Theologians in Residence
Throughout 2022, our Theologians in Residence will be an integral part of our educational and fellowship-oriented time together. They will serve as Keynote Speakers at our 2022 Synod Assembly, lead workshops and gatherings online, and be available to partner with your congregation in their area of specialty. We look forward to learning from them over the next year!
Pam Rocker is an American/Canadian, atypical activist, consultant, speaker, and musician. From Pride to politics, she has worked for over a decade for the full inclusion of LGBTQ2S+ people in faith communities and beyond. She is the playwright of heterophobia, was chosen as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Calgary, and as one of the top 30 activists in Canada. She is currently the Director of Affirming Connections and resides with her uber talented wife, two teens, and scraggly dog in Southern California.
"The ELCA has inspired me as I see so many of its faith leaders taking risks to fostering expansiveness and inclusion. Being connected to this Synod in particular at this moment in time is exciting! The invitation that we have to be a public witness of the love of God is greater than ever, and we indeed have good news to share. Queerness and difference is a gift and when we lean into celebrating each other's unique perspectives and expressions, we leave no room for fear and lots of room for Spirit to work. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of your journey through this next year! I can't wait to see what unfolds."
Pr. Christian Chavarría
Pastor Christian Chavarría Ayala is an Artist, Mission Developer, and Pastor from El Salvador. He spent his childhood fleeing the 1980s Civil War, spending time as a refugee in Honduras and Sweden. When he returned to El Salvador, he joined the Lutheran Church and became involved in every element of the church. In 2012, Pr. Christian started a new Lutheran Mission in San Vicente, just one hour away from San Salvador. In 2018, he graduated from the Salvadoran Lutheran University and was ordained as a Pastor in August of 2019. Pr. Christian now serves as Pastor of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church and Assistant to the Bishop. He is also an avid Painter and shares that his paintings are often inspired by how the Holy Spirit works among us. His paintings are often done on wood crosses and have led him all over the world to teach workshops and share his art with others.
"I feel very excited that I will be working together with the Sierra Pacific Synod because I see the opportunity to share with your people how the life looks like here in El Salvador, before, during and after a civil war. How it is to be displaced from your home and be obligated to be a refugee. But also to share with you the faith and hope of the people in El Salvador. This is a great opportunity to inspire the people to not be silent before the evil that attacks our world, not be silent in front of the injustices. This is a great opportunity to shake hands in Gods love and be there for our brothers and sister in one body, one faith one love, one God, one Spirit one Lord, your savior and our savior, Jesus Christ. This is the time to get our partnership closer, the time to live our faith in active actions of mercy. I am excited to inspire you all through my art but also through my Pastor life in the Lutheran communities of El Salvador. We want to know you all, we have so much to learn from you and we want to share with you too."