Renew I Educate I Connect 

Speakers and Musicians

The Extravaganza 2019 Planning Team is putting together an amazing lineup of presenters for Extravaganza 2019 in Jacksonville.

We will continue to update this page as decisions are finalized.

Speakers


Jeff Chu     

Over his eclectic journalistic career, Jeff Chu has interviewed presidents and paupers, corporate execs and preachers, Britney Spears and Ben Kingsley. As a writer and editor for Time and Fast Company, he has compiled an award-winning portfolio including stories on undercover missionaries in the Arab world and the decline of Christianity in Europe. His acclaimed book, Does Jesus Really Love Me?—which earned the cover of the New York Times Book Review—features his reporting on Christianity and sexuality across America.

As a speaker, Jeff has stood before audiences in Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and an array of other churches across the country. He has given lectures at Princeton, Yale, Fuller, Calvin, Syracuse, and Hope. He has also graced the stages of the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival in Washington, the Progressive Youth Ministry, Gay Christian Network, Why Christian?, and Room for All (Reformed Church in America) conferences. In 2012, he was part of the Seminar on Debates in Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School.

Chu grew up in California and Florida. He is the nephew and grandson of Baptist preachers, and currently serves as an elder at Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn, New York. He loves the San Francisco 49ers, the Book of Ecclesiastes, and clementines.

Dr. Dawn Rundman     

Dawn is a nationally recognized teacher, presenter, author, and resource provider specializing in children's faith development. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Oregon. Since 2002, she's developed faith formation resources at Sparkhouse and Augsburg Fortress, two publishing units of 1517 Media.

She is thrilled to release her newest book Little Steps, Big Faith on October 2, 2018.


Prairie Rose Seminole      

Prairie Rose joins us from the office of ELCA Churchwide in her role as the Program Director for American Indian Alaska Native Ministries in the ELCA. For our time together, Prairie Rose will help us to delve deep into the story of Moses.

She will bring an honesty to the Main Stage that will challenge our preconceptions and encourage us to leap into our Christian lives as the disruptors we are called to be!


Rev. William C. Hamilton, Jr.     

“Pastor Ham” will join us to bring the Good News on Sunday morning as our worship preacher. Pastor Ham believes he is called to be a “Pastor to the community” and, as a member of the Jacksonville community, we will be blessed by his preaching.

His favorite passage is: “For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.” (Romans 1:11-12)

He loves to “Pass some time” and “Swap story.”

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Rev. Kristen Glass Perez     

Kristen likes to say, “the struggle is real!” Having experienced her own grief in the midst of tragedy, she hopes to help others to address and give space to talk about the difficult things that disrupt our lives, challenge and shape us to be who we are.

She has a strong background in working with young adults and vocation exploration and currently serves as the College Chaplain for Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. She has previously worked at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and as the director for young adult ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Dr. Terri Martinson Elton      

Terri is Associate Professor of Leadership at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. Passionate about rethinking church, Terri is developing a contextual approach to faith formation, studying confirmation ministry, and discovering new organizational structures for congregations. She and husband Eric have two young adult daughters, Jordan and Elizabeth.


Rev. Reginald Hansome   

"Pastor Reggie" is a progressive spiritual leader. A motivated preacher and teacher, he enjoys “equipping the saints” to do the ministry of Christ. He is encouraged by the witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer - "Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about actively seeking to do God’s will."


Musicians

You know Gretchen (right) from the Extravaganza 2018 and Tyra (left) from the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. Now see them together as co-leaders of the Extravaganza 2019 House Band in Jacksonville, FL at the Extravaganza.

We are well past due for an all-female band. After the joy of working with Gretchen and Tyra separately the last couple years, they were our top choices to lead with power, conviction and heart. The E will be blessed by the House Band of four talented women that will lead us in song and worship. This is going to be fun!

Tyra "Tyralucia" Dennis 

Tyra Dennis just left the stage as the House Band leader for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering! She is a member of Another Level Ministries LA and worship leader. Upon graduating UC Davis, she made it her life's work to inspire as many as possible, using music as her vehicle.


Rev. Gretchen Mertes

Gretchen is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Seattle with a bluesy-soul feel and a love for hyphenated words. She's also a pastor who enjoys bartending and poking anemones at low tide. She can often be found riding bikes with her two kids - Addi, 9 and Weller, 4.

Lacey Brown

Lacey Brown is a percussionist, singer/songwriter, teacher, and worship leader from Seattle, WA. .

Lacey currently works as Music Director at Church of the Apostles, where she has the joy of designing worship with the community, directing the music as well as writing and recording original music and re-imagined ancient chant and hymns for worship.


Rachel Kurtz

Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter Rachel Kurtz is poised for a breakthrough with her 2018 album, Love, Rachel Kurtz.

A remarkable vocalist and magnetic stage presence, Kurtz has released a new 13-song collection of original soul, Americana, and blues tracks backed by some of Minneapolis' finest session musicians.

Following an unconventional career path, Rachel Kurtz has found acclaim and a national audience of thousands due to her appearances at a series of community service events held in sports arenas across the country. Raising awareness for world hunger, hurricane relief, and multicultural reconciliation, Kurtz's powerhouse voice and heartfelt performances have been electrifying crowds in Atlanta's Georgia Dome, New Orleans' Superdome, Texas' Alamo Dome, and hundreds of other concert venues from coast to coast.

Her new Love, Rachel Kurtz album follows in the footsteps of gospel-activist diva Mavis Staples, while contributing to the neo-soul revivalist movement spearheaded by like-minded artists Alabama Shakes, Adele, and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. This is the moment, and this is the music, that shall introduce the power of Rachel Kurtz's voice and vision to a whole new audience.

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