I’ve been on quite the journey. In 2001, I dreamed up “something better,” an idea for my life’s vocation and the service that would flow from it. I was 21, just about to start my senior year at Fresno Pacific University, and spending the summer as an intern with an Exodus (ex-gay) ministry. I desperately wanted to live faithfully in relationship with God; yet, for a dozen years I thought that meant rejecting my sexuality. I knew deep down that “something better” existed – a fuller and truer understanding of God, a way of being the Church that promoted greater human flourishing, a more authentic and courageously vulnerable self-identity – and I wanted to spend my life living into that and inviting others to join me. In 2013, I finally reached a place of reconciling my faith and sexuality, and life has never been so liberating, healing and full of hope! In 2015, I married my best friend and partner overlooking Lake Tahoe surrounded by a small gathering of family and friends. Energized by my participation in The Reformation Project’s 2018 Leadership Development Cohort (Jan-Apr 2018), I launched this website as part of an organized effort to work for inclusive justice. All along I’ve been inspired to pursue “something better.” I’m excited for each new step on this journey and the possibilities for justice and peacemaking I will encounter along the way.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… Yet all [those who have come before us], though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God has provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses… let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 11:1, 39-40,12:1-2).
A few fun facts…
Location: I live in Fresno, CA with my wife, Kim, and our two rescue pups, Zoe & Nash.
Education: Bachelors degrees in English and Biblical & Religious Studies from Fresno Pacific University in 2002. Master of Arts degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2006. Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University in 2016.
Faith affiliation: I resonate with Anabaptist theology and belong to Willow Avenue Mennonite Church, a Mennonite Brethren congregation. I’ve appreciated learning about liturgical practices in the Episcopal churches I’ve attended. I’ve been on quite the journey of deconstructing the conservative Evangelical faith framework that shaped my teenage and early adult years.
Identifications: I am a cisgender, lesbian woman. I have recently been wrestling with my white privilege. Though the side of my family I’ve known and identified with throughout my life is Mexican, I’ve walked a different experience in this world than most of them because of my skin color. I am also privileged in socioeconomic class, ability, citizenship and religion. I’m committed to learning how to use my privilege to work for justice alongside those marginalized by oppressive systems. This is part of how I seek to follow Jesus who “emptied himself.”