Rev. Christy will be gone on sabbatical from June 6 to September 6. During that time, the congregation will be served by a fabulous ministry team who will make sure everything at the church continues to run smoothly. Their information and short bios are included below.
Rev. Dr. Martha "Marty" Williams is a newly retired minister who served 42 years in active ministry. Marty was a local church pastor and a regional/conference minister serving in both the Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ in northern and southern California. In retirement she continues to preach on occasion, work with congregations when asked, and is serving on the Committee on Ministry, Section B in the Northern California and Nevada Conference of the UCC. In her spare time you will find Marty and spouse Sue Goddard hiking, camping, and cross country skiing in the Sierras and spending time on the northern coast of Oregon. April (the chihuahua/terrier) and Lulu (the lunatic beagle) walk Sue and Marty daily and keep them laughing and healthy.
Renae Earl is a member of First Christian Church in Concord, and a proud graduate of Berkeley School of Theology with her Master of Divinity and Certificate in Public Theology. She is an ordination candidate in the Christian Church of Northern CA/Nev. Her ministry focus is spiritual guidance as an aspect of recovery for female-identified survivors of sex trafficking and those with substance abuse issues. Renae served on the Women’s Ministries Council and remains active in women’s ministries throughout the denomination. She is a dedicated single mom of one son, who is 22 years old. Professionally, she works as a stylist at her salon, Renae’s Stylin’ Spot. She also works with Recovery Café in SF, and with Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR), where she supports survivors as a state-certified sexual assault counselor. Renae is a huge animal lover and has two dogs, which are rescues from Taiwan. She believes God has given her many gifts in her life and is always ready to share how she got to where she is today. Her wish is that those that don’t believe they are worthy could hear her story and know the truth.
You can contact Renae at email@example.com.
Rev. Laura Jean Torgerson is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Biblical Interpretation and Culture. She has served congregations in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Oakland, California. She was a Global Ministries mission co-worker in Nicaragua from 2010-2014 on behalf of the Disciples and United Church of Christ. She worked for Iglesia Misión Cristiana, the Christian Mission Church, a small Nicaraguan Pentecostal denomination committed to serving "the least of these." She also taught courses in CIEETS (Centro Inter-eclesial de Estudios Teológicos y Sociales), an ecumenical seminary that grew out of the Protestant liberation theology movement in Nicaragua. Her doctoral research took her back to Nicaragua to study the ways that Pentecostal students learn to interpret the Bible in their churches and how they navigate new approaches to the Bible when they enter seminary. Laura Jean will defend her Ph.D. dissertation this June and will begin teaching New Testament at Berkely School of Theology as a Louisville post-doc scholar in July.
Christy’s ministry focuses on the gritty and tangible work of justice, the work of dynamically translating a prophetic gospel message into language that people from all walks of life can understand, and the use of the arts to open up the deeply transformative possibilities of the spirit. She is energized by practical and public theologies that insist on hospitality and compassion, and she is inspired to help individuals and communities find ways to sustain their prophetic voices in a difficult and polarized world.
Christy is blessed by her partner of 17+ years, Jeanne Loveless, who is also an ordained minister and professional spiritual director. Christy loves to watch mysteries, write poetry, tell stories, hike, and dig in the dirt. Jeanne loves to take pictures, fly fish, read about history, watch ghost shows, and fight systemic inequality. Together, they acknowledge that their greatest spiritual teacher is their 9 year old son, Clivie.
In addition to serving as Senior Pastor at First Christian Church, Christy also teaches seminary courses on social ethics, globalization, spirituality, and culture. She is currently finishing revisions on her book manuscript, Saving at Wal-Mart: A Theological Analysis of Relationships in Consumer Culture, which reflects her sincere passion to connect the world of ideas with everyday actions and everyday spirituality.
Living Stones is the blog of our Pastor Rev. Dr. Christy Newton. Read on for sample sermons, blog posts and comments from Christy.
Check Out A Recent Sermon From Christy