressives to co-create the just, compassionate, and beloved world to which our liberal and liberationist traditions call us.
How I Got Here:
Raised in liberal religious congregations in Upstate NY, I have long had a passion for social justice, health and sexuality education, and feminism–all of which which were nurtured and sustained by religious community. After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked as a health and sexuality educator at Howard University and as an abortion counselor at the National Abortion Federation’s national hotline. While I had considered the ministry, I thought it was something I could only do as a second or third career. Fortunately, during my time in Washington DC, I was an active member of All Souls Church in Washington DC, led at the time by two young ministers Rev. Rob Hardies and Rev. Shana Lynngood.
In was in this context that my calling to ministry became crystallized. In my professional life, I routinely encountered skepticism, fear, and disdain for religion, despite the need many expressed for dealing with spiritual issues when it came making decisions about their health, sexuality, and relationships. Few in my professional circles seemed at all familiar with my liberal religious experience. It was in church where I got the best comprehensive sexuality education growing up. It was my church community that really supported my activism and feminism when my peers in high school dismissed and ridiculed it.
With the support of my spouse and partner, Katherine, I decided to officially begin my journey towards ordained ministry, knowing that reproductive justice was core in my calling.
In my free time, I love to dance, read fiction, and take my dog, Benny, on long walks. I love good coffee, fierce rhythm, feminist process theologies, and sassy, compassionate people.