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Leadership and Staff

BOARD

Rev. Fred Plumer, President, Acting Executive Director
After an extensive background in building management, real estate development and restaurant ownership and management, Fred Plumer made a career shift in 1981. He earned his M.Div. degree at the Pacific School of Religion while doing work in an inner city community center. In 1984 Rev. Plumer was called to the Irvine United Congregational Church in Irvine, California to lead a UCC new start church…READ MORE

Janice Gregory, Vice President
A charter member of The Center for Progressive Christianity, Janice Gregory is a strong proponent of encouraging those who have not sought formal ordination to speak their spiritual truths and of providing sound tools that help individuals and groups test their spiritual assumptions and grow spiritually…READ MORE

Rev. Mark Sandlin, Interim President
Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) from the South. He currently serves at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. He is a co-founder of The Christian Left. His blog, The God Article, has been named as one of the “Top Ten Christian Blogs.” Mark received The Associated Church Press’ Award of Excellence in 2012. His work has been published on “The Huffington Post,” “Sojourners,” “Time,” “Church World Services,” and even the “Richard Dawkins Foundation.” He’s been featured on PBS’s “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly” and NPR’s “The Story with Dick Gordon.”…READ MORE

Rev. Toni ReynoldsToni Anne Reynolds
Minister Toni Anne Reynolds is committed to singing flesh onto the bones of the Christian tradition by incorporating recently found texts of the ancient world into liturgy, sermons, and poetry. Toni’s Christianity forms a holy trinity with the psychological medicine of Tibetan Buddhism and the eternal Life found in Yoruba traditions. Balanced in an eclectic faith and focused in theology, Toni’s ministry offers a unique perspective on life, theology, and spirituality…READ MORE

Susan Flanders cropped Susan Flanders
Susan Flanders was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1985. She was baptized and raised as a Presbyterian but left the church for ten years, returning as an Episcopalian in 1975. She brought with her the skepticism of her youth and an appreciation of other faith traditions gleaned from two years spent in Laos in the mid-60’s. She loved the tolerance for ambiguity and questioning that she found in the Episcopal Church and soon moved from an unsatisfying stint as a real estate agent to a gradual process through seminary…. READ MORE

Rev. Roger Wolsey
Roger Wayne Wolsey is a free spirit who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious.” A trumpeter, Roger grew up during the “Minneapolis Sound” era of the 1980s and ‘90s. These experiences contribute to a musical approach to his theology. Roger studied philosophy and political science, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church… READ MORE

Rev. Caleb J. Lines
Rev. Caleb J. Lines is senior minister at University Christian Church in San Diego, California.Caleb grew up in Missouri and is a lifelong member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has a passion for pursuing social justice for the marginalized, demonstrating the Good News of God’s radically inclusive love, and proclaiming a relevant message for today’s ever-changing world.Caleb’s views on the intersection of religion and public life have been featured in diverse publications, such as The Nation Magazine, Disciples News Service, Chalice Press, The Christian Left, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, The Center for Prophetic Imagination, and Sojourners. He currently serves on the national board of Jubilee USA Network. READ MORE

STAFF

Deshna Ubeda, Director
Deshna grew up in an amazing Progressive Christian church, IUCC, in Irvine California as a PK (pastor’s kid) and so was blessed to be involved in a community that was open, educated, innovative, and inclusive. She was involved in the church at many… READ MORE

Deborah Grady, Administrator
Deborah joined the ProgressiveChristianity.org team in November of 2013 as the Administrator after a 30-year career in the Insurance Industry. Her experience and capabilities span the full spectrum of running a small business. READ MORE

Timothy Andrew, Technical and Customer Support
Timothy Andrew is the technical/customer support representative for Progressing Spirit and the Bishop Spong newsletter. In addition to those responsibilities,Timothy is a lifelong student of wisdom and spirituality. He is politically non-partisan and spiritually “Taoistic” with interests in science, psychology, semantics, metaphysics, visionary art, symbolism, herbalism, nutrition and psycho-spiritual alchemy. READ MORE

 

Honorary Advisors


Diana Butler Bass
Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the award-winning author of ten books, including Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks (HarperOne, 2018), Grounded: Finding God in the World —A Spiritual Revolution (HarperOne, 2015), Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2012)…READ MORE

Bishop John Shelby Spong
John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he’s considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church. READ MORE

Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest, and activist who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris and has devoted 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality, which is rooted in ancient Judeo-Christian teaching, inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions; welcoming of the arts and artists; wisdom centered, prophetic, and committed to eco-justice, social justice and gender justice.
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Bishop Yvette A. Flunder
Bishop Yvette A. Flunder is an Honorary Advisor for ProgressiveChristianity.org. Founder and Senior Pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Rev. Dr. Yvette A. Flunder is an unapologetic disciple and proponent of the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ, who has raised her voice for justice from the church house to the White House and steps of the Supreme Court. She is a graduate of the Certificate of Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at Pacific School of Religion, and she received her Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA….READ MORE

Joran Slane Oppelt
Joran Slane Oppelt is an international speaker, author, interfaith minister, life coach and award-winning producer and singer/songwriter. He is the owner of the Metta Center of St. Petersburg and founder of Integral Church – an interfaith and interspiritual organization in Tampa Bay committed to “transformative practice, community service and religious literacy.” …READ MORE

Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs-including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation-and two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department; participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York; is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries; and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations…. READ MORE

Rev. Jim Burklo
Jim Burklo is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor who serves as the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. He is the author of BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS: Meditations, Prayers, and Songs for Progressive Christians. Reverend Jim Burklo is the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. READ MORE

  Rev. John Shuck
Rev. John Shuck has been a Presbyterian minister for 27 years and is currently the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton (Portland), Oregon. For seven years, from 2012 through 2018, he produced the weekly radio show/podcast “Progressive Spirit” that was distributed through the Pacifica Radio Network and aired regularly on 20 stations across the country. He currently hosts a live monthly show on KBOO/Portland called “Beloved Community.”READ MORE

 

In Honor of Our Founder

James Rowe Adams
In 1994, James R. Adams founded The Center for Progressive Christianity. Until he retired from parish ministry in 1996, Jim Adams served for nearly thirty years as rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Jim passed away on September 13, 2011 from brain cancer.  He was a courageous and wise man. He was an inspiration to uncountable people all over the world. He is greatly missed by us all.