Roll Call for Friends of Gathering In Light

As for our first order of buisness of the new year I’d like to open the floor up to all of you who are friends of this site (thanks for the idea Paul). First, thank you for reading this past year, 2007 saw a huge increase in traffic, subscribers and some really enjoyable conversations. From my perspective it was a very exciting year. Secondly, I want to wish all of you have a wonderful new year; I for one am feeling really good about 2008.

Regardless of whether you just started reading GL this past week or you’ve been reading since 2003, the next moment you get I would love for you to take some time and tell us all a little about who you are, what you do, where you live, a couple interests you have and one possible resolution or something you look forward to in 2008. If you want to throw in something extra please feel free, you can even drop a suggestion for post topics you’d like to see discussed here (Skribit in the sidebar is good for that as well).

Thanks again for reading.

36 responses to “Roll Call for Friends of Gathering In Light”

  1. I’m Matt Barnes and I am a PhD student in New Testament at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. I have a blog called In the Corner with Matt, on which I post blogs about the New Testament, religion, politics, sports, and whatever else comes to mind! Some random interests in my life are playing the guitar, sports, my dog, my wife, and Jesus…pretty much in opposite order of importance!

    As far as 2008 is concerned: I am looking forward to a January in which writing 2007 can be easily corrected to 2008, more blogging and coursework, traveling to New England for the first time, and attempting to get more sleep.

    Thanks for you blog and this post!

  2. My name is Jake Bouma. I’m a youth director for a Lutheran church in Des Moines, Iowa. I enjoy reading, movies, television, video games, ultimate frisbee, disc golf, owning cats, and ranch dressing. I’m looking forward to a significant life change in ’08 (moving, going to grad school). Keep up the good work at GiL.

  3. HI! My name is Jeremy Zach and I have been gathering in the light since October of 2007. I am a youth pastor @ Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach, CA. I enjoy my wife, beat boxing, reading, coffee, working out, and the internet. My vision 2008 is for me to finally be stable. Last year was a year of major changes namely, getting married, getting my MDIV, and Church transition. So now in 2008 I move into stability so I can hone in and maximize my abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
    Love the blog, Wes! I love the balance of academia and personal you present. Keep fighting for the Kingdom.

  4. @Matt – Hey Thanks for the comment. I remember meeting you awhile back a that PhD workshop with Nancey Murphy. Thanks for reading! And have fun in New England, we love it there.

  5. Holly, here. I live in Pasadena and attend church with Wess and Emily (and now baby Daniels!) I maintain the blog for Bread for the World – 2008 is a big year…I’m getting married! I’m really looking forward to married life and being able to write the words “I enjoy my husband.” =)

  6. @Jeremy – “I have been gathering in the light since October of 2007” Woo! And I didn’t know you did beat boxing, that’s awesome! Thanks for reading.

  7. What up, Wess. Pat McCullough here. I’m applying to PhD programs in New Testament and Christian origins, so my 2008 should be filled with plenty of nail-biting. But I look forward to whatever the next big step of life is. I blog over at kata ta biblia, mostly on New Testament interpretation but also the Bible in public life, and the journey towards academia. I’m an Anabaptist. I go to church with Wess (and Holly), and see him around campus at Fuller where I’m finishing up my MDiv.

  8. Josh here. I’m an undergrad student at the University of Oregon, here in Eugene where I’ve lived most of my life. I am also a sports editor for the local paper, where I’m responsible for the layout of the section. I blog at, where I blog on religion, politics, sports or anything else that catches my interest. Gathering in light has been on my blog roll for about a year now, and ranks as one of my favorite reads.

    For 2008, I’ve resolved to get my web design company off the ground. It’s been on the back burner for several months now… but now is the time to get it going!

  9. @Pat – hey Pat. Good luck with your applications this year, I found it to be a lot more tiresome than I anticipated! I look forward to seeing where your research takes you.

    @Josh – thank for reading! I hope to make it up to Eugene someday, I hear it’s a pretty sweet place to be. If I come up we’ll have to hang out. Oh and good luck with the design company, let me know when it’s launched so I can check it out.

  10. I’m Paul Stamatiou and am a year away from graduating with a degree in Computational Media at Georgia Tech. I live and breathe tech but cars are my secret passion – I know as much about them as I do about tech, or so it seems.

