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Fall 2016 Reunion Speakers - Session 3
The Rev. Elizabeth Aguilar ’97, The Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson ’06 & ’12, The Rev. Julie Peeples ’83

Registration continues until midday Monday, Sept. 12, for the Andover Newton Fall Reunion, Sept. 22-24.

Believing that the true legacy of the Hill is less about place and more about people, the Reunion Committee has invited several alumni/ae or other ANTS-associated individuals to offer short reflections and dialogue on a topic of their interest and expertise on Friday. This is a great way to see how colleagues have lived out all they’ve learned!

Here are the speakers for session 3, 2-3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, in Wilson Chapel:

The Rev. Elizabeth Aguilar ’97

Elizabeth Aguilar was born and raised in Chicago. She is the first Mexican-American woman to be ordained in the United Church of Christ. She is also a fourth-generation clergy member in her family. She grew up in Chicago, where her father was a UCC pastor. After graduating from North Park University, where she majored in Speech Communications and in Spanish Literature, she moved to Massachusetts to pursue an MDiv at Andover Newton.

Aguilar was ordained into the United Church of Christ in 1998. Before and since, she has served as an associate pastor in four UCC congregations, mostly working with youth and families and in the areas of leadership training and mission education. These congregations have been very diverse both socio-economically and racially. These suburban and inner-city congregations have allowed her the joy and the privilege to minister to both extremely poor and extremely wealthy people.

Since 2011, Aguilar has changed her ministry focus and has been a hospital, hospice, and palliative care chaplain in both the Los Angeles area and the greater Boston area. She also has completed 6 units of Clinical Pastoral Education. She is currently a chaplain at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro, Calif., where she is a member of the palliative care team and is a consultant to the Institute for Human Caring in the area of cultural competencies. She is also currently working toward becoming a Board Certified Chaplain.

Aguilar has served on many national boards of the UCC including the Executive Council of the UCC, the Hispanic Council of the UCC, and the Council on Racial Ethnic Ministries, as well as the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. Currently, Aguilar enjoys guest preaching at various churches (UCC, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian USA, and American Baptist congregations) in Spanish or in English. In her spare time she loves going to the beach, riding her bike, and spending time with her family in the Los Angeles area.

The Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson ’06 & ’12

Debora Jackson is the Executive Director of the Ministers Council, American Baptist Churches - USA, an autonomous, professional, multi-cultural organization of ordained, commissioned, and lay Christian leaders within the ABC-USA. The Ministers Council fosters collegiality, spiritual centeredness, and ministerial competence in ways that equip and help ministerial leaders realize greater effectiveness in their ministries.

Before her appointment, Jackson served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Needham, where she distinguished herself as a powerful preacher with a passion for church renewal and revitalization. She has also served as chief operating and chief information officer for an energy services technology company and as an independent consultant, where Jackson helped for-profit and nonprofit organizations with strategic planning initiatives and leadership development programs. Jackson is additionally the author of Spiritual Practices for Effective Leadership: The 7Rs of Sanctuary for Pastors (Judson Press, 2015).

Jackson received her DMin, with an emphasis in Leadership, and MDiv, with an emphasis in Spirituality, both with honors, from Andover Newton. She holds a Master of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Indiana University. Jackson resides in Newton, Mass., with her husband, James Thomas, and their son, Jadon.

The Rev. Julie Peeples ’83

Julie Peeples was born and raised in Charleston, S.C. She is a graduate of Furman University and Andover Newton. Julie has been Senior Minister of Congregational UCC in Greensboro, N.C., since 1991; her previous experience includes campus ministry and serving as a chaplain at the international headquarters for Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Ga.

Peeples has been a strong advocate for equality and justice issues and is an active participant in the Moral Monday Movement, which is currently focusing on voting rights. With two other women clergy, she founded Welcome Conversations, which provides resources to assist faith communities in moving toward greater inclusivity. She is a recipient of Equality NC’s Equality Champion Award, the Community Game Changer Award, the Guilford Green Foundation’s Distinguished Leadership Award, and the 2009 Antoinette Brown Award.

She currently serves on the board of Mustard Seed Community Health and as co-chair of the Greensboro Faith Leaders Council. Peeples and her husband, Paul Davis, have two daughters and one crazy puppy.


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