Conversation Partners 2014

Ginna Bairby
Bairby Headshot EcclesioGinna Bairby is the Managing Editor of Unbound and a committed advocate for peace and justice, particularly global economic justice. She is a recent graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA (M.Div. 2013) and a candidate for ordination to Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of the James. She grew up in Richmond, VA; earned a Bachelor of Arts in both Religious Studies and Music from the College of William and Mary (2009); and spent a year living and working in Lima, Peru, as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV). Her ministry experience includes a variety of congregations – ranging in size from 25 to 5,000 members – a chaplaincy position at University of Virginia Hospital, and a fellowship with the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness. Ginna lives with her husband Andy Bairby in Louisville, KY, and enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and both listening and playing to music – particularly that of the Indigo Girls.





Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice is an online journal and community that examines, expresses, and provokes social justice as inspired by the prophetic gospel of Jesus Christ. It is an exciting, relatively new venture from the Presbyterian Church (USA) that launched in October 2011 as both the inheritor of the print journal Church & Society (98 years running) and the innovator of an interactive approach to supporting social ministry. Unbound invites you to be more than readers. Become active participants and co-creators of Unbound by registering for free as a user, commenting on posts, sharing your ideas in the discussion forums, and contributing your voice through posts, art, music, poetry, videos, and more. Register today!


Elisa Bickers
2010EWBHeadshotBWElisa Williams Bickers is active across the country as a solo and ensemble organist and harpsichordist. She serves at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village Kansas; she is Principal Organist for sanctuary worship and lead musician for The Gathering (Village’s alternative worship service). She is also organist and harpsichordist with the chamber ensemble Bach Aria Soloists, and has taught at Washburn University and the UMKC Conservatory.

Dr. Bickers received first prize and the hymn-playing prize in the graduate division of the 2006 William Hall Competition. In 2009, she was awarded the Carlin Award for excellence in teaching, and competed in the International Buxtehude Competition in Lübeck. She was a semi-finalist in the 2010 National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.

Dr. Bickers began her organ studies with the Potomac Organ Institute in Washington D.C. She has degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Kansas. Her teachers include Dale Krider, H. Joseph Butler, and Michael Bauer.




Ken Cuthbertson

altfig041aKen Cuthbertson is a Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister. Ordained in 1982, he is currently a member of Santa Fe Presbytery. He lives with his husband, Doug Calderwood, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lifepartners since 1987, Ken and Doug were legally married at Niagara Falls, NY, in March 2012. Ken serves as parish associate at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church (Placitas, NM), teaches part-time for an ecumenical religious studies program, and carries on a ministry of spiritual direction. He is a member of the advisory team for the Casa del Sol retreat house at Ghost Ranch. A native of Girard, KS, Ken received his BA from Sterling College (KS), his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his PhD in the History of Christianity through the School of Religion at the University of Iowa.

Ken’s book, The Last Presbyterian? – Remembering the Faith of My Forebears, came out in 2013, published by Resource Publications of Eugene, OR. In the book — which he describes as a “historical-theological-spiritual memoir” — Ken examines the faith culture that has shaped him and his family over the last half millennium. Starting with the “Psalm-singing, Sabbath-keeping, Shorter-Catechism-memorizing” branches of Scots-American Presbyterianism, the book offers an affectionate look back, and a hopeful look ahead, to an emergent Presbyterianism coming to terms with issues such as LGBT ordination and same-gender marriage, interfaith relations, and care for the earth.


Emily Ewing
EmilyEmily E. Ewing is a native of Colorado. She graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA with a BA in Spanish, Religion, and Women’s and Gender Studies. After graduating, Emily spent a year in Rankovce, Slovakia with the Young Adults in Global Mission program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America before beginning studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She served her year-long internship at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Kansas City, MO. Emily is in her last year of studies to complete a Master of Divinity degree. She is a candidate for ordination to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA.








Michael Granzen
imageMichael Granzen serves as pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, NJ and adjunct professor of Christian Ethics at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. He has lectured on urban ministry and social ethics at Harvard Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to his current call, Michael served as pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Boston, MA and moderator of Elizabeth Presbytery. Dr. Granzen serves on the boards of several non-profits and community organizations. Under Dr. Granzen’s leadership, Second Church has developed new Brazilian and Malagasy churches, a Restore Ministry for urban teenagers and a new social witness project and prison ministry with Pulitizer-Prize-winning writer Chris Hedges. Dr. Granzen lives in Princeton, NJ with his partner the Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen and two daughters Mikaella and Olivia.



Owen Gray
OwenOwen Gray is a native and current resident of suburban Kansas City, though he holds deep allegiance to both great states of Kansas and Nebraska. He recently graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies and, come fall, will begin classes at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond. Owen currently serves as Pastoral Intern at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS, where he was also married to the beautiful Grace Gillaspie Gray. He served in several youth ministries while in Lincoln but is also passionate about social justice (especially as it regards government), pastoral care, camp ministry, preaching, and academic work. Other passions include reading, college football, Beethoven, string bass, golf, and Kansas City barbeque.



Lee Hinson-Hasty
Lee-H2-copyThe Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty is coordinator for Theological Education and Seminary Relations and a lead staff person for the Committee on Theological Education of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Presbyterian Mission Agency based in Louisville, KY. Ordained in 1995, he has served as a campus minister and pastor in Virginia and as director of church relations at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina. Hinson-Hasty actively engages in dialogue, study and initiatives that foster relationships and leadership development in the church and academy including on his the blog, “A More Expansive View: Encounters with Presbyterians and our Seminaries.” A North Carolina native, Lee graduated from Wake Forest University (BA-History), Louisville Seminary (MDiv), and McCormick Theological Seminary (DMin), is interested in leadership in a multicultural world, serves as Vice Chair of the Fund for Theological Education, is a member of Lectio Jubilate, and is married to the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty. Elizabeth and Lee are parents of three, a boy, a girl, and a five month old puppy, Basci.


