Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
The Right Reverend Deon K. Johnson, Bishop
The Right Reverend George Wayne Smith, Bishop (Retired)
Janis Greenbaum, Director of Communications

Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion
The Reverend Michael Angell, Rector

Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust
The Right Reverend Deon K. Johnson , Chair

University of the South School of Theology
The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander, Th.D., D.D., Dean (Retired)
The Reverend Julia Gatta, Ph.D., Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Pastoral Theology
Karen Meridith, Executive Director of Education for Ministry

The Very Reverend Kathie Adams-Shephard
The Venerable Reverend Rebecca Barger
Billy Collins, Ph.D.
Shug Goodlow
The Reverend Dan Handschy, Ph.D. (Retired)
The Reverend Kristin Leslie, Ph.D.
The Right Reverend George Wayne Smith (Retired)
The Reverend Marc D. Smith, Ph.D.

Scott Ferguson

The Reverend Anne Kelsey

The Reverend Mike Angell, M.Div.
Dana Downs, MSW
Barry A. Hong, M. Div., Ph.D.
Poli Rijos, MSW, LCSW


The Very Reverend Kathie Adams-Shepherd is Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, Connecticut at the time of the massacre of 26 students, teachers and staff in 2012, including a first-grader from her parish. Kathie was among the first to respond to the tragedy and cared for those families who waited for news of their loved ones and comforted those who experienced the full weight of loss. She is a member of The Newtown Action Alliance, a frequent preacher, speaker and advocate for common sense gun safety regulation and laws and the author of “Render Our Hearts Open” in Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: Challenging the Epidemic of Gun Violence.

The Venerable Reverend Rebecca S. Barger serves as Archdeacon for the Diocese of Missouri and Deacon at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Eureka, Missouri. She advocates for ongoing community conversations on losses resulting from suicide. She is an active participant in a local support group for parents whose child has committed suicide and also facilitates a grief support group that regularly meets at her parish.

Billy Collins, Ph.D. is the former Poet Laureate of the United States (2001 – 2003), New York State Poet (2004 – 2006) and a retired Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York. From 2008 – 2015, he served as the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Dr. Collins has published numerous poetry anthologies, including: The Art of Drowning; Aimless Love; and The Rain in Portugal. He has performed widely on stage, television and the radio and recorded two TED talks which placed him among the 100 Favorite TED speakers of all time. Dr. Collins’ awards are many and include Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Norman Mailer Prize for Poetry and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

Shug Goodlow is a Postulant for Holy Orders and the former Head Verger and Acolyte Master at Christ Church Cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. She is a Licensed Preacher in the diocese and Immediate Past President of its Standing Committee. She currently serves as Chaplain and Vice President of the diocesan Episcopal Church Women (ECW) and co-hosted the diocesan podcast, Jesus Hacked: Storytelling Faith. Ms. Goodlow is a motivational speaker and involved in community theater.

The Reverend Dan Handschy, Ph.D. retired in 2019 after 26 years as the Rector of Church of the Advent in Crestwood, a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. He also served as Dean of the diocese’s Episcopal School for Ministry. In addition, he has taught Christian Ethics at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. The Rev. Dr. Handschy has a special interest in the Scriptures and their social, political and anthropological backgrounds.

The Reverend Anne Kelsey is an Episcopal priest, nature photographer and writer. Throughout her ministry, she has been concerned with peace and justice issues, especially as they impact the LGBTQ+ community. Formerly the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis’ Central West End, in “retirement” she is an assistant priest at the Church of St. Michael and St. George in Clayton, Missouri.

The Reverend Kristin J. Leslie, Ph.D. is a feminist pastoral theologian who addresses issues of survivor resilience in the aftermath of sexualized violence on college campuses and in the United States military. An ordained United Methodist minister, she has served as a parish pastor, a college chaplain, a pastoral counselor, a rape counselor and a divinity school professor. Presently, she is the Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the author of When Violence Is No Stranger: Pastoral Counseling with Survivors of Acquaintance Rape and numerous essays on topics related to sexualized violence and the healing role of religious professionals.

The Right Reverend George Wayne Smith retired in 2020 after 18 years as the Bishop of Missouri. He continues to live and minister in St. Louis, a city and region at the crossroads of racism and gun violence. Smith looks especially for theological and historical resources to address these critical issues in our time.

The Reverend Marc D. Smith, Ph.D. is Bishop’s Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and Priest Associate at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in University City, Missouri. He is a founding member of the St. Louis Violence Prevention Commission and serves on its Leadership Council. The Rev. Dr. Smith is the author of Each Other’s Keeper: The Church’s Response to Violence.