M.Div 2015, Wake Forest University School of Divinity
For more than ten years Lisa has been a voice for compassion and justice for LGBTQ persons within the evangelical church. She has guided countless Christians, of all ages, through the process of reconciling their sexuality and/or gender identity with themselves, their families, and with God. Her work with parents has helped to create an atmosphere of acceptance in the families of LGBTQ young people. Lastly, she consults with pastors and pastoral teams to make them aware of the difficulties faced by LGBTQ persons and to promote a more just and compassionate response to the LGBTQ community and other marginalized persons, particularly within the evangelical church.
Lisa’s other passion and work is to promote progressive policies at the local level for communities without proper access to healthy foods and to provide direct service to food-insecure persons and families. She has organized and built church-based community gardens, taught cooking and nutrition classes for migrant agricultural families, worked with local farmers to provide local, organic fruits and vegetables to low income families, and educated her peers and congregations on the challenges their neighbors face in putting healthy food on the table. Lisa considers access to healthy food, the sustenance given by God from creation, to be a birthright of all persons.
Lisa’s approach, borne out of a Christian feminist worldview, is to continually pose the question: “Who is missing from this conversation?” In this way her engagement within the community is inclusive, bringing all voices together to offer their experience and perspective to whatever challenge needs to be addressed. Her philosophy is that every voice is inherently valuable, every experience is informative, and that all ideas are worthy of critique. She believes that everyone is doing their best, and that we almost always share the same goal: to relieve suffering and to do justice in the name of all that is good, but that our approach is often different because of what and who we know. However, when stakeholders meet, hear one another’s story, and develop rapport and relationship across difference, the greatest needs will become evident and priorities will align so that everyone will feel a sense of ownership and investment in the outcome.