Speakers, Musicians, and MCs
We have an amazing line up for the Extravaganza in Houston. Check back as we will be adding to this page.
He engages anthropology, cross-pollinating learning environments, filmmaking, and writing to share stories of love, inspire social imagination, and promote human flourishing.
He is Sourcing Innovation Lecturing Fellow at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, and a guest lecturer at Princeton and Southern Methodist Universities. His multi-sensory, interdisciplinary lectures include films, interactive podcast journeys, and principles that deepen innovation and culture making.
In addition to creating films through Folklore Films, (a non-profit film company that tells better stories to people about people), he is the Pastor and Cultural Architect of The Awakenings Movement (AM). AM is a grassroots church community of social visionaries and culture shapers in Houston, Detroit and Nairobi.
Enrique Morones is a Human Rights activist born in San Diego to Mexican parents who instilled in him a deep love for Mexico, spiritual faith, and social justice. In 1998 he was the first person to be granted dual citizenship with Mexico, and is the Founder of Border Angels, an all volunteer group that saves migrant lives.
Bishop Mike Rinehart
Michael Rinehart is Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a community of over one hundred congregations, campus ministries, retreat centers, and other agencies. At Valparaiso University, a Lutheran university in Valparaiso, Indiana he studied music, focusing on organ performance and singing in the VU Schola Cantorum, Chorale, Concert Choir. He received his Master of Divinity at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He lives in Montgomery, Texas with his wife and children.
Jamie Bruesehoff is a writer, speaker, and advocate. She is a pastor’s wife and mom to three spirited children. Her first born child is transgender. She is passionate about sharing her family’s story and providing opportunities for education in order to create safe and welcoming communities for transgender youth in the church and beyond. She holds a Masters in Religion from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettsyburg and has worked in outdoor and youth ministry for nearly 20 years.
Pastor Jennifer Crist is the mission developer of Communities of Hope in the Lower Susquehanna Synod who loves to experiment with how faith can be explored in a variety of contexts and creative expressions. She especially finds it exciting to identify and nurture leaders in this movement. Pastor Jennifer's passion for mission has been ignited by the Holy Spirit through her experiences in Guatemala, leading her to found Tree 4 Hope. She is currently leading a campaign to build Hope Academy for impoverished girls in Guatemala.
Ian AbramsonIan Abramson is a comedian from LA. He has been seen on Conan, Comedy Central’s @Midnight, and on Amazon. He has performed at festivals across the country, including Bonnaroo and Just for Laughs. He was named the Best Up and Coming Comedian by LA Weekly in 2015, and Chicago’s Best Experimental Comedian by Chicago magazine when he lived there. He isn’t sure whether or not he exists, but he hopes that you do.
Bianca VazquezBianca Vazquez works at Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC. Her work integrates popular education with structural racism/equity training and community engagement and organizing. She is dedicated to transforming traditional mission trips into community immersion and capacity building opportunities, equipping young people to engage structural issues at home upon return. Her newest project with Luther Place includes incubating worker-owned cooperatives in the surrounding neighborhood, creating a more just and equitable community for all.
Joe Davis is a nationally touring performer and teaching artist based in the Twin Cities, MN, using poetry, music, and theater to cultivate community and healing. As a student and educator, he has served as teaching artist at dozens of high schools and universities and is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Luther Seminary, pursuing a masters in Theology of the Arts.
Pastor Gretchen Weller Mertes
Pastor Gretchen Weller Mertes is a singer, songwriter, and guitar-slinger with a big personality and a heart to match. She serves at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington, where she leads Faith Formation for folks aged 0-20 — maybe just like you! — as well as the Informal Worship Ensemble (AKA the church rock band :D ). Along with her husband Ryan, she’s lucky to parent Addi (8), and Weller (3), and loves hanging outdoors with her family.
"It feels like a resurrection," frontman/songwriter Ben Kyle says of Shadowlands, Romantica's fourth album and first new release in seven years. Shadowlands was released on Last Chance Records in the US and At The Helm Records in The UK in February 2017.