ISSUE 01: 
COSMIC PEACE

7 ARTISTS
29 WRITERS
5 Voices
STORYARC INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS

Artists

Alton Eugene

Alton Eugene is a Worship Leader at Bethel Church in Redding, California. Raised in Texas and Oklahoma, his roots are in the Baptist Church where he gained a foundation in God and grew in his musicianship. Alton carries a fire to see freedom and joy released in worship, unity in the church and the world, as well as a deep desire to see the Kingdom of God impact the Hollywood, Mainstream Music, and the Entertainment Industry. He is currently relocating to Los Angeles where he will plant roots for the next season. Follow Alton at @alton_eugene on Instagram.

Anson Chan

Anson Chan is an Illustrator based in Markham, Ontario, currently focused on editorial and narrative illustration. He is interested in stories about human relationships and psychology. Follow Anson’s work at @ansonchanson on Instagram.

Caleb Tucker

Caleb Tucker is a recording artist, producer, engineer, musician, and graphic designer based in Southern California. Caleb is the co-founder of ALPHABAG, a platform made for creatives, by creatives. He has a drive to inspire his listeners to live in their full potential and purpose. Having placements on Spotify playlists such as “Beast Mode” and “Blessings”, he is only just beginning with his music journey. Follow Caleb at Instagram @calebtucker

Danny Canales

Danny Canales is a graphic designer and illustrator from Los Angeles, CA, who currently resides with his wife, Lauren, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. His other side hustles include being the Creative Director at Black Rock Coffee Bar and leading worship at Riverbend Church.

Drew Jackson

Drew Jackson is the co-founding pastor of Hope East Village in New York City, where he currently serves. He is deeply engaged in anti-racism work, primarily in church contexts, and is actively involved with the work of peacemaking and multi-faith coalition building for the common good, both nationally and internationally. Drew and his wife, Genay, have twin daughters, Zora and Suhaila, and they currently live in Lower Manhattan. Follow Drew’s poetry at @d.jacksonpoetics on Instagram.

Mondo Scott

Mondo Scott is the Creative Director at Pax. His other creative side hustles include design, photography and mentoring urban youth in the digital arts at AMP Los Angeles, where he serves on the Board of Directors. He also serves on the Pastoral team at Ecclesia Hollywood in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife Salena and daughter Selah.

Tinasha LaRayé

Tinasha LaRayé is a poet, actress, and filmmaker, who uses her storytelling and teachings to equip this generation to walk out identity, healing, justice, and unity. She is a co-founder of MVMNT Collaborative and currently serves as a pastor in Creative Arts at Bethel Church in Redding. Follow her at @iamtinashalaraye and @themvmnt.co.

Writers

Alia Joy

Alia Joy is an author who believes the darkness is illuminated when we grasp each other's hand & walk into the night together. She writes poignantly about her life with bipolar disorder as well as grief, faith, marriage, poverty, race, embodiment, and keeping fluent in the language of hope. Her first solo book is Glorious Weakness: Discovering God In All We Lack. Sushi is her love language and she balances her cynical idealism with humor and awkward pauses. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband, her tiny Asian mother, her three kids, a dog, a bunny, and a bunch of chickens.

April Heflick

April Heflick and her family currently reside in the land of “parks and rec,” Indiana. She and her husband pastor a local church. April also serves with the NW Indiana Helping Network by offering pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, and life coaching to those who are struggling with navigating tenuous circumstances, yet desiring to know the tenderness and care of God. Prior to April’s work in Indiana, she served in a local church in South Carolina as a pastor of counseling and prayer. Though she received her formal education in counseling and spiritual formation from Columbia International University, some of her most valuable lessons were cultivated during personal dark nights, periods of learning to be with God in silence and solitude, and with the guidance of grace filled sojourners. April is currently learning to experience the peace and presence of God through creation cultivation (gardening), creative Covid hospitality, and the forming of beauty out of desolation through the arts and authentic community.

Chase Williamson

Chase is a 20 year old junior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, studying Studio Art and Psychology to pursue Art Therapy. She has been a believer since she was 4 and has been continually living her life for Jesus Christ!

Daniela Láncara Espinoza

Daniela Láncara Espinoza serves as a Campus Staff Minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in TX and OK. She also serves as the Assistant Principal Violinist with Amarillo Symphony and as an Adjunct Violin Professor.

Drew Jackson

Drew Jackson is the co-founding pastor of Hope East Village in New York City, where he currently serves. He is deeply engaged in anti-racism work, primarily in church contexts, and is actively involved with the work of peacemaking and multi-faith coalition building for the common good, both nationally and internationally. Drew and his wife, Genay, have twin daughters, Zora and Suhaila, and they currently live in Lower Manhattan. Follow Drew’s poetry at @d.jacksonpoetics on Instagram.

