Katelyn is an Ohio native, an oldest child, and an INFJ. But the most important thing you should know is that she loves words and believes they can change the world.
Katelyn first learned this as an undergrad at Calvin College, where she worked on the student newspaper and genuinely looked forward to writing papers. After a study-abroad program at Oxford University, she landed her first job copy editing Christianity Today magazine in the suburbs of Chicago. She would go on to launch a women’s website (Her.meneutics) and become the magazine’s youngest and first female managing editor.
Lest you think it’s all been upward and onward for Katelyn, at age 27, she went through a major life event that seriously upset her identity and sense of purpose as a Christian and a woman. So naturally, she decided to write a book about work, vocation, and identity, which came out in 2016 from Simon & Schuster / Howard Books.
Katelyn has written for The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times and she has commented on faith and culture for CNN, CBS, NPR, Associated Press, Religion News Service, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and McClatchy Newspapers.
When she is not doing all the things with the words, Katelyn enjoys spending time exploring Chicago, running, karaoke, and travel.
David Dark teaches at both Belmont University and the Tennessee Prison for Women. He and his wife, Sarah Masen, live in Nashville with their children. Dark uses music, literature, film, and politics to encourage conversation about the intersection of Christianity and being American at this point in history. Dark wrote a piece on Chance the Rapper’s newest album,Coloring Book, and had it featured on MTV’s online news page. Author of The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, Life’s too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious, and others, he recognizes the increasing polarization among Christians when we ignore the thoughts of those around us and instead get caught up in our own opinions.
Tali Hairston began at Seattle Pacific University as Special Assistant to the President and founding director of The John M. Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Community Development, and Leadership Training. Leading the reformation of global and urban service programs, advising the University in its Reconciliation and Diversity Initiative, forming regional and national partnerships with scholars and practitioners in reconciliation, creating Seattle Pacific’s only pre-college outreach program, advising the ethnic-minority scholarship program, and assisting the Faculty Diversity committee in forming the Reconciliation Studies Minor Program are some of Tali’s numerous accomplishments at Seattle Pacific University. He is currently responsible for leading the educational advancement of reconciliation and community development at Seattle Pacific. His family history recounted in The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White, scholarly training at Washington University and Fuller Seminary, and worldwide travel have transformed the way he views the world, strengthened his values, and opened his perspective and contributed to his depth of understanding in trauma healing, reconciliation, and community development. “As a speaker, lecturer, preacher, and trainer, both domestically and internationally, Hairston brings his local hands on organizational and leadership knowledge together with his theological training in reconciliation and community development.”
Lisa Sharon Harper
From Ferguson to New York to Germany, Lisa Sharon Harper has been leading trainings and helping mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good, with a focus on racial justice. She was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice — an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City — where she helped establish Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice. She also organized faith leaders to speak out for immigration reform and organized the South Bronx Conversations for Change, a dialogue-to-change project between police and the community. Ms. Harper helped build the Evangelical Immigration Table from 2011-2013. She trained evangelicals in St. Louis to engage the 2014 push for justice in Ferguson and did the same in Baltimore in 2015. Her goal through all of these ventures is clear: “So that the church might be worthy of the moniker ‘Bride of Christ’.” Harper was recognized in 2015 as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day” by the Huffington Post. She earned her master’s in human rights from Columbia University in New York City and is currently in the process of ordination in the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Jonathan Martin is a sacramental hillbilly Pentecostal mystic. He is the author How to Survive a Shipwreck and Prototype. He serves as teaching pastor at Sanctuary Church in Tulsa, OK, where he now resides. He is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University, has an MA from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and a ThM from Duke University. He founded Renovatus Church in Charlotte, NC, which he led for 8 years. He is a product of the “Christ-haunted landscape” of the American south, sweaty revivals, and hip-hop. Years before a life of church planting, writing, and preaching, his claim to fame was getting his Aquaman, Robin and Wonder Woman action figures saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost at an early age.
Amy Peeler currently serves as Associate Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. From her first Biblical Studies class, Amy knew that she was called to be a lifelong student and teacher of the Bible. She pursued this calling by attaining a B.A. in Biblical Languages from Oklahoma Baptist University and an M. Div. and Ph. D. in Biblical Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary. Her primary research focus is the Epistle to the Hebrews. This research has sparked explorations in ancient rhetoric, the use of the Old Testament in the New, Israel’s sacrificial system, atonement, family and inheritance in the Ancient World, and theological language. In April of 2016 she was ordained and currently serves as Associate Rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Geneva, IL. From her explorations of the Bible for the church and the academy she loves to discover “new insights into the character of God and his ways with the world.”
Josh Riebock is the best-selling author of Heroes and Monsters and My Generation, host of the popular podcast, The Marrow, and a sought-after storyteller and poet at venues around the country for his captivating honesty and artistry. Josh was raised in suburban Illinois and, following stints in Austin, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina, now lives in New York City with his wife, Kristen and his dog, Ditka. Josh is an avid reader, a film lover, a coffee drinker, and a brother to two extraordinary sisters. He can be found at joshriebock.com.
Jenny Yang spends her life advocating and lobbying for the rights of immigrants and refugees. Her accolades to this end include co-authoring the book Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate and serving as chair of the Refugee Council USA Africa Work Group. She currently works as Vice president of advocacy and Policy at World Relief where she provides oversight for all of its advocacy initiatives and policy positions and serves on the Executive Leadership Team.
Josh Garrels and John Mark McMillan
Josh Garrels and John Mark McMillan are joining us as a major part of Gather 2017! They will be performing Friday, February 24th at 8:45pm.
Josh Garrels has spent more than a decade crafting music that cuts clean through. Resting in the space between accessibility and honesty, Garrels’ songs wrestle with and celebrate the mystery of faith with authenticity and heart. Cultivating a genre-blending mix of folk and hip hop, Garrels’ music explores themes of compassion, hope, longing, and liberation.
John Mark McMillan is something of an anomaly. A singer-songwriter, bending genres and defying categorization by carving out his own unique and independent path. With an ear for melody and a poet’s eye for metaphor, no topic has been off-limits. While each album has continued to explore new territory, it’s McMillan’s ability to give lyric and language to the human experience that many consider his greatest gift.