I’m an author, speaker and Presbyterian pastor. My newest book is: The #MeToo Reckoning: Facing the Church’s Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct. It weaves together contemporary stories and ancient scripture, drawing on my history as a survivor of sexual assault and my passion for scripture.
I’ve been writing about sexual abuse and faith since 2012, when I began my memoir, Ruined. That book tells my deeply personal story of being raped at gunpoint at age 20, and my decade-long journey to build a new faith. It was named 2017 Book of the Year by Christianity Today Women.
So many stories surfaced in response to that book! Plus, in 2017 the #MeToo movement took hold. So I’ve kept writing on this important topic — how the church responds to sexual assault. Some recent highlights include two cover stories for Christian Century and an essay at Sojourners, all of which won awards from Associated Church Press. In December 2016 I wrote an op-ed about sexual purity for The Washington Post, which Breitbart spoofed, making it go viral. Find links to these articles and more than a dozen others at the Articles tab. Also note the Free Resources — helpful if you’re working with a church on this topic.
My first book was also a spiritual memoir, spanning a transformative two-week journey. Come along on my pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine and read Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land. We travel through both outer terrain and inner questions, which is a great way to prepare for a pilgrimage, debrief one, or relive one. You might also like my free pilgrimage-themed Lenten devotional.
I’m a graduate of Calvin College and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and have served Presbyterian (PCUSA) churches for more than 20 years, with stops in upstate New York, central Illinois, Maryland and Washington, DC. I now travel widely to urge faith communities to reconsider their response to sexual abuse.
I live in northern Virginia with my husband, Doug, who’s a sixth grade Science teacher. We have two daughters, Hannah and Clara. Besides writing and reading, my favorite things include walking in the woods and watching live performances.
Yes, I have a cat. It’s my understanding that cat ownership is a requirement for writers. Meet Wrangler.