    2008 is the year when i declutter my life and focus on the things that matter, with less distractions. Hopefully this will get me to be more productive and less hung up on material possessions as most tech/gadget bloggers are.

  11. Another churchmate of Wess here. I’m a business reporter at a newspaper in L.A. I have a blog but rarely post.

    I’m thinking that sometime this year — probably spring — I’m going to take a few months off from work and bum around the country. That reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to ask you, Wess (or anyone else who knows about this): do you know how to find good hostels? I’ve never been to one, but I can’t afford extended hotel stays, and I’m not rugged enough to camp for months, so that seems like the logical alternative.

  12. This is Cate, and I too go to church with Wess & Emily. I do editing stuff for TV and movies and now that the strike shut down the TV series I was working on (Pushing Daisies) I’m off to work on a big ol’ sci-fi movie (re-make of The Day the Earth Stood Still).

    In 2008 I’m looking forward to spending over 2 months in Vancouver on location with the movie and I’m gonna blog some too. Oh and I’m gonna get to know baby Daniels too, so that’s exciting.

  13. @Paul – Thanks for the comment. I am looking forward to where you go next after schooling is finished. And I think de-cluttering sounds like a great idea and something I too am very interested in.

    @Camassia — Have you looked into Mennonite Your Way? That might be one route to take. Otherwise check out

    @Cate – Can’t wait to see a picture with you and Keanu (sp?) Reeves while you’re working on that movie. And Baby D is looking forward to getting to know you as well (if that’s what her last grunt meant anyways)!

  14. @Wess ? It depends a lot on where my girlfriend decides to go next year (she’s a senior in undergrad right now, searching for jobs and schools). We’ve been talking a lot about the Boston area and about Yale. I like Yale Divinity School, but I haven’t applied or anything yet. Time will tell!

  15. @Wess ? You really should make it up to Eugene one of these days. It’s an interesting place to say the least, and the summers can’t be beat. People call it a vortex because the town just sucks you in and you can’t leave. It’s politically active (and not just hippies), there’s plenty to do as its a decent sized city — not to mention you’re an hour from the beach in one direction and an hour from the mountains in the other direction. I’d be more than willing to show you around if you and the family ever make it up here.

  16. My name is Harry Wykman. I live in the Peace Tree Community in Perth, Western Australia. I am currently a student of Latin and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia. I coordinate a community garden project, attempt to grow food and study Permaculture. I am an occasional potter and theology student. I have a particular interest in matters sectarian – notably Anabaptist and Quaker. I write on matters sectarian, agrarian and anarchist at

    Peace to you All,


  17. Hi, Daja here! I’m a childbirth educator, a doula, mom of five children, and wife of Gana, (who is a Fuller Student). We go to Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena. We homeschool. We’ve been known to throw a mean bonfire now and then.

    I like cooking, blogging, and tea. My New Year’s Resolution is to not eat an entire bag of Sweet Maui Onion chips by myself…in one sitting…again. Am I being too ambitious?

  18. Hey Wess,

    I’m Lee, friend of Seth and Xie’s. I’ve been following yr blog for a while now. I especially enjoy the Quaker-themed content as I spent some time in a Quaker meeting and still identify somewhat with the early Friends movement, though I’d more fairly refer to myself as a neo-anabaptist (neo indicating that I’m not actually in an anabaptist denom church – for what that’s worth)

    I live down in Escondido with my wife (of almost eight years) and four kids (the last of which was a homebirth – woo-hoo!) I teach at a charter school and co-pastor a small almost-house church. I play the ukulele, autoharp, and mandolin, and recently am taking up the mountain dulcimer.

    I’ve never had a pina colada, so can not comment on whether I like them. Walks in the rain? Not so much.

    New Year’s resolutions? Yes, many. Blog more, mostly.

    Take care.


  19. @Harry – thanks for reading. Thanks for the link to your blog and the sounds of your community garden project sounds great. I wish we had something like that here in Pasadena.

    @Daja – your new year’s resolution does sound a bit ambitious but I’ve never tasted Sweet Maui Chips before so I can’t say for sure how ambitious! I am interested in this whole bonfire thing, I consider myself a pretty good marshmallow roaster!

