The ARCEL Connectors
Every two weeks during the course of the ARCEL Fellowship the fellows will gather together online for discussion and sharing seeded by prompts developed by the Connectors. These folks themselves work at the intersections of creative and spiritual practices and have agreed to share their own stories, wisdom, and selves with the fellows. Each online meeting has all the fellows, the ARC Coordinator, and two of these incredible people present.
Erica is Northern Cheyenne from southeastern Montana. She works for Mennonite Central Committee in the USA as the program coordinator of the Indigenous Visioning Circle. Erica has had the opportunity to travel extensively around the globe meeting with Indigenous Peoples and works to build solidarity and address oppressive patterns. She focuses on the Doctrine of Discovery, healing, and authentic relationships.
Rozella Haydée White
Rozella is the #LoveBigCoach, a life and leadership coach, consultant, inspirational speaker, and writer. She is the owner of RHW Consulting, which was birthed out of Rozella’s desire to help restore people’s hearts to wholeness so they can create and live their most meaningful lives. RHW Consulting accompanies individuals, organizations and communities as they figure out what they value and to embody their values so that they thrive. As a writer, teacher, preacher and public theologian, Rozella is a known presence, boldly engaging issues of faith, justice, self-awareness and love, mental illness and the radical and transformative love of God as embodied in the person of Jesus.
Jason Chesnut, ordained in the ELCA, created and developed The Slate Project, an innovative Christian worshiping community that gathers both online and face-to-face in Baltimore, Md. He is a videographer, mission developer, and certified biblical storyteller who also founded ANKOSfilms, a company dedicated to (a) (n)ew (k)ind (o)f (s)torytelling. A native of San Marcos, Tex., Jason graduated from Texas Lutheran University and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He loves riding motorcycles and watching movies when he...umm...has time?
Kirthi Nath is a filmmaker, consultant and sacred activist who believes that ordinary people ripple extraordinary change. As founder and lead filmmaker at Cinemagical Media, Kirthi works with entrepreneurs, nonprofits and companies to create films and craft campaigns with bravery, courage and heart that bring messages alive and inspire social change. Kirthi’s work has featured cultural visionaries and global campaigns such as Eve Ensler, Tara Sophia Mohr, Alice Walker, One Billion Rising and V-Day. In addition to filmmaking, Kirthi offers experiential workshops, talks, meditations and coaching that helps people connect with their inner wisdom, foster loving presence and awaken wonder.
Tracy Howe Wispelwey
Tracy Howe Wispelwey is a musician, producer, theologian and pastor. Her music career began touring full-time, performing at colleges, in homes and coffee shops, and leading worship and workshops throughout the United States and Latin America, reaching over 1000 campuses, churches and communitie. During this time, she founded Restoration Village Arts, allowing her to work alongside communities who were actively seeking new expressions of arts, worship and theology in their local contexts. She is now the Minister for Community and Congregational Engagement for Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) in the United Church of Christ. She works with artists and ministers to bridge justice and witness work with the music and liturgical life of the local church. She also produces music, liturgies and theological works within today’s specific and intersecting movement of liberation, resourcing communities, institutions and individuals in holistically seeking justice and beauty in all their efforts.
Sandhya serves as founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations creating access, equity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area. Sandhya is particularly proud of her podcast, Hope from the Hood, available on iTunes and at sandhyajha.com. A passionate reader and writer, Sandhya is the author of Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines on the subject of race and spirituality in America. Ordained at National City Christian Church in 2005 as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, has a Master of Divinity and Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where her joint thesis was on the subject of “Public Goods, Public Bads, the Common Good and the Common Burden: Environmental Racism as a case study on the intersection of Public Policy and Theological Ethics.” She gets far more excited about urban policy than a normal person should, and she loves to sing folk, jazz and gospel even though she was trained in classical music.
Priscilla Paris-Austin is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church (ELCA) in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, a congregation that takes seriously their calling to be a Sanctuary that is Open and Affirming of all persons of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, age and status, while aspiring to be AntiRacist. Currently she serves on the planning team for the Discipleship Cohort Initiative for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, the ELCA Task Force for Strategic Authentic Diversity and as an elder/advisor for the leadership team of the #decolonizeLutheranism movement. As a mom of 3 amazing humans, she finds her Sabbath rest in the parent support committees (Diversity, Affinity, Space & the Arts) for The Overlake School, and the God-gifted relationship with her spouse of 20+years.
Josephine Shetty is a queer desi performer and organizer born and based in Los Angeles, CA. At the moment, her primary creative projects include writing and performing experimental pop music under the moniker Kohinoorgasm and organizing benefit shows to support local community members, as well as communities around the world, in need of food, shelter, representation, safety, peace, and justice. Her music can be found on SoundCloud, Bandcamp, iTunes, and Spotify, and her most frequent updates can be found on Instagram.
Matthew David Morris
Matthew David Morris is an artist, a cultivator of good questions, and a lover of the human heart. He is pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Iliff School of Theology and is training as a postulant to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. He ministers in a number of capacities within and among the churches of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, and serves as the organizer and vision for Beloved Community on Campus. Matthew David’s 25 year career in music has fostered collaborations with some of the world’s most renowned talents and brings him unique insights into the inherent spirituality in the creative process.
A’Driane Nieves is a USAF veteran, multi-disciplinary abstract artist, activist, and speaker with a heart for serving others and social good. She's also a mental health advocate living with bipolar disorder, and runs an online platform and mental health support group for women of color called Tessera Collective. She empowers women to transform brokenness in their lives into power and beauty, and works to amplify the voices and experiences of those marked as Other in society. In 2016, she was featured alongside Bono as a ONE Campaign activist and volunteer for Glamour Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” issue, where Bono was awarded their first ever “Man of the Year’ award for his work on gender equity and extreme poverty. In 2018, she opened Tessera Arts Collective, a studio and gallery serving women of color artists in the Greater Philadelphia area and beyond. She believes creating and viewing visual art that addresses difficult topics can serve as a catalyst for personal growth and social change. She lives in New Jersey with her robotics loving husband and three boys.