Rev. Karen Mann has been a member of the Sojourners community since 2014 before being called as our pastor in 2022. Karen is a bi-vocational pastor and dedicates her other time to caring for a small farm in Fluvanna with her partner Bones and their two kids. Pastoring and farming are fruitful vocational companions, and Karen loves sharing stories and insights from the farm with the congregation. Before moving to Virginia, she worked in a variety of settings in Atlanta, including church music ministry, hospital chaplaincy, adoption counseling, and refugee services.
In the early days of Sojourners (long before that name was adopted) members and friends took turns providing the music, scripture readings, prayers and activities for the children. This precedent lead to an ongoing tradition of active participation on the part of the congregation in the development and leadership of our common worship life. There are no strictly rhetorical questions from the pulpit at Sojourners because many members of the congregation are very comfortable answering them out loud (it’s encouraged!). So, “leadership” comes from all levels of the Sojourners community. But here are the more-or-less official ones:
Pam Gibson, Co-moderator
Ian Little, Co-moderator
Amanda Beresford, Minister of Faith Formation
Rev. Amanda Beresford is passionate about sharing God’s love with children. She was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2012 and has worked in a variety of ministerial settings, including health care chaplaincy, ministry to children and families, and lots of pulpit supply. She has taught Sunday School for the past 15 years and values developing relationships with kids and youth, and nurturing their spiritual and intellectual growth. She holds a BA from Brown University in Religious Studies, and an Mdiv from Harvard Divinity School. She enjoys reading, playing piano, yoga, and family movie nights.
Jen Tal, Minister of Music
Jen Tal comes to us from a very diverse worship background, a career as a Pre-K – 12 teacher, and a career as an independent musical artist, coach, and instructor. Her B.A. is from Mary Baldwin University. She is a certified Education for Life teacher, an award winning elementary teacher, and an award winning vocalist. She loves to serve the creator and is thankful to contribute to our ministry through music.
Lance Allen, Church Administrator
Lance is a local Charlottesville native and has over 10 years experience working with businesses and non-profits managing day-to-day administrative work, including owning and running his own real estate business. He began at Sojourners January 2, 2019.