Michael is a regular guy who lives in a basement apartment in Virginia. A Pennsylvania farm boy who also lived and studied in the cornfields of Iowa, he now designs schools for an architecture firm. He likes to build block towers with his nieces and nephews. They mostly like to knock them down, which is both irritating and satisfying. He is a Mennonite, Anabaptist, and pacifist trying to figure out how living out Jesus’s upside-down kingdom affects faith, politics, and justice. Besides architecture, he has taught and worked professionally in design, photography, communications, and marketing. He also worked on a watermelon farm.


Criales headshot 2015.JPG

Born and raised in the midwest, Jessica spent some time living in Spain and New Jersey before recently moving to Chicago. A graduate student in history, she studies religion and indigenous people in the 18th and 19th century in the United States and Mexico. She is the wife of a fellow-grad-student-turned-engineer and the mother of a curly-haired child whose mobility skills have currently developed far beyond his self-preservation skills. She strives daily to live up to the ideals of her Catholic faith,  although she often falls short, and is equally at home among in a "happy-clappy" charismatic liturgy as in a traditional Latin Mass. She thinks that both orthodoxy (right belief) and orthopraxis (right action) are important, and is frustrated when one is valued over the other.



Born in Texas, Sarah has so far managed to remain a recalcitrant Texan seven years after being transplanted to New England. Even though she is a graduate student in English literature, she has spent much more time reading Fox in Socks to her toddler than any of the books for her dissertation. Raised Southern Baptist, she married an atheist and eventually, with that erstwhile atheist, joined the Catholic Church. She is still trying to figure out the implications of her evangelical roots and her present parish life.


A midwestern girl for most of her life, Elizabeth has recently made the south her home where she is a communication professor. She has been a member of reformed churches most of her life and also values spiritual practices and writings from the early church and Catholicism. Elizabeth is progressive on some issues and conservative on others and is trying to find her place both in the church and political movements given her combination of beliefs that she sees as Biblically grounded.



A product of a migratory childhood, Lauren feels most at home at one particular place on the shores of Lake Michigan. When she's not poring over the news or entertaining her dog, she works on her dissertation in English (usually with her dog on her lap). Mystic in temperament and radical in politics, she attempts to negotiate a loving disidentification with Christianity.



Jordan is wrapping up a Ph.D. in history. His sixth grade report card noted that he was “occasionally insubordinate.” He's just a midwestern boy lookin' for a job.