In addition to some large-group sessions led by tremendous keynote speakers, participants in Housing God’s Beloved on Nov. 4 will be able to sign up for some unique breakout discussions listed below, with the biographies of each presenter following.
Breakout sessions are:
Acting Intentionally toward Transformation. Dive into creating an Intentional Statement for your faith community, naming vision and values to ensure internal alignment and prepare for equitable community partnerships in your land discernment work. Facilitated by Joey Lopez and E.N. West (Seattle, WA) of The Church Council of Greater Seattle’s Faith Land Initiative).
Rocking the Boat: How to Begin Leading through Change. Learn core concepts from a Family Systems and Stages of Change framework to consider as you navigate change or difficult conversations in your context (i.e. considering a development project, countering NIMBYism, countering stigma). Facilitated by Brett Stuvland (Portland, OR) and Anna Hoesly (Milwaukie, OR).
1-1 Conversations: Sacrament and Revolution. Together we’ll learn and hone the core practice of a 1-1 conversation as foundational for a leader’s spiritual practice and work for illuminating vocation and next steps for a community’s journey toward next steps and action for housing equity and social justice. Facilitated by Erika Spaet (Bend, OR) and Joey Ager (Tacoma, WA).
Development Process on Faith Land. This session will provide you with the opportunity to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about how to move from discernment to action as a faith community stewarding land toward affordable housing development. Included in the conversation will be guidance including but not limited to, ‘Where does funding come from? How will our land and property be managed? and, What partners are necessary?’ Facilitated by Jules Nielsen (Portland, OR) from The Leaven Land and Housing Coalition.
E.N. West, affectionately known as “E” (they/he), proudly hails from the DC metropolitan area, by way of Alexandria, Virginia. E deeply believes “we are uninhibited when we know our power” and is committed to co-creating a world where everyone intimately knows how powerful they are and directs that power toward collective liberation. They are many things, but at the heart of all of them, they are a community organizer based in Seattle, Washington. E feels called to community organizing as both a vocation and way of life. They are also deeply committed to lifelong leadership formation. Outside of vocational work, they enjoy staying embodied through boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, calisthenics, hiking, and biking. They love and live in South Seattle.
Joey Lopez (he/him) is a Southern transplant to the Seattle area. Joey has a passion and purpose for building collective power and channeling that power towards collective liberation. Joey believes that alone we are incredibly powerful people, and when we organize that power, our wildest dreams become reality. In his moments of play and rest, you can find Joey spending time in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood with his partner, Dustin, and dog, Baldwin, reading queer science-fiction, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Anna Hoesly is pastor/organizer of Storyline Community in Milwaukie, and a staff organizer with Leaven Land and Housing Coalition. She loves seeing churches come alive as they discover their unique call in their own backyard, and seeing neighborhoods come alive as they discover they are more powerful together. She uses her background in family systems therapy as a lens for helping systems navigate change, and helping leaders claim their voice to show up for what matters. Because our communities aren’t whole until all of our neighbors can come home.
Rev. Brett Stuvland is the pastor at Westside United Methodist Church in Beaverton, Oregon. Brett loves to see organizations and businesses thrive through periods of transition and identity renewal/transformation. He uses his background in the financial industry and organizational leadership to bring a focus on the emotional processes that lead to organizational “stuckness”, and ways to shift systemic equilibrium towards self-differentiation, growth, healing, and the thriving of all.
Rev. Erika Spaet (she/her) is pastor, the Storydwelling community in Bend, Oregon. Erika is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and accompanies the newly emerging community of Storydwelling in Bend, Ore. Storydwelling is an affirming community of faith committed to the liberative practices of storytelling, relationship-formation and public action. In addition, Erika is co-founder of ReVillage, a childcare cooperative committed to making affordable, accessible and loving childcare a reality for all families. All of this work she does out of love and the conviction that “another world is not only possible, she is on her way” (Arundhati Roy).
Joey Ager (he/him)m Bishop’s Associate for the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA. Joey is a Scottish transplant to the Pacific Northwest via Washington, DC and San Diego. He collaborates with ecumenical congregations and communities in the Pacific Northwest rooted in his work with the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA. He has worked as a faith-based community organizer and is passionate about the place of spiritual communities in social change work globally. He lives in Tacoma with his spouse, Emily, and their two boys.
Rev. Julia ‘Jules’ Nielsen (she/her) has training and experience in nonprofit management, community organizing, and participatory leadership, and is an ordained United Methodist clergyperson. Having pastored five churches of diverse sizes, economic realities, and contexts, Nielsen brings 15 years of pastoral and community leadership to the work of congregational re-development. She also is the director of organizing with the Leaven Community Land & Housing Coalition, a statewide interfaith collective of more than 60 faith communities building affordable housing on their land, and the former pastor of Portsmouth Union Church in Portland, Oregon, which has built 20 units of permanently supportive housing for veterans on the church’s land.