Steering Committee

 
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Bishop Christian Alsted

Bishop Christian Alsted is a native of Denmark. He was elected to the episcopacy in February 2009, and serves the seven conferences in the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference.

Bishop Alsted holds a D.Min. from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Diploma in Leadership from CVU Copenhagen. He has served on several general boards, currently co-chairs the European Methodist Council and is the chair of the Connectional Table.

Bishop Alsted is married to Elisabeth Flinck. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.



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Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai

Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, Chief Connectional Ministries Officer of The Connectional Table, came to the CT as a board member in 2012. She provided leadership on the executive committee, as chair of Leadership Discernment and Community Life, as chair of the writing team on human sexuality and in work on the worldwide nature of the church. Prior to her current role on the CT, Bigham-Tsai served on the Michigan Annual Conference Cabinet as chief missional strategist. She also served local churches and in many leadership positions within her annual conference and at the general church level, including as a delegate to General and Jurisdiction conferences since 2012 and as co-chair of the Michigan delegation for the 2020 General Conference. Bigham-Tsai is a sought-after speaker who has a passion for the growth and vitality of The United Methodist Church and for equity and justice for all. She and her husband, Kee Tsai, have two children, Keeton and Kamden.


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REV. OLUJIMI (OLU) BROWN

Rev. Olu Brown serves as the Lead Pastor of Impact Church, a young multicultural congregation in metropolitan Atlanta. Since its founding in 2007, Brown's leadership and vision has led Impact from a core team of 25 to more than 2,400 weekly in-person attendees and 1,600 online, making it one of the fastest-growing United Methodist churches and new church starts in the U.S. Impact redefines the church experience through inclusiveness, relatable messages, energetic weekly gatherings, unique events and activities, relevant youth programs and community outreach. The people of Impact are compelled to help bring healing, justice and compassion to the world. Brown is a contributing author of Zero to 80: Innovative Ideas for Planting and Accelerating Church Growth and Flipping Church: How Successful Church Planters Are Turning Conventional Wisdom Upside-Down. He also authored Leadership Directions from Moses: On the Way to a Promised Land and 4D Impact: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church. Brown graduated from Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, and earned an M.Div. from Gammon Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He has two children, Daya Elom and Langston Wesley.


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Rev. amy coles

Rev. Amy Coles serves as the Assistant to the Bishop in the Western North Carolina Conference. Prior to this position, she served as a district superintendent for six years and has pastored churches in Trinity, High Point and Shoals, North Carolina. Coles is an active participant with the Connectional Table, the Board of Rural Faith Development CDC and the Thriving Rural Communities Initiative at Duke. She was a delegate to General Conference in 2012, 2016 and 2019. Coles is passionate about working to ensure that The United Methodist Church is real and relevant for future generations, as well as more fully living into its global connection in order to make a kingdom impact in this world. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro in Child Development and Family Relations and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. She is the guardian of her nephew, Brandon Estrada, and her niece, Mae.


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naomi garcia

Naomi Garcia: Mesmerized, reminded and centered by the shores of the Gulf of Mexico; lakes called Rathbun, Great, Clear, Townline, Thumb; the rivers named Rio Grande, San Gabriel, Colorado, Grand River, Cumberland, Lake, Grand, Dowagiac, Hersey. Aspiring disciple rarely satisfied with the latest take on how The Holy One calls, moves, shapes, beckons, equips, comforts and companions; shuttling between the discipline of mind and the art of soul. A facilitator intrigued and longing for inclusive inclusion. A consultant negotiating the wide spaces between meddling and staying home. A mediator stirred by the courage of truth-telling and re-discovering the edges of compassion. A coach channeling Curious George (children’s book character) and Hiccup (hero of animated movie and book). She is Associate Director of Congregational Vibrancy of the Michigan Conference and an experienced congregational systems coach.


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Rev. markus Jung

Rev. Markus Jung, from Stuttgart, Germany, is currently District Superintendent for the Nuremberg District. In addition to pastoring several congregations, he worked at the Youth Department in Stuttgart, where he served as a missionary to create, educate and develop youth events and youth movements in the South German Annual Conference.

After working as a baker and civil servant, Markus discovered his call to ministry, graduating from Reutlingen School of Theology. He has also studied drama, political and sexual ethics, social management, time management, moderation tools, church planting and personal coaching. Markus is married to Denise, a pastor in The United Methodist Church in Germany called to educate and develop social justice and environmentalism. They have four children.


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REV. DR. KAH-JIN JEFFREY KUAN

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Kuan is the seventh President and Professor of Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology. He was previously Dean and Professor of Hebrew Bible of the Theological School at Drew University. He earned his Ph.D. in Old Testament studies at Emory University. Dr. Kuan’s research and teaching interests include ancient Israelite and Near Eastern history, Asian and Asian American hermeneutics, the Book of Job, as well as approaches to biblical instruction for the churches. He is a member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, currently serves on the University Senate of The United Methodist Church and chairs the Commission on Theological Education.

Rev. Dr. Kuan began his career serving as an associate pastor in Malaysia. He chaired his annual conference's Commission on Religion and Race and is a two-time delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. He served as a director of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and as the Vice President of the Board and Chair of the Division of Higher Education.

As a theological educator, Rev. Dr. Kuan is a strong proponent of religious pluralism and passionately committed to justice issues in the global and local contexts. As a biblical scholar, he has long been a visible advocate for LGBTQIA+ equality in churches and society.


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Marie Kuch-Stanovsky

Marie Kuch-Stanovsky is a lifelong United Methodist who has served as a delegate to three General Conferences. She has also been a director for the General Board of Global Ministries and currently represents the Western Jurisdiction on the Commission on General Conference. Kuch-Stanovsky is a web designer and letterpress printer who enjoys hiking and camping both near and far from her home in Seattle.


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Rev. Brian Milford

Rev. Brian Milford currently serves as President and Publisher/CEO of The United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville. He is an Elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, served as District Superintendent and Dean of the Appointive Cabinet and was a delegate to the last four General Conferences. Rev. Milford served churches as the senior or lead pastor and participated in and/or chaired numerous jurisdictional and annual conference groups. He received his M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and his B.A./B.S. in Business Administration and Sociology from Iowa State University.


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Karen Prudente

Karen G. Prudente, a third-generation Filipino United Methodist, has been a member of Christ Church New York since 1972, and is former Assistant Treasurer and Director of International Ministries for women, children and youth of the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. Currently, Karen chairs Methodists in New Directions and firmly welcomes ALL who receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ—especially LGBTQIA+ laity, clergy and allies.

While establishing the International Ministries program for United Methodist Women, Prudente traveled extensively, developed new budget formats, accounting and record systems, raised funds, implemented new initiatives and built relationships with Central Conferences, Annual and Provisional Missionary Conferences and UMW/GBGM mission and ecumenical partners in 100 countries and within the U.S. She has also she partnered with Mission Society missionaries. She is a member of the Connectional Table representing the Northeast Jurisdiction. She is a commissioned GBGM Earthkeeper and an avid member of UMW, serving in conference and local leadership roles. She is a member of the Paglago Commission and chairs the bylaws committee of the National Federation of Filipino American United Methodists.