Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CFT Gathering has been cancelled, and replaced by a year-long online presentation series, The Humble Gathering.

The information below remains available for archival purposes only.

2020 CFT Gathering Speakers

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Ally Kateusz, Ph.D.
Ally Kateusz, Ph.D.

Ally Kateusz, Ph.D.

Plenary Presenter

Women Clergy at the Early Christian Table: Hidden Evidence

Censorship, both ancient and modern, has erased depictions of women with liturgical authority. The three oldest iconographic artifacts to depict people at the table in a real church all depict women at the table. These three artifacts, each buried in the early Christian era, provide witness to the hidden history of women officiants at the Christian altar table.

Ally Kateusz is research associate at the Wijngaards Institute of Catholic Research in London, where she specializes in the intersection of gender and religion in early Christian art and texts. Her new illustrated book is Mary and Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Ally has published articles in the Journal of Early Christian Studies, the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and other venues, and is co-editor of Rediscovering the Marys: Maria, Mariamne, Miriam (Bloomsbury, 2020). Some of her research on early Christian women was featured in the 2018 documentary, Jesus’s Female Disciples: The New Evidence, and a paper she read in July 2019 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome was reported internationally in over two dozen news sources, from the Daily Mail to the Daily Beast to the National Catholic Reporter. That paper was about the three oldest artifacts to depict people at the altar tables of a real church, all three of which depict women either in parallel with men, or women only.

Dr. Jamie Marich
Dr. Jamie Marich

Dr. Jamie Marich

Plenary Presenter

Transforming the Wounds of Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse is whenever God or another spiritual construct is used as a weapon to wound, manipulate, or control a vulnerable person. A legitimate form of trauma, there are many pathways to healing that can be explored once the wounds have been realized and identified. In this talk, trauma specialist and author Dr. Jamie Marich helps participants to identify where we are stuck and develop a plan for moving forward in the healing journey.

Dr. Jamie Marich describes herself as a facilitator of transformative experiences. A clinical trauma specialist, expressive artist, writer, yogini, performer, short filmmaker, Reiki master, and recovery advocate, she unites all of these elements in her mission to inspire healing in others. She began her career as a humanitarian aid worker in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 2000-2003, primarily teaching English and music while freelancing with other projects. Jamie travels internationally teaching on topics related to trauma, EMDR therapy, expressive arts, mindfulness, and yoga, while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. Marich is the founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness.

Her bibliography currently includes: EMDR Made Simple (2011), Trauma and the Twelve Steps (2012), Creative Mindfulness (2013), Trauma Made Simple (2014), Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation (2015), EMDR Therapy & Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care (2018, with Dr. Stephen Dansiger), and Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma Recovery (2019). She has also written guest chapters and contributions for several other published collections. North Atlantic Books is publishing a second and expanded edition of Trauma and the 12 Steps, due for release in the Summer of 2020.

Alena Ruggerio, Ph.D.
Alena Ruggerio, Ph.D.

Alena Ruggerio, Ph.D.

Plenary Presenter

The Gracespeak Lexicon

In the twenty-first century, Christian feminism requires a whole new vocabulary.  We cannot achieve feminist justice theologically without also winning it rhetorically.

Alena Ruggerio, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication studies at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.  For her work teaching courses such as persuasion, argumentation, advanced public speaking, rhetorical criticism, and feminist rhetorical theory, Alena received the Distinguished Teaching Award from SOU in 2017.  She has also served as the Coordinator of Women’s Studies at SOU, and was an officer in the Feminist and Women’s Studies Division of the National Communication Association.  The editor of Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers (Lexington Press), Alena is currently co-authoring a book about contemporary rhetorical tools by and for feminists (Waveland Press).  Over her twenty years of membership in Christian Feminism Today, Alena has served as coordinator, secretary, and regional representative to the Council; as assistant to the editor and guest editor of the magazine; and as a frequent plenary speaker and workshop presenter at the conferences.  She resides in Medford, Oregon, with her husband Bradley, her collection of rhinestone tiaras, and her astonishingly adorable cats.

Chandra Snell, Ph.D.
Chandra Snell, Ph.D.

Chandra Snell, Ph.D.

Plenary Presenter

What’s Your Story?

There is no Christianity without story, and our story is God’s story. Viewing our life as God’s story helps us to have courage and walk humbly—just like Dorothy in her journey to Oz—and back home again!

Chandra D. Snell, Ph.D., is associate professor of speech at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, where she teaches communication courses and serves on the board of directors for the FAMU Wesley Foundation/Campus IMPACT. She is also spiritual director of Wisdom’s Wellspring, a residential facility for women in transition. Chandra is an approved Licensed Local Pastor of the United Methodist Church, and recently earned a Masters of Theological Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Janene Cates Putman
Janene Cates Putman

Janene Cates Putman

Special Session Presenter

What She Says LIVE!

Join Janene Cates Putman, the author of CFT’s What She Says blog, as she interviews some of the dynamic individuals who helped shape EEWC-CFT, and in doing so, expanded the scope and reach of Christian feminism.  This will be a fun-filled and light-hearted opportunity to hear some stories, look at where we’ve been as an organization, and think about where we are headed in the future.

Janene Cates Putman grew up the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor. She says, “After 20 years of raising kids and failing miserably to measure up to the ideal woman of Proverbs 31, I stepped out of the conservative box and into the person God created me to be.” She enrolled in Bible college in her forties and began to rewrite her life. She enthusiastically describes how life has changed: “I now live my dream, writing about faith and feminism on a little slice of heaven in the east Tennessee mountains I share with my ‘Hot’ Husband.”

Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison
Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison

Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison

Worship Service Coordinator

Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison is a listener, a friend, and a voice for the voiceless (until they find their voice!). She is the pastor of Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Riverton, NJ, and has worked as an addictions counselor. Passionate about helping people live into their dreams and purpose, she currently works as a hospice chaplain. She realizes life is not about the quantity but the quality of those last days of life. In 2018, Rev. Harrison received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University. Leslie is the vice-coordinator of the CFT Executive Council.