Rachel Held Evans is a New York Times best-selling author. Her latest book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church is about her journey to understand Church and to find her place in it. Searching for Sunday takes you through a church year with stories that are funny, inspiring, and heartbreaking. The Methodist Dance Party chapter details her experience of serving communion for the first time during a weekend youth retreat in the Virginia UMC Conference.
“After the service, we celebrated with a light show and dance party, because that’s how Methodists roll. I busted out my worst dance moves to the cheers of the students, wholly unconcerned about my lack of cool...I realized how much I needed these teenagers from Virginia, the ones I had once thought needed me. Communion has a way of flattening things out like that, a way of entangling our roots and joining our hands."
Hailing from Dayton, Tennessee--Rachel writes about faith, doubt and life in the Bible Belt and works tirelessly to insure that everyone feels welcome at the table.
Rev. Sarah Heath is an ordained elder serving as the Lead Pastor of a Re-Start congregation First UMC Costa Mesa [www.costamesafirst.com]. Though Sarah was born in Newfoundland, Canada, she was raised in Ontario until her family moved to the Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1994 where she lived the rest of her childhood. Keeping close to her newfound, southern roots, Sarah attended the University of Southern Mississippi after high school graduation where she received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Biology. Hearing the call to ministry, Sarah attended Duke Divinity School where she earned her Master of Divinity degree in 2005. A call to youth and campus ministry led her to Irvine, California. There, Sarah served in ministry to college students at UC Irvine and served as associate pastor for a local UMC.
Sarah is often a guest writer for various publications, websites, and blogs where she shares insights on the topics of making faith relevant in our modern society and negotiating faith with church – How does faith “work,” grow, and be sustained when you don’t fit into the average church? Her first solo book “What’s your story? Seeing your life through God’s eyes”(Abington Press) comes out in April 2017 [http://www.abingdonpress.com/sarah_heath]