Justice Ministry and Continuing Education Opportunities for Lower Susquehanna Synod

Our Core Values


LGBTQIA2S+ affirming, BIPOC centering, immigrant welcoming, people with disabilities inclusive

Radically uplifting of the priesthood of all believers

Creative and forward-thinking, actively embracing growth and change to better serve and uplift God’s people

*All members of our coordinating team are self-identified members of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, Immigrant, and/or People with Disabilities communities. The majority of our features speakers and guests also come from those communities because of our core value commitment to uplift traditionally marginalized voices. Any speakers or guest presenters who do not belong to a marginalized community will clearly identify themselves as allies at the beginning of their presentations.

Our Commitments

We will name and honor the original indigenous stewards of the land.

We will name and steward the watersheds we inhabit.

We will be aware of the history we live (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and commit to being “repairers of the breach”.

With the ancient prophets, we will see to connect our spiritual practice, worship, and shared prayer with the pursuit of justice.

We see Creation as God’s holy temple and each person as a divinely made.

We will seek to practice accountability and confession with genuine repentance.

“God has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah 6:8 (New Revised Standard Updated Version)

Vision and Facilitation Team

Rev. Carla Christopher (she/her)
Pastor of Logistics and Vision Support

I’m Carla Christopher, a Black/Romani/German queer femme Lutheran Pastor and deeply proud of all my intersections. Poetry is my first language and I served as York, Pennsylvania’s Poet Laureate and ran a small publishing company while also working as a professional community organizer and Diversity/Cultural Competency Trainer before attending seminary. I now live and work in Central Pennsylvania, serving as assistant to the regional Bishop in charge of Justice Ministries. My favorite co-worker is my shamelessly spoiled dog and I still write regularly for church organizations like ELCA World Hunger, Sparkhouse, Faith+Lead, Sundays and Seasons, and Living Lutheran and support area nonprofits in justice and trauma-informed care work.

James Sawor (he/him)
Minister of Logistics and Vision Support

I am James Sawor, father, public servant, volunteer, planner, constant thinker. My career-span has included healthcare, business management, emergency services, and public administration. I have served in elected and appointed public offices, as well as on many boards and committees for non-profits. Currently holding a B.A. from York College of Pennsylvania in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, I am currently enrolled in dual Bachelor programs in Corporate Accounting and Business Economics with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. I have been in school more years in my adult life than not.

Currently I enthusiastically serve the people as Chief of Staff for PA Representative Carol Hill-Evans since 2017. Even with that, my life revolves around my faith and my family. My passion for being a part of church leadership came early. In my youth I was a close companion to the pastor, reported on behalf of my church for denominational media, became Treasurer of the church, and directed Bible School. Now I feel ready to revisit the calling I have for the church.

Br. John Michael Longworth, OEM (they/them)
Director of Spiritual Care and Spiritual Practice

Br. John Michael (JM) Longworth, OEF is a life professed Franciscan in the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans and a minister of the Gospel from Rutland, VT. They serve as the Grant Writer & Foundation Specialist for Committee on Temporary Shelter in Burlington, VT, using narrative to provide shelter, services, and affordable housing to households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. JM is also a trained spiritual director and loves helping people to explore the linkages between spiritual practice and collective liberation. As an AroAce theologian, JM is fascinated by exploring sacred friendship, both as an embodiment of Gospel ethics, and as a form of resistance to the isolation and alienation of a community build entirely around nuclear family units.

Gale Wenk du Pont (she/her)
Minister of Pastoral Care and Spiritual Practice

Gale Wenk du Pont serves as the Co-Chair of the LSS Towards Racial Justice Task Force and as a member of the Disability Ministry Task Force. She received a certificate in Missional Preaching in 2020 and is working on her certificate in trauma informed Preaching. She works with different community agencies that focus on homelessness, supporting returning citizens, immigration, health equity and inclusivity, racial justice, and religious ally ship. Gale leads worship services at two area nursing homes monthly and serves as a supply preacher for non-communion services.

Rev. Tim Seitz-Brown (he/him)
Pastor of Advocacy and Public Action

Pastor Tim Seitz-Brown is active with the Pennsylvania Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and is often seen at the Commonwealth Capitol in Harrisburg. He has served congregations in Easton, Ephrata, Thomasville, Biglerville and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, lived as fish farming extension officer in Kingston, Jamaica, taught at the Manow Lutheran Junior Seminary in Tanzania, and as an international delegate with the Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraqi Kurdistan. He keeps sharp by participating in the Subversive Seminary global conversation every Tuesday night. He is married to Ann and the father of three adult children.

Stacy Chavis, ELCA Intern (she/her)
Intern for Advocacy and Public Action

Stacy Chavis’ call is to “the churched, the unchurched, and the unsure” and she desires to create spaces that build community through the telling of shared experiences and sacred stories. Her vision is to construct opportunities to minister that give voice to the disenfranchised and marginalized. She is a Vicar in the ELCA and is currently enrolled in an accelerated Master of Divinity program. In addition to her Interdisciplinary Studies degree (Psychology and Business), she is also a graduate of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.

Release Faith Scheduled Events

All events are held at Heidelberg UCC, 47 W Philadelphia St, York, PA, 17401 (park and enter in the back) and livestreamed on the Release Faith Facebook unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, January 15, 2023 – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence, Hate Crimes, and Violent Oppression,  from 2 – 3 pm at Cherry Lane Park in downtown York

Saturday, January 21, 2023 – The Music of the Holocaust,  from 10 am – 12 pm followed by lunch and conversation.

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