Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove
Minister for Ministries Across Generations
Rev. Dr. Updegrove is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She attended seminary at Lexington Theological Seminary and completed her doctoral work at Claremont School of Theology with an emphasis in preaching. She has worked with kids, youth, and young adults at various stages of her ministry, and has a deep passion for biblical education for all ages as a foundation for deeper spiritual growth.
Rev. Dr. Kate Epperly
Coordinator of Justice & Advocacy for Family & Children's Ministries
Kate is an ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. She brings to her role at Disciples Family & Children's Ministries a lifelong commitment to justice and advocacy, and holistic spiritual formation for the wellbeing of families, children, and youth. A graduate of Scripps College (’72), Claremont School of Theology with an M. Div. (’78) and D. Min (’81), her ministerial experience includes revitalization of ministry programs with young adults at Central Michigan University and Georgetown University, and congregational revitalization through development of intergenerational worship and faith formation as Pastor of The Palisades Community Church in Washington DC, and as Co-Pastor of Disciples United Community Church in Lancaster, PA.
Kate has focused her recent justice and peace advocacy efforts around refugee resettlement and immigration (with Church World Service and local churches). Currently, as Coordinator of the Cape Cod Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, she is focusing on ending gun violence, and confronting racism and xenophobia through non-violent communication and action. Kate also currently serves part-time as Designated Term Minister at Christian Union Church in Truro on Cape Cod (Massachusetts).
In addition, she considers her responsibilities as a daily after school caregiver for her two young grandsons as an important part of her ministry.
Rev. Randy Kuss
Youth & Young Adult Consultant
Disciples Home Missions
Randy is a Disciples minister with over 40 years experience in congregational, regional, and denominational Christian education and youth ministries. He served as denominational Director of Youth Ministries for the Disciples of Christ from 1995 to 2003. He now serves as Minister of Christian Education and Youth Ministries with Speedway Christian Church and is active in summer camps for Indiana churches. Randy is a founding partner of DYMN (Disciples Youth Ministry Network), Communications Coordinator for Indiana Network for Higher Education Ministries, and leads spiritual renewal and discernment retreats for youth workers and other church leaders. He is a Veriditas trained labyrinth facilitator and a 2011 Journey Fellow. Randy is a graduate of Phillips University (BA, 1975) and Phillips Theological Seminary (MDiv, 1980). Randy's wife, Rev. Deb Strock-Kuss, is a Disciples minister serving with Pittsboro Christian Church They have two grown children, Georgia and Blaine. He is is a photographer, storyteller, song-leader, extremely occasional songwriter, and enjoys time with family, a monthly gathering of friends, as well as music, fishing, walks, woodwork, reading, and his Mac and iPhone.
Ministries Across Generations
Families & Children, Worship & Wonder, Youth/Young Adult, General Youth Council, Obra Hispana, Young Adult Commission, Christian Education, NAPAD, National Convocation, New Church (HOPE/CE), Global Ministries, NBA and UCC Rep.
Present/Past Committee Members:
Sheila Spencer, Olivia Bryan Updegrove, Kate Epperly, Lisa Engelken, Randy Kuss, Lucy (Diaz) Baquero, Yessica Munoz, Kate Summers, Cathy Nichols, Terrell McTyer, Brett Coe, Blake Coe, Chanhee Ho, Bonnie Rambob, Antonio Redd, Yunkyong Lee Hill, Young Sook Kim and Susan Kim
Connections: BJ Barlow, Rob Morris,
Trayce Stewart, Monica Wedlock-Fitzpatrick, Olivia Stewart, Sotello Long, GYC, YAC, DYMN, &… soon you?
Rev. Sheila Spencer
Acting President, DHM
Director, Christian Education/Faith Formation
Sheila Spencer has mutliple roles serving Disciples Home Missions, overseeing Christian Education and Faith Formation as well as serving as Assistant to the President. She also holds a merger staff position of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), responsible for the development and implementation of programs which nurture, specifically, African American congregations.
Rev. Lisa Engelken
Minister for Children Worship & Wonder
"Life is all about Plan B." This is Lisa Engelken's life motto. When you think have everything planned, organized, and ready to go-God call's us elsewhere. Lisa is the mother of four beautiful children and has hosted three courageous daughters from Germany and Brazil. Her life is wonderfully crazy. In the midst of the chaos of raising children Lisa was called into ministry to help share story the people of God's faithful stories- not to just children but to their families.
Lisa Engelken is excited to serve as Coordinator of Children Worship & Wonder at Disciples Home Missions. She has been a trainer in Children Worship & Wonder for 16 years. Children Worship & Wonder is a Montessori-based worship with children. She serves on a team with 20 other trainers. In July 2015 Lisa became a trainer to train more trainers.
Lisa is a commissioned minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) serving in the Greater Kansas City Region. In 2003 Lisa was called into ministry through the New Church Ministry and Dick Hamm’s 2020 Vision: 2000 new churches 2000 new ways. Lisa combined her passion for Children and Family ministry with the new church initiatives and she has been leading families to explore their faith together through the house church model and intergenerational worships for several years.
This page was last updated by OU 2/18