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progressive Christianity in Pittsburgh
Rev. Mike Holohan
About every 500 years or so, Christians clean house by sorting out our beliefs and practices. We keep some. We get rid of others. And we extend the life of some with a few minor repairs. Phyllis Tickle called it The Great Rummage Sale and we’re in the middle of one right now. It’s something that excites me about ministry. It’s energizing to leave harmful things behind and make space for helpful ones.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is present and theology is being done when regular people get together to talk about the things of God. As a pastor, one of the things I enjoy most is holding space for conversations where we can engage our ancient tradition while imagining a new future. What I’m doing, whether we’re studying the Bible or discussing a book or watching a movie, is curating an environment that enables the spirituality of others to thrive. It’s connecting the dots from our faith to the service and activism that make the world a better place.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I lived in Oakland for five years while studying film and writing at the University of Pittsburgh. My wife Marianne and I now live in the Greenfield neighborhood with our kids, too many books, and just the right amount of Star Wars action figures. Some things I look forward to doing are playing games, taking naps, and running. This one time I even completed the Pittsburgh Marathon...
Rev. Holohan holds a Master of Divinity and a certificate in Adaptive and Innovative Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His work for the past two decades has included youth ministry, communications, administration, and pastoral ministry.
Associate Pastor for
Queer & Neighborhood Ministry
Hi, I’m Erin! I’m originally from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula but I have lived in Pittsburgh (Sharpsburg) with my wife Sarah and our menagerie of pets for about seven years now! As a family we’re usually getting into home improvement projects and taking off to go camping, but when I’m on my own I love tending my garden and chickens.
Time spent with Creation in this way has helped me learn to lead from a place of intentional vulnerability. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made in specific, beautiful ways and so our intricacies are our giftedness. I like to invite others to be their complete, authentic selves before God in ways that are empowering and life-giving to them. This very much includes celebrating key components of what makes us who we are, including race, sexuality, neurodiversity and ability. I do this by making space for questioning and identity-seeking, utilizing my natural, thoughtful curiosity, and receiving other’s stories with an easy, non-anxious presence.
In my work it is important to me to remain curious about the places and people the Holy Spirit may be leading me to as a pastor. During my tenure at Commonwealth I have felt called to be with our neighbors in Oakland, learning about their struggles to maintain community amongst the rapidly expanding academic and medical industry. Their history and stories are worth tending and preserving, and help to root Commonwealth in an intentional, contextual community. I have also felt called to accompany my Queer siblings in Christ through their paths of self-discovery, deconstruction, and meaning-making. Their journeys are precious to me, and I have found that our collective definitions of what it means to be the Church together have inspired my own creativity and passion. There have always been Queer people in the Church; telling our stories and histories is part of our birthright.
Rev. Angeli holds a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Her ministry work has focused on queer ministry, pastoral care and community exegesis. She also works as a coach for other ministry leaders who are doing startup work.
Dr. Christine Ostrowski
A Pittsburgh native, Christine moved to D.C. to work at the Congressional Budget Office, but she remains an integral part of the Commonwealth in the "expats" group and consults on how to improve the hybrid experience. Christine brings her expertise in managing the day-to-day financial accounts and helping to plan the financial future of the Commonwealth.
I was born and raised in Florida but consider San Diego home. I am currently on my last year at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. I am an INFP who loves terrible weather, nature, foraging, cooking, reading, the arts, as well as encouraging, building community, learning, and teaching. I’m a dog person, but adore cats with dog temperaments because, well, cuddles of course. I enjoy asking questions, improving systems, and am also determined to one day live in a converted bread truck. #vanlife
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