WORSHIP LEADERS AND PREACHERS
Worship at the Youth Triennium is ALL THE THINGS. It is big, colorful, distinct, thought provoking, challenging and deeply relevant. Worship occurs daily at the event in the Elliott Hall of Music – one of the largest theaters in the United States. Worship is traditional Presbyterian and Reformed gathering and storytelling with a … twist. It is planned by and for young people. Drawing upon the stories, pathways, adventures and trials that real Presbyterian youth face – each service is crafted around a particular sub-theme, goal and focus scripture. With drama, singing, dancing, and contemplation worship at the Triennium is the central nerve center of the event.
Mark Montgomery works in Interim Ministry and over the years has served congregations in South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, California, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. In each congregation, regardless of his job title, Mark loves to include youth and young adults in the full life of the church; encouraging their prophetic voices by engaging youth as liturgists, dancers, actors, musicians, artists and preachers. He believes that we better understand God’s presence in the world when all voices are given the opportunity to tell that which they know of God and all God’s children find their place at the table of communion.
Phillip Morgan serves as Director of Music at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. He is also the Artistic Director of the Louisville Gay Men’s Chorus. Phillip has had the privilege of leading the choir at the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, serving on the faculty for previous PAM Music & Worship Conferences at Montreat, and is delighted to be a member of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians executive board. Phillip is so excited to be back at PYT 2019!
PREACHER – DAY ONE
Sera Chung is an accomplished musician, preacher, and spokesperson for the values of justice and cultural humility. She currently serves as the Director of the Asian American Program at Princeton Theological Seminary, which seeks to cultivate global partnerships with Asian and Asian American Christian institutions and leaders. Prior to this position, Sera directed the Seminary’s efforts in the recruitment of high-quality students for the Seminary’s Masters-level programs. Sera previously worked on the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as the Associate for Gender and Racial Justice. There she spearheaded programs and initiatives to expand and enrich the church’s relationships across racial, cultural, class, gender, and generational lines. As a musician, Sera created two full-length albums and multiple projects which she composed and produced, and continues to perform both domestically and internationally. Sera received her Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
SANDRA VAN OPSTAL
Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, is co-founder and Executive Director of Chasing Justice and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. Sandra served as Director of Worship for the Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program Director, Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity, Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra currently serves as Content Director for the Justice Conference, is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical, and The Next Worship.
PREACHER – DAY THREE
David Gambrell is associate for worship in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Theology and Worship. David has served as an advisor to the Glory to God hymnal committee, coordinated the revision to the PC(USA) Directory for Worship, and was co-editor (with Kimberly Bracken Long) of the 2018 Book of Common Worship. He is author of Presbyterian Worship: Questions and Answers and Breathing Spirit into Dust: Fifty Hymn Texts. David is a graduate of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (PhD) and is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA).
“Here’s my heart: teaching about worship, spending time with family, and playing old jazz songs on the banjolele.”
PREACHER – DAY FOUR
Johan Daza is originally from Colombia South America! He is a husband, father, son, brother, student, worker, church planter, Cumberland Presbyterian minister, and a Colombian-American. He speaks Spanish as first language, English as a second, and Spanglish as his optional one when he mix the first two ones. He has been living in the US for eight years currently serves among different immigrant ministers, probationers, churches, and church planting efforts within the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
“Here’s my heart” literally says a lot to me; my 12 year old nephew Mateo recently had a heart transplant in July 2018 due to a congenital heart disease and my third child, baby Felipe was born with a different congenital heart disease; but, do you know what? These two persons are full of joy and bringing hope to us and many other people!”
J. HERBERT NELSON
PREACHER – DAY FIVE
The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II serves as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He was elected at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland, Oregon.
The son, grandson, and nephew of Presbyterian pastors, Nelson is the first African American to lead the denomination, which has a 300-year history in the U.S. As Stated Clerk his duties include interpreting assembly actions, representing the church on various denominational and ecumenical councils, witnessing on behalf of the church to social justice issues, and making statements as directed by an assembly.
Prior to becoming Stated Clerk, Nelson served as director of the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. His service to the denomination also includes calls as pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, and organizing pastor of Liberation Community Church in Memphis, Tennessee.