Meredith Holladay
IMG_5548The Rev. Dr. Meredith Holladay currently serves as Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at First Baptist Church, Lawrence Kansas. Most recently a resident of Waco, Texas, she considers Louisville, Kentucky home sweet home, and is glad to be a bit farther north. After studying English and Religion at Georgetown College she continued to collect degrees, earning her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. in Religion, Politics and Society at Baylor University. Her dissertation focused on theology and popular music, and she’ll gladly swap music recommendations. Her favorite season is Fall, and when not at church, she enjoys finding the best cup of coffee, reading, and running (but not all at the same time!). She is an ordained Baptist minister, and was ordained at Lake Shore Baptist Church, in Waco, Texas, a congregation affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Alliance of Baptists. Her current call, First Baptist Church, is an American Baptist congregation. You can find her on the internet at and on twitter @k_meredith_s.




John Hubers
john at americanThe Rev. Dr. John M. Hubers is assistant professor of missiology at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. From 2001-2006 he held the Middle East and South Asia desk for the Reformed Church in America. He earned his BA in History from the institution where he is currently teaching, his MDiv from New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NJ) and his ThM and PhD from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. During his seminary training, Rev. Hubers spent one year in Cairo, Egypt studying Arabic and Christian/Muslim relations.

From 1986-96 Dr. Hubers served as pastor of international congregations in the Arabian Gulf States of Oman and Bahrain, where he had also taught English for two years after graduating from university. He has also served churches in New York, Michigan and Texas.

Dr. Hubers is the author of a number of articles relating to Christian-Muslim relations in the Church Herald, the former denominational magazine of the Reformed Church in America, along with several articles in The Other Side magazine on topics relating to Islam, the first Gulf War, and Christian/Muslim relations in Egypt. “Zion’s Christian Soldiers” is Rev. Hubers’ critique of Christian Zionism (a study guide for Reformed Church congregations), and “Christian Zionism and the Myth of America” is the text of an address he gave to the Middle East Council of Churches conference in Beirut, Lebanon (2002). Both papers are available at HCEF’s website. Dr. Hubers and his wife Lynne have two grown children.


Dawid Kuyler

Dawid KuylerDawid Kuyler serves as Scribe of the General Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa,* a position he has held since 2008.  Kuyler is a church historian, who has become a practical theologian teaching counselling.  He has been in the ministry for 30 years and continues to enjoy its challenges.
*A position that is equivalent to a Stated Clerk of the General Assembly or highest governing body of a denomination





Donna Simon
Donna and IzzyPastor Donna Simon is a Midwesterner by birth (and temperament), though she has spent much of her life on the West Coast. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University (English Literature) and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. She is in the third year of the Doctor of Ministry program in Congregational Mission and Leadership at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Donna is pastor at St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church, an inner city parish in Kansas City, Missouri. St. Mark Hope and Peace has engaged in a process of intentional renewal, seeking to engage with what God is doing in the midtown area of Kansas City and beyond. The congregation worships in a beautiful old stone church on Troost Avenue, but their ministry is located in many places. Donna lives in the parish she serves with her wife, Colleen, three dogs and three cats, all of them rescued from the mean streets of KC.





Tara Spuhler McCabe
photo (42)Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe is a Minister Member at Large in the National Capitol Presbytery (metro Washington DC area).  She served at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, first as a Christian Educator and then as the Associate Pastor for twelve years.

Tara earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Early Elementary Education at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.  While at Agnes Scott, she did an independent study in Indonesia for three months, interviewing and researching the Minangkabau Culture, a matrilineal Muslim society.  She earned a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.  Her focus was on urban ministry and cross-cultural mission.  While at McCormick, she served as a short term Young Adult Volunteer in Cape Town, South Africa.  There, she worked at the New World Foundation, a local community preschool and adult job training center.

Currently, as a minister member at large, Tara integrates all that she enjoys in called ministry and her local community.  She preaches regularly as pulpit supply, serves on several presbytery committees, and as a ministry coach. Tara also works part-time at Funshine Preschool, is a jewelry stylist with Stella&Dot, and volunteers with VOICE, a local community group addressing affordable housing in Arlington, VA.  Tara, her husband Kendrick (an engineer) and their two children are avid zoogoers, school volunteers, and movie watchers.

Nicholas Yoda
Nicholas YodaThe Reverend Dr. K. Nicholas Yoda grew up in Marietta, Georgia outside of Atlanta. He considers himself a “cradle to grave” Presbyterian (Who else would be in attendance at a General Assembly Meeting on their tenth birthday to bear witness to the reunion of the PCUS and the UPC?), attending the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta until he graduated from Seminary. Since his ordination on 31 May 1998, Nicholas has served as Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at the First Presbyterian Church of Sumter, South Carolina from 1998 – 2003, and as Associate Pastor for Youth and Families at the Avon Lake Presbyterian Church in Avon Lake, Ohio. Nicholas also teaches as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Theology at Xavier University.

Nicholas was blessed to have met his spouse Christa (ask him how they met…) who is an educator in the Mason City School District. They have two wonderful children (Aidan and Rylee) who keep them human, humble, praying, and thankful. When there is spare time, Nicholas enjoys reading, cinema, theatre, running, extensive travel both domestic and abroad, and the never ending home improvement projects.

Click here to see Conversation Partners 2013