Rozella White, our keynote speaker, is the Program Director for Young Adult Ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She obtained her Master of Arts in Religion from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and African Studies from Texas Southern University in Houston. Rozella received her Certification in Youth Ministry from the Center for Youth Ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque. She completed three units of chaplaincy training with Emory Center for Pastoral Services in Atlanta and is a certified disaster chaplain with the National Disaster Interfaith Network.
Rozella’s goal is to help others become aware of who God has created them to be and grow in their love, understanding and compassion of self in order to be in authentic relationship with others and use their gifts to transform the world. She is particularly passionate about supporting individuals, congregations, and faith-based organizations as they deepen their faith, uncover their identity, discern their vocation and develop as leaders.
In her spare time, Rozella blogs about her experience with depression as a young black woman of faith at Embracing My Shadow with the hopes of encouraging others to embrace their WHOLE selves. Along with publishing articles in Gather Magazine and being a contributing author for Renew 52: 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation by Leaders Under 50, she writes for The Mudroom and The Salt Collective. Rozella has also blogged for Living Lutheran, ShePreaches Magazine, Believe Out Loud, Café and Thirty Seconds or Less.
The Rev. Louise N. Johnson, who will preach for our closing worship, is the president of the Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Johnson is a native of Akron, Ohio. Her father, William, was a Lutheran Church in America pastor, and her mother, Valerie, is a retired higher education administrator, English teacher, and research librarian. At Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, Johnson majored in German. During her college years, she worked in Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, where she developed a strong sense of call to serve the church. After college, she pursued he love for youth ministry, serving congregations in Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin. In 1995, she began studies at Wartburg Seminary and received her Master of Divinity in 1999. Following seminary, Johnson served at Wartburg in a variety of capacities including admissions, community life, continuing education, and pastoral care. Between 2000 and 2004, Johnson also served as pastor of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Spragueville, Iowa. Johnson was called to serve the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 2004 as Associate Director of Admissions, quickly rising to Director of Admissions in 2006. During her tenure, she worked with others in the development, writing, and execution of Project Connect, a $4.5 million dollar grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to build a network of leaders and institutions to provide theologically sound vocational discernment for young adults. Johnson served LTSP as Vice President for Mission Advancement beginning in fall 2012. Johnson’s responsibilities included strategic planning, accreditation, and alumni relations. During her years in Philadelphia, Johnson also pursued an interest in organizational leadership, undergoing several courses including the completion of a Certificate in Leadership and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Johnson is co-founder of Leading Pastors, a non-profit that seeks to develop pastoral leadership and a facilitator of the organization’s premier program, SHAPE, a leadership development program for high-capacity women clergy.
Tangled Blue, our worship leaders, began in the winter of 1995 when the duo first met, but they didn’t realize it until five years later. In the summer of 2000, Aimée (vocals, percussion) and Joel (vocals, guitar) performed together for the first time. In September of 2001 Aimée and Joel were married and would soon start performing together as Tangled Blue. Their first recording was completed in early 2003. Recorded at a farm house in Menomonie, Wisconsin, it is a caffeinated folk-rock blend of songs that have shown their durability as the duo trav
eled with them over 500,000 miles of U.S. highways. In 2005 Aimée and Joel relocated to Texas and in early 2007 left for an extended tour that has taken them from Texas to Hawaii to Florida to the Dakotas and everywhere in between. With a new residence in Minneapolis Minnesota, Tangled Blue completed a recording based on the season of Advent in 2008 and a Christmas recording in 2011. Tangled Blue performs throughout the U.S. at churches, coffee shops, colleges, youth gatherings and festivals.