    @Lee – Nice to meet you. Sounds like you are quite the musician, I can’t say for sure I’ve seen a mountain dulcimer before either. Glad you like the Quaker stuff too, I have been thinking about the fact that I haven’t written on anything Quaker-related in a while. I will take that as a cue to get on the ball!

  20. We’ll have ya over for a bonfire soon! Actually we are having a bonfire this coming Wednesday with our cell group. You are welcome to come make some s’mores!

  21. G’day I’m Jarrod McKenna from Perth, Australia where I live in the Peace Tree Community where we seek to live as church in ways that witness to the transformation of all things through the love of God revealed in Jesus. I spend my time at a trainer for activists, as a wanta-be gardener, running EPYC , preaching, teaching and causing Christ-like trouble. 🙂 I fit this round trying to get Wess to Australia. 🙂 I love spoken word poetry that moves me, prophetic minority Christian traditions like Early Friends, Anabaptists, Catholic Worker, Base Communites etc. etc. that do the gospel justice, wanky art, sitting under trees just thinking, mysticism of eastern orthodoxy and other random stuff. For fun I read theology while walking round the neighborhood, ride a long board skateboard, hang out with Teresa and Tyson, community and local crew.

    This year I’d like to paint more, learn permaculture and deepen my listening to the Spirit.

  22. Hi there, Wess … I’m Sonja Andrews. I live in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. I’m a wife and a mom and a daughter of God, not necessarily in that order. I like to quilt and blog and read and think (also not necessarily in that order). Things I like to think about are God, theology, community, Jesus and places where I’ve seen the Kingdom peeking out at me. Things I hope to do in 2008 … hmmm … I want to follow the Holy Spirit more fully. I think that might involve growing a neo-monastic style community here of some sort. But I’m not entirely certain yet, I’m still trying to discern that. We’ll see …

  23. Wess and other friends, My name is JR Rozko. Wess and I went to college and then grad school together. I recently moved back to Ohio to put my house back together, embrace the frustration of the Midwest, and to apparently not have a job. In 2008 I look forward to finding Mrs. Rozko, any takers? 🙂 I blog at about missional theology/church and other stuff. It’s January, so I am growing a beard.

  24. Well, my name is Jenelle. I tell folks to call me, “Nelly,” because it’s easier to remember, and because the eeeee at the end means people often end up accidentally smiling when they say my name.

    I have frequented C.Wess’ hearty blog since, I’m not sure how long. But it is nice. Smart.

    I have recently moved to Pasadena after finishing most of Fuller’s M.A. of Global Leadership track from Portugal. I worked with International students in Lisbon for 3.5 years with Young Life. Good times.

    Now I’m near campus and auditing as many classes as possible @ Fuller, since it’s the cheapest way to get a good education (apart from the library.)

    I work as a barista, tutor, and freelance editor and copywriter. Words make me happy.

    I’m looking forward to finding creative ways of getting out of debt in 2008.

  25. @Jarrod, Sonja, JR and Jenelle – thanks for your comments and thanks for reading.

    JR – I miss having you around Pasadena to eat pizzas with!

    Jenelle – I didn’t realize you were in Pasadena, I thought you were elsewhere!?

  26. I know, I know, I moved here in October to audit Chuck Kraft’s class. I think I’ve maybe seen your face in non-blogdom a couple of times around Fuller, but I’m not sure who’s you. There’s 3 other guys I think could be you. Mysterious.

  27. @Jenelle, Yes I do have a few (evil) twins running around, be sure to not listen to them or give them any money (I think they buy beer with it).

    Anyways, If I am on campus I am usually at the bookstore, either working or studying. Stop in and say hi sometime.

  28. Chris M. here, I’ve known Wess since he was a Blogspot blogger. I still am, Tables Chairs & Oaken Chests ( Me, I’m here for the Quaker stuff and the cute baby photos!

    @Wess: I’m catching up on my bloglines subs, because I’ve been otherwise occupied in life lately. With your latest blog upgrade, the old links don’t go anywhere! I don’t know if it’s because the older posts keep going to “/page3/” etc., or if I just need to twiddle with the subscription. Any ideas?

  29. Hey Chris – thanks as always for reading! In terms of the links, I have no idea what caused that or how it would be fixed. I’ll dig around a little and see if anyone else has had this problem. Thanks!