Estefanía Hernández

Estefania Hernandez is a Colombian writer from Coral Springs, FL finishing her Bachelor's degree in Bible and Theology at Wheaton College in Illinois. Estefanía is a future law student that plans on combining her passion for social justice with critical race theory and constitutional law. She plans on entering the political world in order to influence government policy and push for proper judicial recognition of implicitly racist and discriminatory laws. She also plans on creating policies that create spaces for greater representation of under-represented populations such as women of color.

Esther Kim

Esther Kim is a rising senior at Wheaton College, studying Christian formation and ministry. She is a Korean-American woman and passionate about empowering and transforming the hearts and minds of future leaders to diversify and build up the body of Christ.

Everette Bradford

I am a man of God, constantly studying His word. I am a husband, constantly learning to live in understanding with my beautiful wife. I am a father, constantly practicing parenthood with my very personality filled daughter. I am a gentleman, constantly investing in necessities to refine myself. I am a renaissance man, constantly innovating to be present in the time God is gifting me. Finally, I train because my health is wealth.

Frank Espinoza

Frank Espinoza is Mexican-American and currently serves as Young Adult Minister at Hope Community Church in Austin, TX as well as Campus Staff Minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Frank is married to his beautiful wife Daniela, who is Venezuelan-Cuban-American.

Giselle Gaytán

Giselle Gaytán is a creative writer and teóloga entering her last year at Wheaton College. Through previous nonprofit work at 826DC, ministry in the local church, and leadership on campus, she seeks to hear, create, and amplify often-silenced stories that reflect God’s justice.

Hannah Chao

Hannah Chao is the managing editor at the SOLA Network. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in print journalism. She is a wife to Jason and mom to two beautiful girls.

Hannah Sy

Hannah Sy was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As a Hokkien-speaking Chinese American woman and daughter of Philippine-Chinese immigrant parents, she is continuously learning what it means to delight in the fullness of her hyphenated identity. Hannah is a recent graduate of Azusa Pacific University and is on her way to pursuing a doctorate of physical therapy.

Isaac Rowry

As a Texas native, Isaac Rowry currently resides in a small town outside of Austin, Texas. He is an entrepreneur and specializes in several industries: refurbished electronics & game consoles, apparel, and photography. He is a prolific speaker and writer who is poised to emerge as a relevant voice for his generation of believers and as a leader for his generation of unbelievers.

Jessica Chang

Jessica Min Chang is a Korean American who was born in Korea, lived in China, and grew up primarily in California. She serves as Chief Advancement and Partnerships Officer of The Field School in Chicago, IL. While studying Communication and Spanish at Wheaton College, Jessica served as the first Korean American student body president in the institution’s 150-year history. In addition to more than a decade of work in philanthropy, she has volunteered in various capacities, including as a Board member of L’Arche Chicago. She is married to Raymond, the President and Co-Founder of the Asian American Christian Collaborative.

Jocelyn Chung

Jocelyn Chung is a lettering artist & graphic designer passionate about raising up the next generation of leaders of color who will live fully embodied and authentic faith in Jesus. The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and based out of Southern California, Chung believes in empowering others, sharing stories to cultivate empathy, embracing the tension, and using her voice to be a truth-seeker and truth speaker. You can visit her shop to learn more about her prints and find her on Instagram @jocekittyllama.

Josh Posada

Josh Posada is the Music Director at Hope Community Church. He is from McAllen, Texas, but has lived in Austin since 2011 to pursue his love for music. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Music in 2015, Josh became the Music Director of a local east Austin church where he deepened his love for pointing people to worship Jesus. He also works full-time with Young Life in East Austin, where he develops relationships with high school students and introduces them to Jesus Christ. He has been married to his amazing wife, Crystal, since July 2018, and they are expecting their first child in July 2020. When he has free time, he loves to watch The Office with his wife, play basketball on the weekends, and watch anime.

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe is a follower of Jesus and a campus minister serving with Cru and The Impact Movement in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University in 2017 with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering.

K.J. Ramsey

K.J. Ramsey (BA, Covenant College; MA, Denver Seminary) is a licensed professional counselor, writer, and recovering idealist who believes sorrow and joy coexist. She is the author of This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers, and her writing has been published in Christianity Today, RELEVANT, The Huffington Post, Fathom Magazine, Health Central, and more on the integration of theology, psychology, and spiritual formation. She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado. Follow K.J.'s writing at kjramsey.com and across social media at @kjramseywrites.

