»2013 Founders Day Speakers
Rev. Dr. Brian McLaren
A former pastor and college English teacher, Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist and networker among innovative Christian leaders. His dozen-plus books include A New Kind of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy, and most recently, Naked SPirituality. He's an avid wildlife and outdoors enthusiast who believes God's first language is this amazing universe.
For more information, visit Brian's website.
Rev. Geoffrey Black
The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black was elected General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ in June 2009. Prior to that, he served as Conference Minister of the UCC's New York Conference for nine years beginning in 2000.
Ecumenical commitment, concern for equal justice, African-American empowerment, and community improvement have shaped Black's ministry in the church and in the communities in which he has lived. This has resulted in his work with organizations such as the Nassau Coalition for Safety and Justice, The Long Island Interracial Alliance for a Common Future, and the Amistad Cultural Center of Long Island, which he co-founded. While living in Ohio, he has been an active member of Caring Communities of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Partnership 2000 of the Shaker Public schools.
For more information on Rev. Black's life and work please visit the United Church of Christ.
Rev. Dr. Suzanne Castle
Rev. Dr. Suzanne Castle is a self-professed "Worship Junkie" who loves to spend her time worshipping the Living God in artsy, unique and alternative ways. Suzanne has authored articles and devotional material, and has recently completed a book on creative worship called BRIM, scheduled for release in April from Chalice Press with co-author Andra Moran. She has served churches in California, Florida and Texas. She has assisted with the planting of two DOC churches as well. She has served the greater church community as a Worship Consultant and as a featured workshop leader and keynote speaker. Suzanne's past has contributed greatly to her work as an "artist for God.” She is a former professional actress and dancer, and has served a number of congregations where she was tasked to "revitalize" worship through drama, dance, liturgical art, and music. Her primary emphasis includes the recapturing of meaningful worship, including the use of ancient traditions fused with media forms. She can be bribed with iTunes gift cards or glitter. Suzanne is the minister for the Search worship community, Seeking the Sacred, at University Christian Church in Ft. Worth, TX.
Rev. Tripp Fuller.
Tripp is married to an awesome lady, Alecia, and has a handsome young stud named Elgin Thomas (aka E.T.) and 2 little white fluffy dogs (Pebbles & Dino). He and Alecia are both graduates of Campbell University (where they met), the Divinity School of Wake Forest University and ordained ministers. He is working on his PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University, works at the Neighborhood Church of Palos Verdes (UCC), and hosts the Homebrewed Christianity Podcast. A few other things he digs are books, cigars, pipes, guitar, the Lakers, fishing, the Counting Crows, and good conversations about Religion and Politics.
Rev. Rich McCullen
Rich McCullen is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Missiongathering Christian Church. His first years of Ministry were within the ministries of Youth for Christ/Campus Life. He has been called visionary, innovative and a progressive Evangelical thinker. He started Missiongathering with several other youth adults, who were just sick and tired of religion… but at the same time, they did not want to give up on the life and message of Christ. He honestly believes the “Church” is the true expression of God, here on earth. Rich is a storyteller of God’s grace ad his prophetic progressive voice, challenges the status quo of Institutional Christianity…. which makes his lunch appointments wide-open! When he is not at a local pub listening to the stories of the saints, sinners and seekers, you will find his in some rundown movie theater, watching an indie film and being inspired by God. Rich, like all the rest of the Missiongathering Christian Church’s staff, lives in the land of urban San Diego and loves every minute of it!