Ched Myers is an activist theologian who has worked in social change movements for almost 40 years. With a degree in New Testament Studies, he is a popular educator who animates scripture and issues of faith-based peace and justice. He has authored over 100 articles and more than a half-dozen books, including Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Orbis, 1988/2008); The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics (Tell the Word, 2001), Ambassadors of Reconciliation: A N.T. Theology and Diverse Christian Practices of Restorative Justice and Peacemaking (with Elaine Enns, Orbis, 2009), and most recently, Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice (with Matthew Colwell, Orbis, 2012). Most of Ched’s publications can be found on his website.
Ched has worked with a variety of social justice organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee and the Pacific Concerns Resource Center. He is a co-founder of several collaborative projects: the Word and World School; the Sabbath Economics Collaborative; the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice; and recently the Watershed Discipleship Alliance. He and his partner Elaine Enns, a restorative justice practitioner, live in the Ventura River watershed in southern California and co-direct Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries.
Fred Bahnson, Course Leader, is the director of the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. He is the author of Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and co-author of Making Peace With the Land (InterVarsity, 2012). In 2005 he co-founded Anathoth Community Garden, a church supported agriculture ministry that he directed until 2009. He lives with his wife Elizabeth and their three sons in Transylvania County, where they tend a ½ acre permaculture orchard and terraced hillside gardens.
Brian Ammons joined Warren Wilson as the Chaplain in the summer of 2012, coming to Warren Wilson from Duke University where he served on the Education faculty. He graduated from NC State University in 1995 with a degree in Middle Grades Education and a minor in English, and went on to earn a Master Education in Special Education while he was teaching in Iredell County and Chapel Hill Carrborro Schools. Brian received a Masters of Divninty from Wake Forest University in 2003. Upon completion, he was ordained and served as Minister with Youth and Young Adults at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Brian completed his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Cultural Studies with a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC-Greensboro in 2010. Brian has taught courses in gender studies, practical theology, and education at UNCG, Wake Forest, and Duke, and he writes and speaks widely about the intersection of spirituality, sexuality, and justice. Brian was born and raised in North Carolina, and is grateful to return to his ancestral roots in Appalachia.
As the course chaplain, Brian will coordinate our daily Lauds and Vespers services, and lead group reflection at the day’s end. He will also be available for spiritual direction over the four-day course.
Jill Crainshaw is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology at Wake FOrest University School of Divinity. Crainshaw’s research interests include liturgical theology, vocational formation for ministry, and feminist perspectives on church leadership. She is the author of a number of books and articles, including Wise and Discerning Hearts: An Introduction to a Wisdom Liturgical Theology(Liturgical Press, 2000), Keep the Call: Leading the Congregation without Losing Your Soul (Abingdon, 2007), and Wisdom’s Dwelling Place: Exploring a Wisdom Liturgical Spirituality (Order of St. Luke Press, 2010). Crainshaw is co-editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Religious Controversies in the Unites States (ABC-Clio, 2012). She is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Chuck Marsh is a pioneer in ecological landscape design and consulting practices, and founder of Useful Plants Nursery, an edible landscape plant nursery located south of Black Mountain, NC. Chuck has over thirty five years of experience working with the plants, soil, water, climate and people of North Carolina to design and install place appropriate, productive, and sustainable home and commercial landscapes. His career has spanned the wholesale and retail nursery business as well as landscape gardening and landscape contracting businesses. His current focus is on teaching people about edible landscaping, biological economics, and Permaculture Design, which he does locally, nationally and internationally; growing edible and medicinal plants for present and future abundance; and consulting with homeowners and landowners to design and create beautiful, productive, resource conserving landscapes that celebrate and deepen our connection to the natural world.
Charles Pettee made his first foray into traditional music as a child in Asheville, North Carolina. Upon his relocation to Chapel Hill in the early 1980s, Pettee—by this time an accomplished guitarist, mandolinist, singer and songwriter—was drafted into the Shady Grove Band, an internationally known bluegrass group with whom he continues to tour and record. In 2003, Pettee founded FolkPsalm, a group the Independent Weekly described as “rich, engaging new acoustic and bluegrass. . . . The most sophisticated and moving of Pettee’s career.” For three decades and across multiple continents, Pettee has served as an ambassador of traditional music of the North Carolina Piedmont, logging more than 5000 performances in the process. In Pettee’s music, says Pastor Mitchell Simpson of Chapel Hill’s University Baptist Church, “something very old and very true is at work.”
Jeremy Seifert completed his debut film, DIVE!, Living Off America’s Waste, in 2010. Initially made with a $200 budget, a borrowed camera, and a lot of heart, DIVE! went on to win 22 film festivals worldwide. In 2010 with the release of DIVE!, Jeremy began the production company, Compeller Pictures. He is now a filmmaker and activist, traveling the country and speaking on humanitarian and environmental issues. Jeremy’s second film, GMO OMG, tells the hidden story of the take over of our food supply by giant chemical companies, an agricultural crisis that has grown into a cultural crisis. He has once again found the heart of the project in his own journey and awakening. Jeremy and his wife, Jen, live in North Carolina with there three children, Finn (8), Scout (5), and Pearl (3).
On Thursday morning we’ll be joined by Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, who will talk about the Moral Monday movement as part of bioregional justice-seeking.
On Friday morning we’ll be joined by Rev. Eduard Loring, who will talk about solidarity with the marginalized as part of watershed discipleship.