AJ Smith is the lead pastor of Restoration Church in Philadelphia. His efforts to launch the congregation were featured on season eight of the “StartUp” podcast.
The Rev. Jeff Eddings is the southeast region and coaching associate for 1,001 New Worshiping Communities, a Presbyterian initiative to launch innovative new churches. Previously, he helped found the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in Pittsburgh.
Movita Johnson-Harrell is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She got involved in gun violence prevention efforts after the death of her son in 2011 and became the first Muslim member of the Pennsylvania Legislature in 2019.
Rabbi Jonathan Perlman leads New Light Congregation in Pittsburgh, one of the faith communities attacked during the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting.
Suhag Shukla is the executive director of the Hindu American Foundation and an expert on human rights and religious freedom. She serves as a faith adviser to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Humane Society of the United States.
Marnie Fienberg is the co-founder of 2 for Seder, which encourages Jews to invite at least two non-Jews to their Passover celebrations as a way to combat anti-Semitism. Her mother-in-law, Joyce Fienberg, died during the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018.
Mario Dickerson is the executive director of the Catholic Medical Association. He previously served as a chaplain’s assistant at the National Naval Medical Center.
What does it mean to establish a religion? This edition of ReligionLink is focused on a hotly contested and confusing piece of the First Amendment.
Juan Carlos Cruz is an advocate for survivors of clergy sexual abuse. By sharing his own experience of abuse, he spurred the Vatican to take action in Chile and later received an apology from Pope Francis. Cruz now lives in Philadelphia and works in communications.