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DSF Staff



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Vinnetta, a native of Atlanta, GA, recently completed a 13-year tenure as Pastor of Granger Community Christian Church, a multicultural, multiethnic congregation located in West Valley City, UT (a suburb of Salt Lake City). Over the years, the congregation has welcomed members whose heritage traces from the Shoshone and Navaho nations, Peru, Ecuador, Samoa, Tonga, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Western Africa, and Cambodia. Under her leadership, the congregation provided community services through Project Cornucopia, an ministry to struggling households.


Known as “Pastor Vinnetta,” she is active in community and interfaith groups. These groups collaborate to support and advocate for the needs of the community. During her leadership, the congregation made significant strides in becoming an anchor in the West Valley community, the second most diverse in Utah. The City of West Valley recognized her work in the community with the “January 2024 Essential Piece Award.” She has coached two new Disciple congregations: the First Tongan Christian Church (DOC) and the Samoan Christian Church (DOC). She has also mentored three new Disciple pastors. Vinnetta has committed her life to showing the world that God’s love will change your life in real and relevant ways. She is an M.Div. graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University and is completing a D.Min. at Iliff School of Theology in Denver.



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Shannon lives and serves in Northern California and is pursuing an M.Div. degree at Pacific School of Religion. Her undergraduate degree is in human resources, and she is part of the administration team for a small school district. She is a daughter, mother, grandmother, and a woman standing on the latter side of midlife, looking forward. Geyserville Christian Church is the congregation she calls home and where she serves as Moderator of the Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Northern California Nevada Women’s Council.



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Connie, a lifelong resident of Phoenix, AZ, was shaped by the rich tapestry of her Roman Catholic upbringing. At 16, her spiritual journey took a transformative turn when she embraced her Christian faith wholeheartedly. Her calling to music ministry began over a quarter-century ago, sparked by the attentive ear of a pastor who heard her voice and invited her to join the worship team. Since then, her passion for leading worship has only deepened, as she strives to cultivate authentic spiritual experiences through prayer, reflection, and music.

Beyond her music ministry pursuits, Connie attained an MBA in Finance and Accounting, allowing her to navigate the intricacies of the financial world. Concurrently, she is fervently pursuing her M.Div. at CST, driven by a deep-seated desire to expand her theological understanding and personal growth.

Several years ago, her spiritual compass led her to Foothills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a beacon of progressive values and inclusivity. Here, she embraced the role of Music Ministry Leadership, captivated by the vibrant diversity and empowering atmosphere where women thrive in leadership positions. Her time in this nurturing community has ignited inspiration and deepened my commitment to further engagement within the church. Beyond the significant value of deep theological studies, this journey promises personal transformation and a renewed purpose. She envisions it as a pathway to fulfill my newfound aspiration: to serve in pastoral care, enriching lives, and fostering love throughout our community.


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Gloria currently serves as an Elder and Lay Minister (under care on the ordination track) at Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church, where she has been a member for over 30 years. Her vocation plans include becoming ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). With all transparency, her vocational plans are open to serving God’s people wherever God through the Holy Spirit leads. That said, she seeks to become and looks forward to serving God’s people through chaplaincy. Her ultimate prayer is that through her chaplaincy practice, she will be able to serve those entrusted in her care while leading them to a closeness to God through prayer and spiritual renewal.


Gloria completed her second year in the Master of Divinity program at Claremont School of Theology (CST) with plans to graduate in 2026. Thus far, she has learned so much about various religious traditions as well as the multiples ways to God. She has also learned about preaching as a form of worship. Further, she has engaged and participated in spiritual care training. These experiences have stretched her tremendously! Her next phase in this program is to complete field education as well as the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) trainings. This is an exciting time for her education journey because she is entering into the courses specific to her calling. 


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Christiane graduated from the Pacific School of Religion with her M.Div. degree on May 19!  She is a mother, wife, VA social worker, jail chaplain, musician, and lover of the outdoors. She is inspired daily by love, opportunity, and support to engage with these gifts and try to make a difference in the world. 

She started her seminary journey in 2017 and has been blessed with a rich experience at PSR, made possible by the kindness and generosity of DSF and the guidance and support of the CCNC-N region and Geyserville Christian Church. 



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Erin is a military brat who traveled the world growing up. She is also a queer woman of color who lives in the margins. She is a graduate of the Pacific School of Religion with a Doctorate in Ministry and is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Erin is the founder and lead Pastor of Live On Purpose Community Church (LOP), an inclusive, affirming, progressive Christian church located just outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Erin is married to Chelsea Edwards, who is the Worship Director at LOP. They have twin five-year-old daughters and another baby on the way this fall. Erin began her ministry in high school and was a youth pastor in the evangelical world for 14 years. She has recently accepted the role of Director of Ecclesia Innovation at Brite Divinity School/TCU, where she will continue to create spaces for marginalized voices.


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Lou is currently working on their M.Div. at Iliff School. They identify as queer and non-binary and are building a church for LGBTQIA people who have experienced religious trauma. They hope to create a healing spiritual community that embraces those who have been hurt by dogma and exclusion.


Lou is seen as radical because they challenge institutional issues to help their clients move past the barriers society has placed upon them by identifying resources and solutions not readily available. Harm reduction is one way that they meet people where they are while building trusting relationships. Over the last few years, they have been working with the homeless population in Chicago. Lou’s passion is street outreach where they practice cultural humility, use a trauma-informed approach and listen to community needs first to offer services accordingly. Their own journey of growth and healing has been in working alongside those they serve. 


Attending seminary has been a time of developing their Christian imagination which informs how they operate outside of the box. They are grateful for the opportunity to create mutually supportive environments within the Disciples of Christ Church. It’s an exciting time to be part of the Church for Lou because of the movements they see toward a new and progressive way of thinking that embrace wholeness, inclusion and social justice.


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Holly has always had a passion for creating community and developing leaders. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry, she co-founded a church-based leadership training program on Chicago's north side, and now, she's graduating from the Seattle School with an M.Div. Holly is seeking ordination with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and her focus is on pastoring and fostering vitality in both churches and pastors. Holly’s passion for developing leaders and creating community led her to help with several new church starts and churches in transition, along with training Disciples pastors in anti-racism. When she's not studying or preaching, Holly enjoys spending quality time with her husband Jelani and their friends in Southeast Portland, experiencing and tasting all the things. 



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Ron grew up in Eureka, Illinois and after graduating from Eureka High School, he studied engineering and business at Bradley University, earning degrees of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He retired in April 2020 after a lengthy career in engineering and product marketing and entered seminary in the hybrid M.Div. program at Claremont School of Theology in August of that year. He graduated in December 2023with an M.Div. in the Ministerial Leadership track.


Ron completed his Clinical Pastoral Education at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Illinois from September 2021 until May 2022 and did community placement at the Carle Cancer Institute in Normal. He currently serves as a Chaplain at Carle Eureka Hospital.


Ron is a member of Eureka Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and joined the staff as Minister of Spiritual Care in January 2024. He was ordained there in April 2024. In his spare time, Ron enjoys walking, reading, and listening to music of all kinds, but his favorites are jazz and classical music. He is also working to improve his cooking skills. He especially enjoys preparing grilled salmon.


Ron and his wife Terri currently reside in Washington, Illinois. They have one son, Ryan, who lives in Portland, Maine. Their dog Sydney is in control of the Crawford household.

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