“a for one woman, e for all women” Womaen’s Caucus is a network of feminist women and men who identify with the Church of the Brethren. Emboldened by our awareness of the violence and pain related to the denial of gender inequality, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we engage in the prophetic task of creating church which is free from attitudes and practices of injustice.
Mary Kay Ogden, Convener of Womaen’s Caucus. Mary Kay lives in Claremont, CA, and has been a member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren. Mary Kay retired from K-12 public education in 2004 and spends her time serving on Boards (Church, AAUW, Hillcrest Retirement Homes), traveling, reading, knitting, and spending time with her family. When asked why she accepted the opportunity to serve on the Caucus Steering Committee, she replied:“Equity and access for women have been a lifelong interest of mine. In my personal experience, the Church of the Brethren has been a great asset in encouraging women to serve in leadership roles and to have a voice in decision making. When I attend Annual Conference, I recognize this is not the case in many of our churches. I love the church and want to see it thrive. I also love my daughters and grandchildren and want them to be surrounded by a culture of inclusivity, acceptance, and encouragement.”
Daisy Schmidt holds a Masters degree in Social Work and an MBA. She lives in Indiana while her spouse, Ericka, finishes veterinary school. Daisy brings experience managing nonprofits and wonderful energy to Caucus! She has special interest in elder issues.
Sara Davis has a background in accounting and a long career at the intersection of accounting and computer technology in the financial industry. She currently works at Western Asset Management in portfolio operations where her focus is technology, trade flow, investment data and account surveillance. Sara earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago in Behavioral Sciences and a Master in Business Administration at Columbia University. Sara is currently on the Board of Camp La Verne; she teaches Pre-K Sunday School and she participates in the Sanctuary flower arrangement and Sunday Children’s story rotations at the La Verne Church of the Brethren in La Verne, California.
Jennifer Scarr holds a BA from the University of LaVerne in Theatre Arts. She is currently a student at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana studying Peace and Conflict Transformation. She is the daughter of two Brethren pastors and grew up attending Annual and District Conferences. As a newly licensed minister on the road to ordination in the Church of the Brethren she feels strongly about supporting the voices of those on the margins not only in the denomination, but also in the greater society.
Kathy Gingrich is currently employed as a staff chaplain at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL. Kathy attends the York Center Church of the Brethren, in Lombard, IL. Kathy is an ordained minister and served as Minister of Nurture/Associate Pastor at the Manchester Church of the Brethren in Indiana for 7 years. While living in IN, Kathy earned her MSW and certification as an addiction counselor. For the past 25+ years, Kathy has worked in health care as an addiction counselor, mental health clinician, medical social worker and chaplain. Special patient populations served include victims of intimate partner abuse, substance abusers, and behavioral health clients. Kathy enjoys time spent with family, retreating to a family home in Michigan, cooking, play time with her 4 pets (2 cats, 2 dogs), and water aerobics. Kathy has enjoyed working with various congregational, district and denominational committees and teams. She is grateful for the invitation to become a part of Womaen’s Caucus Steering Committee and is looking forward to becoming more integrated with its ministry and vision.
Karen Duhai is a currently seeking her Masters of Divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Peace Studies. Having graduated from Elizabethtown College with a double major in Professional Writing and Religion and a minor in Women and Gender Studies, Karen’s passion lies in finding ways in which storytelling, movement, and ministry can provide healing and empowerment for women and children who have experienced oppression and violence. Her interest in storytelling grew through her time as a BVSer in Northern Ireland, where storytelling has been used to help heal divided communities. Currently, Karen is ministering as a program director with Girls Inc of Wayne County, Indiana, an after school program for girls in grades 1-8.
Jonathan Bay, Media Relations, holds a BA in English from UC Davis and a Masters in Creative Writing. He is currently attending the University of Edinburgh for a PhD in Creative Writing, Poetry. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife, Elizabeth Bay, who is also continuing her studies at Heriot-Watt. He is a member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren and was a BVSer in 2010. He currently attends Augustine United Church in Edinburgh, as there are no Brethren churches in Scotland.