I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and currently serve as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Justice. Previously, I served as the MountainTop Movement Building Consultant at Auburn Seminary, as Interim Executive Director for PFund Foundation, as Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, Interim National Coordinator for the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns, as pastor of Spirit of the Lakes United Church of Christ and as Program Staff for the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence.
I am the author of Carnal Knowledge of God: Embodied Love and the Movement for Justice (Fortress Press 2017), and of To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations, A Time to Build Up: Analysis of the No on Proposition 8 Campaign and Its Implications for Future Pro-LGBTQQIA Religious Organizing, Preventing Sexual Abuse: A Course of Study for Teenagers (Pilgrim Press, 1996) as well as numerous articles and sermons which have appeared in such journals as Spirit Currents, The Journal of Religion and Abuse, Creating Change and Parenting for Peace and Justice. I am a faith-based relational organizing trainer as well as workshop presenter on a wide variety of faith-based justice issues. I am a graduate of Earlham College, Yale Divinity School and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
I am a theologian, pastor and organizer who names myself as a Christian Universalist, by which I mean that I was raised and have been shaped by the Christian tradition and it is my home. However, I believe there are many truths about God and the Divine in All Things. I hold a deep reverence for Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and pagan and Wiccan traditions. Particularly as I have worked for sexual and gender justice, I have learned much from my multi-faith colleagues-- about love, about life and about the Sacred in our midst.
As a way to balance my spiritual life, I am also a runner, hiker, biker and avid community-builder, spending time with friends and family as often as I can. In the past few years I have begun to grow organic vegetables and delight in cooking food harvested from my garden for our friends and family. My partner, Maggie, and I are parents of Shannon MacKenzie, our thirteen year-old daughter.
If you'd like to know more about me, here are a few resources:
My profile is on the LGBT Religious Archives Network: http://www.lgbtran.org/Profile.aspx?ID=242
Here's a clip from a sermon at the Healing Minnesota worship service which took place during the Vote No campaign in 2012: http://faithforwardmn.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/healing-minnesota-rebecca-voelkel-plymouth-church/
And an interview from GCN (Gay Christian Network) radio. My part starts at about 4:30 or so:
And a podcast on the Beth Zemsky Podcast on Graceful Engagement and Faith-Based organizing: http://bethzemskypodcast.com/episodes/