Miriam graduated from Hope College and Western Theological Seminary. She co-pastored Covenant Community Church in Muskegon, MI for 25 years with her husband, Mark Bush. In 2009 she was granted the title “Pastor Emerita” by Covenant (where Mark continues as the solo pastor) and she’s been working with the development of The Center for Action, Contemplation and Transformation (C-SAT). In addition to her husband, Miram’s family includes three young adult children. Outdoor activities in nature, along with Camp Sunshine, fill her life with wonder and joy.
Tom is an Elder of the United Reformed Church in Somerville, New Jersey and lives there with Sandy, his wife of 30 years. Tom grew up in Minneapolis, and is a retired Lt. Col. of the Air Force reserve. He has worked for the New Jersey Judiciary for 20 years. Five of his six children, a granddaughter and a great granddaughter live in Minneapolis and other son is in the Navy stationed in Norfolk,VA.. His undergraduate degree in Sociology was from the University of Minnesota and he earned a Masters in Public Administration from Auburn University. Tom has been a member of the RCA General Synod Council since 2009.
Jane is a retired Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at Hope College, having taught at the College for 40 years, including 17 years as founder and director of the Women’s Studies Program. Through that work, Jane discovered a calling and passion to seek justice for all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, or ability. Jane has been a member of the RCA since the denomination began ordaining women in the mid-70s. She currently serves as Vice-President of consistory of Hope Church, Holland, Michigan. She is the mother of two, grandmother of four. Her great joy is living on her 20-acre farm, as well as traveling and living internationally with her life partner, Larry.
Tom has a passion for spreading the good news of God’s inclusive love. He was raised in the Reformed Church in America and attended Hope College, where he majored in Sacred Music. Tom was Director of Music at First Reformed Church in Zeeland, Michigan, and Minister of Music at Christ Memorial Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado, where he is Vice President of Advance Planning at Horan & McConaty Funeral Service.
Karis recently completed her service as an AmeriCorpsVISTA volunteer at Life Services Parent Center/Deanna’s Playhouse in Holland, MI. She majored in English with Creative Writing Emphasis at Hope College, a skill she put into good use when she co-authored the Hope is Ready petition to remove Hope College’s Institutional Statement on Homosexuality. She now serves on the field organizing team of Holland is Ready, working on legislative advocacy and community organizing. Karis loves to write, paint, play music and wonder about possibilities.
Carl is a Hope College graduate in Piano Performance. While a senior, he helped to restart the dormant Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Student Union at Hope College (later renamed GLOBE) culminating in a first-ever LGBT awareness week on the campus. He has enjoyed a successful career as a musical director, conductor and pianist for musical theater; at present, Carl performs on and off-Broadway. He is a member of Marble Collegiate Church and is the co-chair of GIFTS, their LGBT fellowship. He resides in midtown Manhattan in New York City with his partner of 4 years and loves live theater and reading mystery novels.
Eric is an RCA pastor serving in specialized ministry as a hospital chaplain at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, IA. Eric is a graduate of Northwestern College and Western Theological Seminary. He has served RCA churches in Iowa, New Jersey and Michigan. He’s also served on the General Synod Commission on Christian Action. Eric is married to Misti Johnson, who is a social worker/therapist in Des Moines; they have three young children; Drew, Will & Lydia.
Jes is the Associate Pastor at West End Collegiate Church in New York City. Originally from Michigan, she is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary and currently serves on the Belhar Confession Implementation Task Force for the Reformed Church in America. Jes has previously served Hope College as a dormitory Resident Director, where her passion for LGBT inclusion was ignited. She and her life partner, Jim, enjoy exploring unique coffee shops and used bookstores.
Cari is an ordained minister in the RCA, a registered nurse, and a trained Spiritual Director. A graduate of New Brunswick Seminary, she has pastored congregations in Ridgewood and Clifton, NJ. For the past decade she has been the senior pastor at the Allwood Community Church in Clifton, NJ, and is currently working towards her D. Min at Hartford Seminary. Cari and her husband, John, live in Gardiner, NY where she continues to write and work as a Spiritual Director. She and John have three grown children and one grandchild.
