Meet Susan Sparks, a featured speaker at of many generations, who will help attendees explore the gathering theme.
Susan Sparks is a lawyer, Baptist preacher and stand-up comedian. Now that is what I call a triple threat! Susan practiced law for 10 years before she left her practice and decided to work with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she earned a master of divinity degree and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion. Seems like the perfect combination, bringing smiles and laughter to religion.
Currently, Sparks is the senior pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City and the first woman pastor in its 165 year history. As a professional comedian, she tours nationally with Rabbi Bob Alper and Muslim Comedian Azhar Usman in the Laugh in Peace Tour. Sparks has been featured in several magazines and newspapers such as O Magazine, and the New York Times, and TV programs and networks, including CBS, CNN and ABC. In May 2010, Susan Sparks published her first book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor and it was named one of the best spiritual books of 2010.
“If you can laugh at yourself, you can forgive yourself,” she writes. “And if you can forgive yourself, then you can forgive others.”
Lidia Brown is an intern with Women of the ELCA.