ELM + P.O. Box 14317 + Chicago, IL 60614-8503
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Meet our Staff
Executive Director- Rev. Amanda Nelson(she/her/hers)
Location: Portland, ME
Amanda grew up attending Immanuel Lutheran Church in her hometown of Attleboro, Massachusetts where she first encountered the wonder of faith. After attending Wheaton College (Norton, MA) where she majored in International Relations and German Studies, Amanda worked in development and public relations for a domestic and sexual violence agency in Southeastern Massachusetts. In the fall of 2010, following the 2009 ELCA Churchwide decision to allow openly LGBTQIA+ persons to serve as leaders of the church, Amanda moved across the country to attend Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California (part of the Graduate Theological Union) to follow her call. On May 31st, 2015 Amanda was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament and called to serve as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in East Hartford, Connecticut. Amanda joined ELM as the Executive Director in the summer of 2017 having been an active volunteer and a member of Proclaim, the professional community for Lutheran pastors, rostered lay leaders, candidates, and seminarians who publicly identify as LGBTQIA+. Amanda resides in Portland, ME with her dog Cinna.
Program Director – Rev. Asher O’Callaghan (he/him/his)
Location: Denver, CO
Before becoming a Lutheran pastor, Asher fancied himself spiritual but not religious. He thought he was done with organized religion after growing up transgender and bisexual in a fundamentalist church. But then he stumbled into a church called House For All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado where God messed up all his plans. There he heard an invitation he couldn’t help but share.
From Christ’s open table he heard: “Behold who you are. Become what you receive.”Becoming what he’s received has led him to earn a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary, to pastor a small mountain congregation called Zion Lutheran Church in Idaho Springs, Colorado, and now to serve as ELM’s Program Director. Asher is a member of Proclaim, a former Joel R. Workin scholar, and served on the ELM Board of Directors until March of this year.
Communications & Development Coordinator – Christephor Gilbert (he/him/his)
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Christephor is a student in the Master of Divinity program at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, is in candidacy with the ELCA toward Word and Sacrament ministry, and a member of Proclaim. He is the 2016 Joel R. Workin Scholar. Prior to seminary, Christephor worked as the Program Manager for the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts in Louisville, KY, which was a natural move from his first career as a dancer, dance educator, and choreographer (MFA Dance, University of Hawaii, 1993). Christephor lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his partner Donald and their three cats. He is a member of Third Lutheran Church in Louisville, KY. Christephor works three days a week from Fort Wayne, IN.