About Us

Meet Our Team

This Climate Change Series has been created by an Ad Hoc committee of Community of Christ members, now called the North American Climate Justice Team. The committee coalesced at the 2019 World Conference. It is sponsored by the Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center, and also works in liaison with the Earth Stewardship Committee. If you wish to connect with a member, please use the Contact page. We would love to hear from you! 

  • Brad Martell, from Ellijay, Georgia, of the Southeast USA Mission Center. Brad served as a youth director, chair of Earth Stewardship Committee, and then Coordinator of Peace and Justice Ministries for the World Church before becoming the Inland West Mission Center President. He earned a PhD. in environmental studies from Antioch University and is a high priest in Community of Christ.

  • Cindie Ellwanger, from Auburn, Washington, part of Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center; Cindie has served as Samish Family Camp Director for several years and assisted in other capacities with the camping program. She is an ordained priest, and has served as the congregational recorder, She will be the primary liaison with Samish Island campgrounds for our actual in-person Colloquy.

  • Dean Wight, from Bellingham, Washington of the Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center. Dean is an ordained evangelist, currently serving as the team leader for the northern area evangelists of his mission center. He has spent his career leading non-profit organizations serving a wide range of populations in need.  He currently works in an organization serving homeless youth, keeping them safe during the current pandemic.

  • Emily Rose, previously from Orange, CA, of the Pacific Southwest International Mission Center, now living in Independence, MO. She earned an MDiv from Claremont School of Theology, and just completed additional chaplaincy coursework. She is a young adult and served as the Invitation Support Minister for her mission center. An excellent writer, presenter, and creative planner, she is skilled in IT and website creation, and passionate about climate change issues.

  • Joan Thompson, from Kitchener, Ontario, of the Canada East Mission Centre. Joan serves as an ordained high priest and member of the Standing High Council, and is currently completing an MAR degree with a focus on Spiritual Leadership. She has a wide range of experience in congregational and mission centre roles. With degrees in science and telecommunications as well as training/experience in analysis and problem solving, her focus is on identifying root issues and strategizing solutions and action plans.

  • Laurie Gordon, from Bend, OR, of the Greater Pacific Northwest Mission Center. She is an ordained evangelist, and has a M.A. in Christian Spirituality from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She also holds a M.Sc. degree, having formerly worked on the Genome project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley.  She trained and now serves as a Spiritual Director, assisting Community of Christ with developing people and programs related to spiritual disciplines, including having developed multiple spiritual retreat models and having written several articles on the boundary of the Christian mystical tradition within the science-religion dialogue. 

  • Maya Seagraves, from Granite Bay, CA, of the Sierra Pacific Mission Center. She is a graduating high school Senior this year (2019), a creative, articulate advocate in the climate change movement.
  • Paul Bethel: from Huntington Beach, CA, of the Pacific Southwest International (PSI) Mission Center, where he serves as Sacredness of Creation advocate.  Paul is an ordained elder and currently serves as a Co-Pastor of the Gardena, CA, congregation. He represents PSI on our Team, and is a passionate advocate for the innocent victims of climate change, and against the dynamics that ensnare them.  He lived in Japan for six years during elementary school.

  • Rod Downing, Chair, from Surrey, British Columbia, of the Canada West Mission Centre. Rod, an ordained high priest, has been an activist, writer, presenter and facilitator for over 40 years on issues of peace / justice / environment / human rights. He has served as the creator and editor of Community of Christ’s International Human Rights newsletter for 20 years; and is the Chair of the Canada Peace / Justice Committee. He earned his M.Sc. at the University of British Columbia, (UBC), plus a Master’s degree in philosophical theology with a global focus, attending UBC’s Vancouver School of Theology for 4 years.

  • Susan Oxley, from Seattle, WA, of Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center. She earned a BA in Biology from Saginaw Valley University, and a Masters of Religion from Graceland University before serving the World Church as a Regional Administrator, a Mission Center Financial Officer, and an Apostle serving on the West Coast of the USA, among the South Pacific island nations, and Canada.

  • Susi Wight, from Bellingham, WA, of the Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center. Susi is an ordained elder in Community of Christ.  She has Masters Degrees in Special Education and Organizational Development, and has spent her career working with troubled youth.  She is a sensitive and gentle advocate for inclusive justice for immigrants, ethnic diversity, and social equality for the oppressed and marginalized.