Faith for Change Bloggers
Our Bloggers are clergy, educators, and people of faith working in local communities to create avenues of success for children, families and communities across the country. Their writing seeks to educate, inform, challenge, and motivate communities of faith to be involved and engaged in “Creating a New Future”.
Rev. Michael W. Waters is the founder and Senior Pastor of Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Dallas, one of the fastest-growing A.M.E. Churches in the State of Texas. As pastor, preacher, professor, writer, motivational speaker, and community organizer, Rev. Waters’ words of hope and empowerment have inspired both national and international audiences. Named among the top young leaders in America by Ebony Magazine (“Serving God and Community”, April 2009), Rev. Waters has appeared on such national broadcasts as The NBC Nightly News, his keen insights quoted by the likes of Bill Moyers, and his contributions highlighted by such publications as The Houston Chronicle and The Associated Press. A sought-after preacher and lecturer, Rev. Waters has made numerous presentations before church, civic, collegiate and corporate bodies on topics of interest ranging from Fortune 500 diversity practices to the intersections of religion and hip hop culture.
Rev. Waters is a two-time, cum laude graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the SMU Perkins School of Theology. Presently a doctoral student at SMU, Rev. Waters’ writings have appeared in some of the nation’s most respected publications, including The African American Pulpit and The African American Lectionary. He is a married father of two.
Rev. Lance A Schmitz is an urban minister serving Capitol Hill Church of the Nazarene and the community of Oklahoma City. Rev. Schmitz has a great passion to help to stir the imaginations of people across the socioeconomic spectrum to imagine another way of life is possible. He hopes to help churches, unions, civic groups, political parties, and other intermediary institutions come together around issues of common concern and re-knit a frayed social fabric and cut back into the fold those who have been excluded from the abundance that is found in community. Rev. Schmitz believes that the words of Dorothy Day still ring quite true today as a calling for the church that we are called to “to bring about the kind of society where it is easier to be good.”
Daniel Wolpert worked as a research scientist, psychologist and spiritual director, a farmer, a teacher, and a construction worker before earning his Masters of Divinity degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). Over the past twenty five years he has taught in the fields of psychology and spiritual formation and led retreats in such settings as the Art of Spiritual Direction Program at SFTS, the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, national ministry conferences, UCLA, UND medical school, Luther Seminary, and numerous churches. Daniel currently serves as the church pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Crookston, MN and is a co-founder of the Minnesota Institute for Contemplation and Healing (MICAH, www.micahprays.org). He is also the author of “Leading a Life with God, the practice of spiritual leadership (Upper Room 2006), “Creating a Life with God: the call of ancient prayer practices”(Upper Room 2003), and co-author of “Meeting God in Virtual Reality: using spiritual practices with media” (Abingdon 2004). Dan is currently doing Doctoral work in Science and Theology. He is married to Dr. Debra Bell and they have two sons, Sam and Max.
Roderick L. Carey is an educational researcher, writer, and teacher educator. Currently, Rod is a Ph.D candidate in the department of Teaching, Learning, Policy and Leadership at University of Maryland College Park, where he specializes in Minority and Urban Education. Prior to beginning full-time graduate study in the Fall of 2009, Rod spent four years as a high school English teacher, coach, and instructional leader in urban Washington, DC charter schools. Rod moved to the Washington DC area in 2005, after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education from Boston College in 2004 and a Master of Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 2005. At present, Rod teaches undergraduate- and masters-level courses on diversity and equity for current and future classroom teachers. Rod’s research interests include, the history of Black and Latino education in the United States, teaching for diversity and equity, and the school engagement and motivation of high achieving Black and Latino adolescents.
Contributing Editor. Joi Ruth Orr is a graduate of Howard University School of Divinity where she served as the Student Government Association President and Co-Chair/Founder of Seminarians for Justice. Currently, she is the Director of Organizing with Faith Leaders for Community Change, a faith-based nonprofit dedicated to helping kids in low performing schools reach academic success. As a licensed preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a passionate advocate for those on the margins, scholar and writer, Joi has begun to carve a career path focused on a ministry of social justice and civic engagement
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