Landon Wolford

A second-year graduate student at UT Austin, Landon Wolford has hopes of pursuing a career in university marketing and communications. He is an avid fan of music, concerts, baseball, and coffee culture. When he’s not reppin’ the Longhorns, he helps lead worship at Hope Community Church in Austin, TX.

Laura Trevino

Laura has a B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Católica de El Salvador and a Certificate in Discipleship and Systematic Theology from Downline Ministries. She has served with different mission teams in El Salvador to bring the Gospel for the marginalized and the needy. She was born in Guatemala and lived in El Salvador until 2016 when she migrated to the USA. Laura lives in Austin, TX, where she is happily married to Rondell Treviño, the founder and director of The Immagration Coalition, and is the proud mother to Sofia and Charlotte.

Leah Abraham

Leah Abraham is a writer, storyteller, award-winning journalist and editor-in-chief of SheLoves Magazine. She grew up in India and relocated to the U.S. in her teens. She currently lives in Southwest Virginia with her husband and two cats.

Lisa Sharon Harper

Lisa Sharon Harper is the founder and president of Freedom Road, a groundbreaking consulting group that crafts experiences that bring common understanding and common commitments that lead to common action toward a more just world.

Maggie Johnson

Maggie Johnson is a working mama who lives at the intersection of sacred and secular. As a pastor's wife and a business owner, she believes the best kind of ministry happens in ordinary, unexpected places. Armed with blunt truth and tender care, there is nothing she loves more than helping others know Jesus.

Osheta Moore

Osheta Moore, PAX's Spiritual Director, is a podcaster, blogger, and everyday peacemaker. She serves as Outreach and Teaching Pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and Community Life Pastor at Roots Covenant. Osheta is the author of Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World (Herald, 2017) and Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace (Herald, forthcoming).

Quina Aragon

Quina Aragon is an author and spoken word artist residing in Tampa, Florida with her husband Jon and four-year-old daughter. She has contributed to several books, and her children's book, Love Made, poetically retells the story of creation through a Trinitarian lens.

Rachel Orellana

Rachel Orellana is a proud Los Angeles native. She is the third of four children to two Guatemalan immigrants, from whom she inherited her passion for coffee. She has a tender love for animals and finds herself deeply connected with nature. She feels most at home with her family and best friends, and finds life in empowering people’s stories.

Sandhya Oaks

Sandhya Oaks is a passionate speaker, advocate, writer and reconciliation leader. Born in India, and adopted as a Transracial Adoptee in Wisconsin, Sandhya is now based out of the Minneapolis Area. She holds a BSE from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a Certificate in Resilient Service from The Seattle School, and has served for more than 12 years in campus ministry with Cru. Outside of her campus ministry, Sandhya works with the Lenses Institute and is also the Co-Founder of The Adoption Triad, a social media platform to connect, teach, and resource individuals connected through adoption and foster care. She is deeply passionate about helping people experience the fullness of life through story work. Sandhya is fiercely committed to developing the next generation of leaders, racial reconciliation, and discipleship. Most recently, Sandhya developed a course called “Beauty in Ethnicity” for BIPOC women to re-narrate racial trauma around their skin color.

Sarah Lam

Sarah Lam is a fourth-generation Chinese American from Chicago, Illinois. She is currently studying Elementary Education with a concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language at Wheaton College.

Timothy Isaiah Cho

Timothy Isaiah Cho is the Associate Editor for Faithfully Magazine, a publication centering on Christian communities of color. He received a Master of Divinity from Westminster Seminary California and writes regularly on topics related to racial justice and equity, social justice, and Christian engagement in society.

Voices

Donna Barber

Donna Barber, a native Philadelphian, has served as an educator, trainer and coach for urban youth and urban youth program leaders for more than 25 years. In Philadelphia and Atlanta, she worked to create and lead schools and programs that develop urban children to be spirit-led, socially aware, community-minded leaders. Donna, also a licensed minister, has served with local churches, private and public schools and local non-profits. She holds degrees in Communications and Urban Teacher Leadership and has provided trainings and coaching for national organizations, including Mission Year, CCDA, DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, Portland Leadership Foundation and several colleges and universities. Presently, Ms. Barber serves as Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Voices Project, a national network that exists for the training and promotion of leaders of color. Donna is the first African American to be elected to the David Douglas School Board, in Portland, Oregon, a member of the district and Regional School Board Equity Teams, and a published author. Her book, Bread for the Resistance: 40 Devotions for Justice People, was released in 2019 by IVPress. She currently resides in Portland with her husband, author, speaker, and Voices E.D., Leroy Barber, and together they have six children.

