Rev. Elizabeth Durant
Rev. Elizabeth Durant joined us in July 2016 having previously served as a frequent guest preacher in the Portland area, parental leave pastor at Lake Oswego UCC, and member at Parkrose Community UCC. Elizabeth is a queer poet-preacher, activist, and rabble-rouser who deeply loves Mama God, her family, Buffy and Jesus (not necessarily in that order). She believes that spiritual growth and social transformation are twin sides of our calling to be church.
A first-generation German immigrant, Elizabeth grew up with a strong sense of call to serve God and work for social justice. Raised in an independent evangelical church in Southern California that refused to ordain women, she struggled for years to find her place in a faith tradition that fit her calling. Elizabeth's journeys took her through an undergraduate degree in Politics from Willamette University, confirmation and lay ministry in the Episcopal Church, a career in software engineering, leadership in earth-based women's ritual circles, and eventually, to the interfaith theological studies program at Marylhurst University, where she graduated with her Master of Divinity degree in 2013.
In 2015, Elizabeth founded the Racial Justice Network to organize UCC churches within our region to work for racial justice. She currently serves as co-chair of the Central Pacific Conference Justice & Witness Ministry Team, and is a leader in the Portland chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice. Elizabeth writes for the interfaith blog, State of Formation, and her academic work on racial justice, biblical interpretation and interfaith collaboration has led to presentations at regional and national American Academy of Religion conferences.
Elizabeth and her wife Sadie have one daughter, Ellie, and make their home in East Portland. When not enjoying the discoveries of early childhood (building homes for ladybugs, splashing in puddles & helping Rey (and Elsa!) pilot the Millennium Falcon), Elizabeth and Sadie like to do logic puzzles, walk on the beach, and camp under the stars.