We are particularly excited to welcome six new members to the Board of Directors.

Our process was both inspiring and insightful as this year we made an open call for applications. With nearly 50 inquiries and 40 applications, we learned quite a bit that will inform future board recruitment. What was made clear is that there are many amazingly gifted people serving this church and who share common passions with MLP. We also learned that, while the application pool had a great deal of diversity in many areas: gender, sexuality, age, geography, etc. the pool did not draw many folx of color. Because we are committed to doing our work with an intersectional lens, we decided that constructing a board made up of a disproportionate number of white folx would not be appropriate at this time. For that reason, we have decided to leave a number of board spots vacant for a year while committing to do better recruiting and interpretation in the future.

So with that brief background, we are excited to announce that, joining continuing Board Members: Ann Deibert (2023), Bruce Reyes-Chow (2023), Jessica Vazquez Torres (2023), Adrian White (2023), and Ashley McFaul-Erwin (2024) the following folx will be joining the MLP Board of Directors beginning this Fall.

Avery Arden (2024) — Avery (they/ze, MDiv) is an autistic, genderqueer, leftist minister residing in Atlanta, Georgia with their wife and two cats. You can most often find them engaged in embroidery or other crafts; waxing poetical about the queerness of God, or digging into biblical Hebrew and Greek. Most of Avery’s ministry takes place online, and includes a multifaith podcast of transgender stories; affirming liturgy and workshops; and a Disabled AND Blessed YouTube series.



Mathew Webb (2024) — Growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Matt (he/him) is the son of a Southern Baptist minister and grew up in that tradition, attending SBC seminary for 2 years until his theology evolved to a place where he could no longer be a part of an environment that would not honor the queerness of his personhood. Matt attended graduate school and served on multiple church staffs in Greensboro, NC, before becoming the Director of Music at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, NJ, where he has served since 2012.  Matt taught on the faculties of the NC School of the Arts, Elon University, and Drew University & Theological School in the areas of choral and vocal music, musical theatre, and Christian worship.  Matt does reading and writing in the areas of constructive theology pertaining to worship and is fleshing out a theology of discomfort as it pertains to Christian justice, DEIB, and creating systems of equity within church leadership.  He is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Reformata, which provides leadership coaching to individuals and organizations.  Matt makes his home in New York City and loves traveling the world!


Pamela Anderson (2024) — Pamela (she/her) has been a PC(USA) teaching elder for the last 31 years. She has served churches throughout California, New Jersey, and Australia and has been a professor of religion at the University of Phoenix. She is currently active in the life of the LGBTQUIA+ community in Sacramento, CA. Additionally, she is an activist and has been an organizer for the state of California with the Poor People’s Campaign and the recent March on Washington, D.C. on June 18. She is married to her partner, Marc, and they have a daughter by the name of “Charlie” and a dog named STELLA! Pamela is active with the online Burning Man community and recently returned from the in-person Burn on the playa. As she unearths from all of this dust, she looks forward to serving on the Board of Directors for the More Light Presbyterians!


Shani McIlwain (2025) —Shani (she/her) is a ruling elder at Faith Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC where she also serves as Moderator {2022-23) of National Capital Presbytery.  Hilarious and transparent are two words that describe Shani as a speaker.  Known for her candid personal stories she weaves her “messy” moments of life into practical teaching moments for others. As a bestselling author, executive coach, and facilitator her work helps individuals and congregations working to dismantle oppressive systems to create a more equitable community.



Jeff Light (2025) — Jeff (he/him) is the Transitional Pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Missouri. Jeff had a 25-year career in Leadership Development at Sprint, IBM, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and served churches in Lawrence, KS, Joplin, MO, and Lake City, CO. Jeff sings with the Heartland Men’s Chorus. serves on the Heartland Presbytery Commission on Ministry and is a volunteer reading mentor and running coach in an urban public school His hobbies include Marathons/ Triathlons, travel, and reading. Jeff has published numerous curriculum items for the PCUSA.



Katherine Davoli (2025) — Katherine is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.  Presently, they work full-time as a bench researcher neuroscientist, attend Seminary part-time, and are the Chair of LAMP: LGBTQIA+ Affirming Ministries of Pittsburgh, an organization that does ministry at the intersection of queer and Christian identities.  They are a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a lay preacher, and have taught discernment and collective decision-making to fellow students and ministers, and to civic and faith-based organizations.



We are also excited to welcome our officers for this year:

  • Co-Moderator: Adrian White
  • Co-Moderator: Jessica Vazquez Torres
  • Treasurer: Jeff Light
  • Secretary: Ashley McFaul-Erwin
  • Chair of Personnel: Ann Deibert
  • Chair of Nominating Committee: Bruce Reyes-Chow

To all of the applicants, we are so grateful time and care taken to apply. Thank you.

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