Mark Charles

Mark Charles is a dynamic and thought-provoking public speaker, writer, and consultant. The son of an American woman (of Dutch heritage) and a Navajo man, he teaches with insight into the complexities of American history regarding race, culture, and faith in order to help forge a path of healing and conciliation for the nation. He is one of the leading authorities on the 15th-century’s Doctrine of Discovery and its influence on US history and its intersection with modern-day society. Mark co-authored, along with Soong-Chan Rah, the new book entitled “Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery” (IVP, 2019). Mark is also an independent candidate for the US Presidency in the 2020 election.

Michelle Ami Reyes

Michelle Reyes (PhD) is the Co-Executive Director of Pax and the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative. She is also the Scholar-in-Residence at Hope Community Church, a minority-led multicultural church in East Austin, Texas, where her husband, Aaron, serves as lead pastor. Michelle's work on faith and culture has been featured in Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Missio Alliance, Faithfully Magazine and more. Her forthcoming book on cross-cultural relationships is called Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures (Zondervan; April 27, 2021). Follow Michelle on Twitter and Instagram.

Osheta Moore

Osheta Moore, PAX's Spiritual Director, is a podcaster, blogger, and everyday peacemaker. She serves as Outreach and Teaching Pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and Community Life Pastor at Roots Covenant. Osheta is the author of Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World (Herald, 2017) and Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace (Herald, forthcoming).

Raymond Chang

Pastor Raymond Chang is the president of AACC, a pastor, and writer. He regularly preaches God’s Word and speaks throughout the country on issues pertaining to Christianity and culture, race, and faith. He has lived throughout the world (Korea, Guatemala, Panama, Spain, China), traveled to over 50 countries throughout the world, and currently lives in Chicagoland, serving as a campus minister at Wheaton College. Prior to entering vocational ministry, Ray worked in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and served in the Peace Corps in Panama. He is currently pursuing his PhD. He is married to Jessica Chang, who serves as the chief advancement and partnerships officer of the Field School.

EDITORIAL  NOTE

If I was to summarize 2020 in a word, it would be “disruption.”

Life as we know it has been disrupted this year -- from a global pandemic that has ripped apart the stable cores of our daily rhythms and sense of normality to the violence, death, and systemic racism that has inundated us virally on repeat. Nothing is as it should be, and this dystopia we now find ourselves in has laid bare the ways in which our world is left wanting.

There is no peace -- with God, with our own self, and with one another.

My body feels this viscerally. It’s that ache in the soul that throbs throughout each day, reminding me things are not ok. It’s the lethargy and sleepless nights and dark thoughts and heavy emotions that refuse to lift from the heart and the head because I am hurting and my community is hurting.

But peace is not lost.

Though the dark night of this year may yet linger for much longer than we hope, there is still light to be found. Though racism and sickness and death continue to exact their sting, the possibility of peace, resistance, and joy remains. There is a way to stand for love, for flourishing, and peacemaking in 2020, and that is through, and only through, Jesus.

At Pax, we believe that Jesus can lead us into true and lasting peace. He is our stabilizing force in the midst of disruption, and the only way forward is by clinging to him wholly. In this inaugural issue, we consider the ways that Jesus leads us to peace - peace with God, with our self, and with one another - and we invite you to journey with us. Our aim is not to offer fast facts and quick solutions to change your life in three easy steps. That’s not realistic (or healthy, for that matter). Rather, we’ve invested in the slow movement of peace. Through a four-part discipleship pathway, we take time to look at the biblical vision of cosmic peace, the lies that disrupt peace in every aspect of our lives, the path of healing and non-violence and, finally, fresh approaches to spiritual practices to live out our calling as everyday peacemakers. 

I am excited for all the diverse voices and participants in this first StoryArc. There are words, sounds, and visuals from seven creatives and over thirty writers, most of whom are people of color, and many of the voices are Gen Z. We want Christians of color and the next generation to lead the conversation on peace. There is much that we can (and should) learn from them. 

My encouragement to each of you as you journey through this experience is to take your time. Read slowly. Digest one article or one creative piece in a single sitting. Reflect on it throughout your day and then move onto the next curated piece when you’re ready. Many of the elements are crafted for communal engagement as well, and I invite you to share this content with your friends. Listen to the audio interviews together and discuss the reflection questions afterward. Consider how you can journey through the spiritual practices together as well. 

Peace has been disrupted, but Jesus is inviting us to journey with him back to true Pax, and that’s a journey we can embark on together.

MICHELLE REYES

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