All You Need Is Love will feature three plenary sessions. The first panel will set the stage for the conference, exploring how we talk about love, diversity and theology. The second and third sessions will feature a panel of three storytellers and one theological responder. The three storytellers will reflect on different aspects of love from their vocational roles and life experience. The theological response will come from a scholar who draws together the stories, reflecting on the theological significance for our lives.
Elizabeth Soto Albrecht
Coordinator of Field Education at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Moderator for Mennonite Church USA; Lancaster, Pa.
Elizabeth has been working at Lancaster Theological Seminary (United Church of Christ) for the last six years as coordinator of field education, advisor for cross cultural programs and as an adjunct professor. Previously she worked as a chaplain for seven years at Lancaster General Hospital. Elizabeth also served with her family in Colombia, South America and is originally from Puerto Rico. She is mother of two beautiful young adult daughters Sara and Yentli and has been married to Frank Albrecht for 22 years.
Malinda Elizabeth Berry
Assistant Professor of Theological Studies & Director of the MA Program at Bethany Theological Seminary; Richmond, Ind.
Malinda’s life is about weaving together many strands of commitment into a colorful tapestry of living. With husband John Stoltzfus and son Jeremiah, she resides in Richmond, Indiana with a backyard garden, rain barrels, cats, and chickens to help them live more lightly on the land. A member of Mennonite Church USA, Malinda currently teaches in a Church of the Brethren seminary and attends Unprogrammed Quaker Meeting both of which help her reflect on the different theological roots of Christian peacemaking. In her teaching, research, and writing, Malinda seeks to develop a form of peace theology that is grounded in women-centered scriptural interpretation. Whether at faculty meeting, while watching a good period drama, or just chatting, Malinda also loves to knit.
Chaplain Resident, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal, Ill.
Laura Brenneman is a chaplain resident at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., and a visiting religion professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Laura works at the intersection of biblical studies and peace studies. She is also the New Testament editor of the Studies in Peace and Scripture series with the Institute of Mennonite Studies and a restorative justice practitioner. Laura enjoys biking, reading, and unwinding on the front porch with friends.
Caitlin Michelle Desjardins
Director of Youth at Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian; Cleveland, Ohio.
Caitlin Michelle Desjardins is a recent graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where she focused on sexual ethics, agricultural theology, New Testament theologies, and theologizing with and for children. She has a strong interest in sex education in the Church that is relevant to LGBT and straight youth. She was a 2011 Fund for Theological Education Ministry Fellow and drinks copious amounts of tea.
Calenthia S. Dowdy, PhD
Director of Faith Initiatives at Philadelphia FIGHT; Philadelphia, Pa.
Calenthia S. Dowdy was born, raised and continues to reside in the City of Love, Philadelphia. She serves as Director of Faith Initiatives at Philadelphia FIGHT, an HIV/AIDS organization, and is on the faculty of Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa. Calenthia also co-facilitates workshops on dismantling systemic oppression with Damascus Road and Roots of Justice.
Ph.D. Candidate in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame; South Bend, Ind.
Julia is a feminist theologian writing her dissertation on the mystical-political nature of healing from sexual abuse. She plans to graduate this May with a degree in systematic theology and put her skills to use teaching others how to think theologically about love, suffering, and salvation. She loves living and praying with Mennonites in Northern Indiana. She dreams of living in an integrated theological-agricultural community one day (hopefully soon).
Shé T. Hall
Web & Social Media Manager at Otto Design and Marketing; Norfolk, Va.
Shé Hall lives in Hampton, Va., where she works as a Web & Social Media Manager. She completed her Master’s Degree in Communications – Digital Media in 2011 and enjoys time spent with clients, strategizing ways to ensure they earn the digital capital needed to survive in our digital world. Shé attends Calvary Community Church and had the privilege to serve as a worship leader at the 2011 Mennonite Convention in Pittsburgh and was an online host for the live stream of delegate sessions at the 2013 Convention in Phoenix.
Janie Beck Kreider
Associate Coordinator of Public Programs at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College; Goshen, Ind.
In her work, Janie Beck Kreider spends her time creating, promoting, and organizing retreats, conferences, hikes and other events, as well as writing for various publications. She is a council member of the Mennonite Creation Care Network, and is currently working on a team developing a new creation care curriculum for Mennonite Church USA. Janie is a graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where she studied theology and ethics and wrote her master’s thesis on feminist biblical scholars in the Mennonite church. She is passionate about empowering marginalized voices in the church, promoting sustainable care of the earth, cooking delicious food, singing folk music with her husband, traveling to new places, and investing in her relationships with family and friends.
Program Administrator for the MCC Indigenous Visions Center; Albuquerque, N.M.
Erica Littlewolf is from the Northern Cheyenne nation of southeastern Montana and currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She works for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States with the Indigenous Visions Center where she is committed to the work of decolonization, authentic relationships and healing. Erica enjoys silence, laughter, good food, writing poetry and watching reality TV. She especially enjoys spending time with her three nieces and aspires to adopt and co-parent a cat in the near future.
Argee Macliing Malayao (Pya )
National Spokesperson of KAMP (Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas) – A National Alliance of indigenous peoples’ organizations in the Philippines
Pya is A Botoc-Igorot (an indigenous peoples group in the Cordillera Region, Northern Philippines). She graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines with a degree in anthropology and was a founding member of TAKDER, a Cordilleran youth organization for democracy and development. She has worked with indigenous peoples organizations since 2010 that seek to uphold and assert the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and for self-determination.
Linda Gehman Peachey
Free-lance writer and editor; Lancaster, Pa.
Linda is married to Titus Peachey and has two adult daughters. She lives in the city of Lancaster and is an active member at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church. She graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and has worked at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Most recently, she wrote the bible study guide, Courageous Women of the Bible, and she is a member of the Women in Leadership Project steering committee. She enjoys hiking, reading, spending time with friends, and visiting her daughters in Chicago and Guatemala.
Blanca R. Vargas
Pastor at Iglesia Menonita Comunidad De Vida; San Antonio, Texas.
Blanca is originally from Colombia and has worked with the Mennonite church in the United States since 2001. She is married to Victor Vargas and has four children: Diana, Edwin, Melina and Eduardo, She now has four grandchildren as well.
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