Contact Bri: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Adam: email@example.com
Leadership means a lot of things. Leadership does a whole lot of things. Gilead wouldn't be Gilead without the Grade-A team of who help us make it happen.
Jack Bandy hopes to help Gilead continue the ancient spiritual practices of breaking bread and telling true stories at tables where all are truly welcome. He resides in Rogers Park with his wife, Alexa Dava. On weekdays he attends Northwestern as a PhD student and studies questions like "can an algorithm be unethical?"
Tammy Besser is a social worker, archery coach, and avid community gardener. She is way too wordy to write a short bio.
Pedro Bortoto is a full-time househusband writing his PhD thesis, still trying to figure out the whole church thing. He believes in Gilead's mission of creating a welcoming place, and he hopes to help it flourish as a church and as a community. If you need Portuguese lessons for some weird reason, he can provide them.
Lizzy Brady Bortoto is a union organizer and recovering evangelical. A couple years ago, she spontaneously tattooed a large pineapple on her forearm, but it also symbolizes hospitality and welcome, so it all worked out in the end. Lizzy loves to share stories, and believes that Gilead is a place where you can share yours, too.
Alexa Dava thought she liked working with kids but now that she's been a children's pastor and a parenting educator, she's unsure. She finds rest in doing Yoga with Adriene, playing charades, and picnicking on Loyola Beach with her hunney, Jack. Alexa decided to stay at Gilead when Rebecca shouted, "Come and get it, y'all!" as the invitation to communion.
Jill Dunlap comes to Gilead by way of the first beer release at Smack Dab. She is excited to be helping the leadership team with congregational care in the coming year. Jill works from home for a higher education association, which means she gets really excited for Sunday services so she can talk to real people. Jill also teaches Political Science at St. Xavier University and does dissertation editing on the side.
Susan Haarman has worked with college students for over ten years and can show you the gray streak in her hair to prove it. She’s also been a hospital chaplain, knife salesman, camp counselor, waitress, Jesuit Volunteer, and lifeguard. She tells stories, is an improvisor, and should really get back to the gym.
Sarah Pressly is Gilead's resident golden retriever - she will bounce up to visitors and greet them, talk to just about anybody, and be enthusiastic about all sorts of things. Sarah currently works as a fundraiser for Feed My Starving Children in their Libertyville volunteer site, and lives in Evanston. She has a car if you need to borrow it on weekends or evenings.
Dave Scott focuses on creating community by hosting dinner parties, meeting with folks One-to-One and offering to help with projects. He holds a certificate in Lay Ministry through the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. He works with adults with special needs through Misericordia and enjoys volunteering with Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly in his spare time.
Since we began working on Gilead, many talented folks have stepped forward to offer their help. We are honored to work with them. You should follow the links below and pay them money to do things for you!
Adam Frieberg, photography and technology. Find him at http://www.adamfrieberg.com/
Edyta Legiec, web design. Find her at http://www.littleworldphoto.com/
Lucas Ryan, photography. Find him at https://www.facebook.com/LRYANPhoto/
Mathew Schramm, logo design and branding. Find him at http://www.matschramm.com/
Rachel Singer, art ("Give" page). Find her at http://www.theblindcartographer.com/
We've had, and are gonna have, amazing people passing through this congregation, as student pastors, as musicians, as interns. Until we're like, a hundred years old, and there are too many to fit in this space, we wanna hold a place for them and the ways they've shaped us as a church!
Vince Wilson helped launch Gilead as our first music director. Vince is a professional singer and songwriter from Philadelphia, PA (and now back home there). He was classically trained at Swarthmore College for twelve years through the Chester Children's Chorus and has provided vocal support for artists such as Tasha Cobbs, Mark Collier, Shawn Bigby, Ernest Pugh, Dorinda Clark-Cole and more. Currently he specializes in music production, singing, songwriting and performance theough his solo vocal work and collaborative projects. Vince has spent a considerable amount of time leading worship and being a band leader across many genres. You can hear him here.
In addition to all his considerable musical chops, Vince came to Gilead knowing how to start something new: he's the founder of The Soul Section, a band and an event, in State College, PA (home of Penn State), where artists, singers, rappers, poets and musicians gathered.
Chelsea Cornelius was our first ever student pastor, during her second year at the University of Chicago Divinity School, in the Masters of Divinity program. She's a candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Her academic interests include feminist theology, queer theory, bioethics, and identity and discursive space. She also works in the University of Chicago Writing Program, serves on the Office of the Provost's Sexual Misconduct Advisory Board, and co-organizes DivOUT (the Divinity School LGBTQ+ organization). Her previous ministry work includes serving as a chaplain at Cook County Jail, a Ministry Associate in campus ministry, and as a summer camp Program Director in northern Wisconsin.
Alexa Eisenbarth was a Gilead Day-1. She served as Gilead’s Student Pastor during her third and final year as a Master of Divinity student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. A Washington state transplant, she graduated from Whitworth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Sociology in 2016. Having sensed a call to ministry in high school youth group, that call and her faith have changed a million times since then. She is a certified candidate for ordained ministry in The Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church, and hopes to participate in the reconstruction of the Christian faith tradition that it might not do harm. Alexa has previously worked for The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in The United Methodist Church, and at Audubon Park, Kennewick First, and Bothell United Methodist Churches as a pastoral intern. Alexa has since returned home to the Pacific Northwest to serve as the pastor of Orting UMC in Orting, Washington.
Will Bouvel came to Gilead in his 2nd year as an MDiv student at the University of Chicago and also has a MA in Voice performance from the Royal Academy of Music. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Chicago in Geography. Whether with kids or adults, he loves exploring creativity in worship through music, art, and expression which is a big reason why he’s so excited to be at Gilead! Vibrant and authentic worship is key for him, no matter the style and he’s excited to find the Holy Spirit wherever it’s moving. Will lives with his husband of ten years in Chicago’s near north side. He nerds out over public transit, maps, and Star Trek (TNG), and loves attending theater and ballet. He is currently exploring a vocation to ordained ministry in the Episcopal church. Sunday mornings, Will can be found organizing and teaching children’s ministries at an Episcopal church in Chicago.