Jan grew up in West Michigan, graduated from Hope College in 1974 and George Washington University in 1977. She lived in the Washington, DC area for over twenty years working in legislative and executive branches of government. Jan moved back to West Michigan in 1991 and has worked for non-profits, primarily in health care, specifically HIV/AIDS and aging issues. She is a member of Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, and is married to Brian Whalen. Jan and Brian have two children, Daniel and Julia.
Bob is a groundwater hydrologist, and a partner in Mutch Associates, LLC, an engineering consulting firm. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Manhattan College. Bob and his wife, Carol, are members at Wyckoff (NJ) Reformed Church, where Bob has served as an Elder for several years. His interests are tennis, off-road running, mountain climbing, and perennial gardening. He and Carol have two children–one straight (Matt), one gay (Ashley)–both wonderful gifts from God.
Marilyn is Room for All’s Executive Director. Previous professional directions have included freelance writing, teaching English, directing Christian Education ministries, and office management. Marilyn has several off-hours interests, including reading and writing poetry. She lives with her husband, John Paarlberg. They are the parents of three adult children.
Brad serves as an elder and clerk of Consistory at First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, NJ. He graduated from Dordt College and then went on to Western Theological Seminary’s dual-track program (Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work), which he completed in May, 2012. Brad’s discernment process has revealed a passion for working in healthcare, and he is currently completing clinical pastoral education at Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey . In his spare time, Brad enjoys the fine arts, taking day trips into NYC, along the Jersey Shore, or wherever else the beauty of God’s world beckons.
Tricia is an Associate Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Tricia earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, her Ph.D. in Theological and Religious studies from Drew University, and is a candidate for ordination by the New York Classis of the Reformed Church in America. She has taught religion and gender theory at the college level, and was the Lilly Visiting Scholar in Religious and Gender Studies at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Tricia has published and lectured on the relationship between religion and queer theory.
Rob lives in a little Dutch house on the banks of the Hudson River along with his partner of the last 12 years. He works in Millbrook, NY as a private estate manager. As an Elder of the Old Dutch Church in Kingston NY, he is able to put his skills to good use as both chairperson of the Hospitality Task Force and Property Committee. Besides his church activities, he is a passionate worker within historic preservation circles. Rob prays that Room for All will become an obsolete organization before his Board term is up.
Cameron is a member of the Class of 2013 at Central College in Pella, IA with majors and minors ranging from art and business to theater and non-profit management. Cameron is still on the job hunt, ideally looking to stay around the Pella/Des Moines area for a while. He spends the little free time he has hanging out with friends and enjoys traveling, reading, and making his parents’ house a complete mess when attempting something he saw on the Food Network or HGTV.
Mary Kansfield is a former (and founding) Board member and continues to serve as the RfA archivist.
Rev. Rob Williams is a former (and founding) Board member and continues to serve as the RfA bookkeeper and development officer.
RfA Development Team: Tom Folkert, Karis Granberg-Michaelson, Richard Glendening, Rev. Norman Kansfield, Marilyn Paarlberg, Rev. Marlin Vander Wilt, Rev. Rob Williams
PAST BOARD MEMBERS:
Rev. Jennifer Aull, Rev. Beverly Bell, Rev. Karel Boersma, Cindi Boertje, Rev. Jack Branford, Rev. Shari Brink, Dr. Lorraine Cox, Tom De Witte, Rev. Patricia Fox, Rev. Thomas Goodhart, Gerald Harrington, Rev. Ann Kansfield, Mary Kansfield, Rev. Dr. Norman Kansfield, Rev. Carl Kleis, Rev. Hank Lay, Marilyn Mariani Lay, Rev. Stacey Midge, L. Nichols, Rev. Dan Ramm, William Rupp, Rev. Conrad Strauch, Rev. Adriene Thorne, David Van Heest, Rev. Ron Vande Bunte, Rev. Marlin Vander Wilt, Rev. Kenneth Walsh, Rev. Rob Williams