Kristen Hanna serves as Director of Music and Worship at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. A born and bred Texan, Kristen grew up in the Dallas area and received her Bachelor of Music from the Meadows School of the Arts and Master of Sacred Music from the Perkins School of Theology, both of Southern Methodist University. During her graduate work, Kristen served at various local churches in the Dallas area. Kristen grew up in the Southern Baptist Church and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church in 2009. She is a candidate for the Order of Deacons in the North Carolina Annual Conference. When not directing church choirs or planning worship, Kristen enjoys reading a wide variety of literature, knitting and sewing, solving the world’s problems over coffee with friends, and experiencing the beauty of creation while walking her corgi, Rory.
Dr. Christine Hand Jones is a singer-songwriter, a college English professor, and the Director of Music Ministry at Highland Baptist Church. She has a PhD in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, which she earned, in large measure, by listening to the collected works of Bob Dylan and writing about what she heard. When she’s not playing music or fascinating her students with stunning lectures over comma splices, Christine can be found drinking coffee, playing devoted cat mom to Desmond and Molly, and blogging at thebeautifulextras.blogspot.com.
Sharyl West Loeung holds a Master of Divinity degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.She currently works in the Department of Multicultural Affairs at Baylor University. A licensed minister, she enjoys supply preaching in Central Texas as well as serving in her home church. Sharyl’s interests include social justice movements, cross-cultural and inter-generational community, and liturgy. Her favorite things in life include: her husband and adorable toddler, her zoo (let’s not confess the number of pets here), a good Netflix binge, hammock naps, and avidly following sports and theater equally.
Renea McKenzie (Editor) earned a Masters’ degree for her studies in literature and is currently doing graduate research on the women poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Prior to starting her current work, Renea spent a year studying at the famous L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, where she, in addition to studying theology, read the Harry Potter saga for the first time and fell in love with the stories of friendship and the triumph of sacrificial love. In her “spare time,” Renea takes great pleasure in leading a very talented creative writing group at her church and swing dancing at the historic Sons of Hermann Hall.
Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Transformation Media Ministries, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for over 10 years. Scott is married and has three children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges in America every day.