Spiritual Companions 2018-19
During the NBA XPLOR Residency, the residents meet with an assigned Spiritual Companion weekly. There are six Spiritual Companions for each of the six sites this year. The Spiritual Companions offer guidance to the residents as they discern and navigate a variety of experiences during the program. Read more about the Spiritual Companions below:
David Cartwright - Dallas, TX
David is the Senior Minister at First Christian Church in Duncanville, TX. He has served in Pastoral Ministry for 33 years with congregations in Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Iowa. This is his fourth year as Spiritual Companion for the Dallas XPLOR house. David has been a trained Spiritual Director for 13 years and has served as an adjunct Faculty member with HeartPaths DFW which trains and provides supervision for Spiritual Directors throughout the area. He is Chair of the North Texas Area Committee on the Ministry and serves on the Regional Committee on the Ministry. He and his wife, Dani, have a daughter and recently welcomed their first grandchild.
Linda Idoine - Hiram-Mantua, OH
Linda has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Ohio State and another from Kent State in Counseling. She retired after more than 30 years in Hospice, working with patients and families as they journeyed toward the end of life. Her role with Hospice allowed her to do all the non-medical services, such as counseling, spiritual care, and bereavement work; it became her ministry.
Why Linda Idoine said "yes" to serving as an XPLOR Spiritual Companion: The time was right, and the opportunity was right. I was just completing a two year spiritual study which included work in spiritual discernment and had begun to discern my own next life step when I received a phone call saying I had been “unanimously chosen” as the next Spiritual Companion for Hiram-Mantua. All that was needed was my own willingness to fill the role! I have found it important to walk through those doors that so intentionally open before you and trust God’s leading.
Greg Skinner - Spokane, WA
After some 20 years as a professional stagehand, followed by work with hospice, grief and hospital chaplaincy Greg was ordained in 2008. He and his spouse, Monica helped raise 6 children and currently live in Spokane, Washington with their dog, Hopeful, where Greg serves as Pastor at Country Homes Christian Church.
Why Greg Skinner said "yes" to serving as an XPLOR Spiritual Companion: I saw it as an opportunity to interact with the future in a meaningful way.
Karen Tye - St. Louis, MO
Karen is a retired professor, author, widow, mother of a son and daughter, grandmother of two, and a lifelong member of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. She moved to St. Louis in 1991 to join the faculty of Eden Theological Seminary as Professor of Christian Education, and says she became a professor because it was one of the only ways to get paid for being a perpetual student.
Why Karen Tye said "yes" to serving as an XPLOR Spiritual Companion: Through the years I have mentored many seminary students as they seek to discern their call to ministry and discover how their deep passions connect with the world’s great needs. Since retiring, I have missed that opportunity to companion others as they seek to discover where their paths need to lead. It is always an experience of mutual growth and discovery as we learn from each. It is exciting to walk with the XPLOR residents as together we grow in awareness of God’s work in our lives.
Pedro Ramos Goycelea - Tucson-Marana, AZ
Pedro has been a Pastor for 18 years. He currently serves as pastor of Desert Dove Christian Church in Tucson, AZ. His passion for the gospel has carefully woven a unique ministry of action and inclusion of all. His ministry has been a shared journey. Pedro and his wife Alejandra moved to Tucson from Mexico back in 2006, after many moves from Berkeley, CA, to Albuquerque, NM, and back to Mexico, they now reside in the Tucson area with their two boys Santiago and Agustin.
Why Pedro Ramos Goycelea said "yes" to serving as an XPLOR Spiritual Companion: Someone once said, "God’s kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision." Each time we open up spaces in our churches for meaningful conversations, where we can bring our whole selves, our doubts, our questions, our uncertainty, and in turn come out from that space with a spirit of exploration, embolden by curiosity, I can’t help but feel hopeful about the future. Just witnessing how the residents are exploring faith and church, and finding their vocation in life makes feel like we are getting a little closer to that vision of God’s Kingdom.
Greg Jarrell - Charlotte, NC
Greg is co-founder and Chief Door Answerer at QC Family Tree, a community of rooted discipleship in the west Charlotte neighborhood of Enderly Park. Greg shares life there with a host of neighbors who have become family, as well as his wife Helms and sons John Tyson and Zeb. His work with neighbors in Enderly Park focuses on building from their gifts, creating economic opportunity, and combating serial displacement and land loss in a rapidly changing neighborhood. Greg is the author of A Riff of Love: Notes on Community and Belonging, from Cascade Books (2018).
Why Greg Jarrell said "yes" to serving as an XPLOR Spiritual Companion: Some Catholic Worker heroes of mine always said, "We make the road by walking." The only way to freedom, in other words, will be to move towards freedom. But we cannot do that alone. We have to walk together. I have been fortunate that many wise and wonderful people have been walking with me. I hope that by saying yes to being a spiritual companion, I will be inviting a few more people along for the journey of transformation in community.