Project Participants

Allison RuariLeadership Team
Rev. Allison Ruari serves as the associate minister at Vine Street Christian Church in Nashville TN. She is married to Rev. Jared Ruari and mother to human baby, Silas, and fur babies Mary Frances, Sallie, and Ruthie. She is a graduate of Occidental College and Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

Yvonne GilmoreConstructive Theologies Director
Yvonne is the Associate Dean of the Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago. She is an alumna of American University and the University of Chicago Divinity School. She has worked as both a chaplain and a pastor, is a member of the hip-hop band The Cornel West Theory, a poet and spoken word artist, and an expert at witty banter (says the blog editor).

Judith Guy
Judith Guy is pastor at Mackinaw Christian Church. She graduated with a Masters of Divinity at University of Chicago in June 2017. She is ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Rae Karim
A 2014 graduate of Christian Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, Rae Karim serves as pastor of Northwood Christian Church, in Indianapolis, IN. She is a poet, entrepreneur, vocalist and aunt to the best nieces a girl could ask for. Joining the facets of her gift for words, Rae recognizes this gift as one that will embrace and empower all who engage in it.

Alexis KassimLeadership Team
Unapologetically awkward and unashamedly black, Rev. Alexis Kassim is a pastor in the Washington, DC area. She is interested in real talk, Duke basketball, telenovelas, and figuring out how to develop a sense of undistorted love in the church and in the world.

Allie Lundblad, Leadership Team
Allie is currently a chaplain resident, through the Clinical Pastoral Education program, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago and also serves as a minister at the First Baptist Church of Chicago. She is an alumna of Oberlin College and the University of Chicago Divinity School and is ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Andrew PackmanLeadership Team
Andrew is a doctoral student in Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is also a founding pastor of Root and Branch Church, a Disciples of Christ church plant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

Hyein Park
Hyein Park is a native South Korean, currently first-year PhD student at University of Chicago Divinity School.  She is interested in theological anthropology from the margins (race/class/gender) and how depression affects one’s understanding of God and self, and loves singing, watching films, and reading memoirs.

Eli Rolón-JeongBlog Tech/Leadership Team 
Eli is a doctoral student in Ethics and Cultural Studies at Claremont School of Theology. He received an MA in Ethics from Iliff School of Theology, and an MDiv from Vanderbilt. He also received 2 free tickets to see Flogging Molly; however, Eli was unable to attend the concert. Eli is a non-practicing vegan.

Michael Swartzentruber 
Michael Swartzentruber is Senior Minister at South Elkhorn Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. When not making a complete mess in the kitchen, he enjoys animated card games with his wife, Rebecca. A graduate of Centre College and the University of Chicago Divinity School, Michael savors dark coffee and obscure books of theology. While passionate about leadership and the wondrous adventure of faith, Michael does occasionally tweet snarky things @mswartzentruber.

Christian WatkinsLeadership Team
Christian was ordained in 2014 in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She grew up in the Disciples tradition in Kansas. Christian attended college at the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!) before studying at Yale Divinity School and graduating from there in 2014. She currently serves as the Interim Associate Pastor in Milford, Connecticut at the First United Church of Christ (Congregational). Her ministerial passions include interfaith and ecumenical ministries, lay leadership engagement, Multiple-Intelligences preaching and ministerial communication, and reminding people that God likes to laugh, often! You will probably find her reading, singing, dancing, scheming adventures, or conducting a baking experiment in her free time.

Jean-Daniel Williams
Jean-Daniel is the chaplain at McGill University for the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada, and he is the Montréal/Ottawa regional youth and young adult minister for the United Church of Canada. He was ordained by a Cooperative Baptist and Disciples of Christ bi-denominational parish. His undergraduate degrees are from Harvard and he has a master of divinity from Yale. He is a PhD student in practical theology at the Université de Montréal where he studies what Jesus meant when he said “Let the little children come to me” and what Christians should do about it. He is particularly passionate about how the church community includes its youngest members, engages in multi-lingual ministry, and ecumenical cooperation. He lives in Montréal, Québec, Canada with his twin daughters.

Khalia J. Williams
Khalia is an ordained minister and liturgical artist with a passion for worship and the arts. Currently, she is the Assistant Dean of Worship and Music at Candler School of Theology (Emory University). She also serves as an associate minister at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. As a Ph.D. candidate in liturgical studies at the Graduate Theological Union, she spends much of her time researching, writing about, and practicing diverse worship with a focus on heightening the awareness of women’s lived experiences and the body’s role in worship.