Echoes has a collaborative team - we all work together in a non-hierarchical manner, each contributing our own skills and passions.
CHARIS WEATHERS (she/her/hers)
Bellingham has become a solid home for Charis, who has lived in a numerous states and several countries. Wanting an education in theology, she received an MDiv from Regent College. After having worked as a hospital chaplain and a pastor, she took a needed break from church to enjoy a stint as an outdoor gear expert for a large retailer.
In 2010 Charis found that the Lutherans shared her interest in exploring new ways of doing and being church. She had the opportunity to start Echoes in 2013, beginning with hosting a table at Pride. Wanting to have a "normal" job in the community, Charis also works part-time in a local optometry clinic, gleefully increasing the number of quality, loud glasses in Bellingham.
She loves getting together to talk about life, doubts, eternal mysteries, and how to choose just the right tent. She doesn’t have a lot of answers, but Charis does have a lot of questions. Drop her an email if you'd like to get together. She's curious about everybody. And if you'd like to see the TEDx talk that she gave at Western Washington University in 2015, here it is.
Jory Mickelson is a queer, non-binary writer, educator, preacher and lay pastor who lives in Bellingham, WA. Raised in the rural West by two visual artists, he/they are deeply invested in finding the Sacred in the natural world. They lead workshops, retreats, and classes on the intersection of creativity and spirituality, as well as on the sacred calling of art making in everyday life.
He is currently a member of the Episcopal Church and has a strong background in earth-centered spiritual traditions and recovery communities. They are committed to the practice of radical welcome and inclusion for all people no matter where they fall on the spectrum of gender or sexual orientation.
Victoria Loorz, MDiv, is an empty nest mama of two amazing 20somethings and grateful newcomer to the PNW. She has pastored several non-denominational and community churches over the past 25 years, but truly found her calling in the founding of a new expression of church that meets outside of buildings called the Church of the Wild.
Her work in integrating Christian spirituality and nature began over 25 years ago when she wrote an extensive toolkit sent to 50,000 evangelical churches called "Let the Earth Be Glad” encouraging churches to include the natural world in their indoor worship services. Some 20 years later, after founding the first Church of the Wild in Ojai CA she found others who we led to start similar churches all over the US and started the Wild Church Network as a support system for the dozens of churches from multiple Christian denominations leaving buildings to connect directly with the sacred in the natural world. Victoria is co-founder of Seminary of the Wild, a training program called Wild Christ, Wild Soul, Wild Earth that launches in July and October 2019 at Ghost Ranch in NM, with Brian Maclaren and Richard Rohr as keynote speakers. She is also Director of the Sacred Ground Initiative which is focused on restoring sacred relationships with the land.
Echoes will begin offering a monthly Church of the Wild service in various beautiful forest and bay locations throughout Bellingham starting February 2019.
Emma Donohew is a Visual Artist & Pastor having served United Methodist Churches in Seattle, Portland and Bellingham for the past 6 years. She received her MDiv from Pacific School of Theology with an emphasis in Art & Religion. It was there in Berkeley, CA, in an art gallery, that she created a gathering where art and writing were lifted up as worship.
Her passion for experimenting with Church outside the traditional building, has led her to create worship services & ritual connection points out of doors including: Street Corner Blessings, Pub Caroling & Good Friday Walks around Green Lake in Seattle. For the past 6 years, she has convened a weekly discussion in breweries and bars known as Pub Theology, throughout the PNW, rooted in her belief that conversation creates community. No topic is taboo or off the table, as Church should be a place where we can talk about anything, without judgement.
When she’s not using spirituality as a lens for art and conversation, she can be found hiking in the North Cascades with her hound dog Molly.