News from AllianceQ: September 2022

New Council Leaders: meet the appointee and vote for nominees

The organization’s bylaws stipulate that a Nominations Team will present candidates for members to elect as Council leaders. If a Council position is unfulfilled for its given term, the Council may appoint an individual to finish that term. There are FOUR positions open for the Council and one individual has been appointed to finish a separate term. Vote by September 15, 2022. Your voting key is your last name and city name with no spaces. Capitalization does not matter. If you are a current member and have questions about the 2022 Council Election, please email alliance@disciplesallianceq.org. Not sure if you’re a member with AllianceQ? Renew or become a member here. (Every contribution of any amount initiates a membership. Thank you for your support in this way and in the many ways you show up for and support this ministry!) >>Use this form to vote.<<

AllianceQ Members, We issued a call for leaders in May. We heard from our Moderator, the Rev. Luther Young, Jr.:
“The AllianceQ Council has been hard at work. During our fall retreat last year, the Council prayed, imagined, and created together a new vision statement, a list of core values, and a set of organizational priorities… the Council set aside additional time to further envision how the Alliance will live into these commitments. We asked ourselves what God is calling us to do in this season. We listened to past AllianceQ leaders and other members of our community to gain deeper insight into our organization’s roots, celebrating our many successes and lamenting the times when we have fallen short. We left the (virtual) space feeling enlightened, empowered, and excited about what God has in store for the Alliance.”
We are called to Affirmation, Love, and Liberation for ALL. As a current member with the Alliance, you are invited to participate in the Fall 2022 Council Election. The Council is a leadership team of 8-12 members, and the Nominations Team spent much time in prayer, dialogue, and discernment to present candidates for leadership. With confidence in their unique perspective and gifts for this ministry, the Nominations Team presents Erin Gresham, Evan Stanfill, Jeff Tobin, and Luther Young as nominees for the AllianceQ Council. On this page, you will find a bio and greeting from the nominees and a link to the electronic voting ballot. Please vote by September 15. If you are part of a couples’ membership, please submit your votes on a single ballot. We encourage you to read about the nominees and celebrate with us how the Spirit is at work through our current Council and our prospective leaders.
Luther Young asks us a question, “What is God calling you to do in this season? Many of you already support the work of AllianceQ with your prayers, time, and financial resources. As we strive to do even greater ministry, I hope that you will consider how you might take your partnership with AllianceQ to the next level. Feel free to reach out to me or any of the AllianceQ leaders to discuss how we can do greater ministry together. In order to reach our vision of Affirmation, Love, and Liberation for ALL, it is going to take ALL of us.”Note: Luther Young is a nominee for election because he was appointed to an open position for two years and is eligible to be elected to serve a subsequent term.


Meet Our Nominees

Erin Gresham (she/they) “My name is Erin Gresham. I am from Central Illinois, a small town called Mackinaw, where my Disciples of Christ home congregation is Mackinaw Christian Church. I have been active in the church since a youth with Sunday School, youth group, Wednesday family nights, and mission trips/projects. When I went into undergrad, I still participated in youth ministry leadership roles with MCC, until moving out of state to Texas. The past three years I have been discerning and discovering where I am being called into ministry with internship and volunteer opportunities, such as the XPLOR internship and the Disciples Peace Fellowship. I have found a love in youth ministry, teaching, and learning from youth within and beyond “the church.” I am currently a student at Phillips Theological Seminary pursuing a Master of Social Justice (MASJ), and soon plan to start a Master of Divinity (MDiv), while going through the ordination process with the Illinois/Wisconsin Region (CCIW). I am honored to be part of this process of the possibility in serving on the AllianceQ Council! I am excited to see where our collaboration in this ministry can bring social justice, peace, and equity into our communities!”
Evan Stanfill (he/him) “I am a lifelong Disciple and hold an MDiv from San Francisco Theological Seminary. I am an alumni of the National Benevolence Association (NBA) XPLOR program. I was born and raised in Fort Worth, and after spending time in Louisiana, Missouri, and California am now living in Fort Worth again with my spouse. I serve in youth ministry at First United Methodist Church in Downtown FW. I am excited about the opportunity to engage in the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance (AllianceQ)  because of my focus on justice-oriented ministry and my experience working in equity with the NBA.”
Jeff Tobin (he/him) “My name is Jeff Tobin. I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and have spent most of my life in this state. I attended R.L. Paschal High School and immediately afterwards joined the workforce. I am a self-taught computer programmer with over 20 years’ experience. I both work for and live in the City of Garland and plan to retire from here when that time comes. I am a father of two children, my son Julian Misha who was born in 1991 and passed in 2006, and my daughter Avay Carmella born in 1997 and just recently married. I accepted Jesus in February 2018; prior to this I was an atheist. I went through a very rough time after the death of my child and at my lowest point I had what can only be described as a supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit; I became a believer and Christ-follower and in an instant, I was changed. I attend First Christian Church of Plano where I serve as the committee Chair of Church Growth and Evangelism. I am a co-chair of the Deacons, which I’ll take over next year. I also serve on the Outreach Ministry and Church Life Team. My passion is fighting for social justice and evangelizing the Good News of Jesus Christ by trying to help heal the hurt the institutional church has created. I am excited to be a part of the AllianceQ Council to further inclusion within the church and to help congregations grow into open and affirming places for the marginalized, under-represented, or oppressed peoples.”
Luther Young (he/him) “I am a Disciples of Christ minister, musician, public theologian, and social justice advocate who focuses on racial equity and LGBTQ+ inclusion. I am a graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School and a current Ph.D. candidate in sociology at The Ohio State University. My current research investigates the causes and effects of homophobia in predominantly black churches. Having served as the Council Moderator for the past two years, I am excited about the opportunity to continue working with AllianceQ toward Affirmation, Love, and Liberation for ALL.” >>Use this form to vote.<<

Meet our appointee

We are excited to introduce Nadia Tavera who has been appointed to the Council for a 1-year term. In the fall of 2024, Nadia will be eligible for election to a subsequent 4-year term.
Nadia Tavera (she/they) Nadia Tavera was born and raised in Mexico City. They graduated from Pacific School of Religion and are on the ordination track with the Disciples of Christ Northern California-Nevada Region. Nadia’s calling is to minister with LGBTQ+ Latinx folks. She has a passion for accompanying people in their coming out process. Nadia believes that living in community is a meaningful way to experience God’s love and and a path to abundant life. Nadia is a contributor to Colors of Hope: A Devotional Journal from LGBTQ+ Christians.