Worship with us Sundays at 9:30 am

Guest Voices

At DCC, we are grateful to welcome new voices or returning friends to our worship space. Refer to this page to find out more about our guest preachers, vocalists, and musicians.

Upcoming Guest Voices

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Zac Furber-Dobson, preaching

Zac Furber-Dobson grew up at DCC and has been a member since 8th grade. Zac just graduated from Las Positas college with degrees in Theater and Film. In the fall he will transfer to a university.

He has been on the Forensic (competitive speech) team for both of his years at Las Positas and competed across the nation at colleges and universities, performing competitively all across the nation-Northern and Southern California, Austin, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, and even Dublin, Ireland. He is an active member of the theater community and was in two plays and one musical (Footloose) during his time there.

Besides theater and speech, he also pursues his passion of film, submitting his films to the Las Positas film festival the last three years. Zac is proud to have spent his time at Las Positas learning, making new friends, and pursuing several of his creative facets.

 

 


Sunday, June 16, 2024

Elana Bolds, musical guest

Elana Bolds is a Community Organizer and Event Planner for the cities of Richmond and Oakland. She has volunteered in her community for the past 29 years trying to make a profound impact in the community. A promoter and a singer-songwriter, Elana is the creator of Visions Of Hope Outreach UCC and the Put The Guns Down movement.

 

 

 

 

 


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Rev. Rhina Ramos, preaching

Rev. Rhina Ramos (she, her, hers) is an ordained United Church of Christ doing work of LGBTQI inclusion in faith communities. Locally, she leads a Spanish speaking congregation she co-founded in December 2011. Ministerio Latino is home to LGBTQ Latine immigrants and a place where they are welcomed and affirmed. She is a nationally known faith leader fighting for radical inclusion of the LGBTQI community in faith spaces. Pastor Rhina is also a former attorney who practiced labor law in NY during the ‘90s on behalf of immigrant workers, recuperating thousands of wages owed to these workers. Originally from El Salvador, Pastor Rhina understands the pains of being an immigrant and starting life in a new country. In her free time, she can be found taking long walks listening to sappy romantic music in Spanish.

 

 


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey, preaching

Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey is a prominent transgender woman of color strongly committed to inclusivity and equality for all.  She serves as the Alabama State Director with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), making her the first transgender person of color to hold a leadership role in the organization’s history.

Before joining HRC, Carmarion worked in public health and education, with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and reducing health disparities among marginalized communities.  She is also the founder and former Executive Director of Black Transwomen, Inc.  This is the first national non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) programmatic focus that uplifts the voices, hearts, and souls of black trans women and is in alliance with the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition.

Carmarion has extensive experience in faith spaces as well.  She serves as the National Administrator and South Regional Coordinator for TransSaints of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM).  Additionally, she was an associate elder/minister at the Living Faith Covenant Church in Dallas, Texas, for 16 years before making her professional move to Alabama.  Currently, Carmarion attends and serves at the First Congregational Christian Church, UCC, in Birmingham, Alabama, completing her Member-in-Discernment (MID) process for authorized ministry with the United Church of Christ (UCC).

Carmarion was raised in Dallas, Texas, with family roots from Natchez, Mississippi.  She is the parent of one son and has three adorable grandchildren.


Sunday, July 7, 2024

Rev. Kim Kendrick, preaching

Rev. Kim Kendrick previously served as Hillcrest’s Intentional Interim Minister, and Interim Pastor of Glenside United Church of Christ in Glenside, PA. Prior to that, she shared her gifts for five years as Chaplain of Bethany Children’s Home in Womelsdorf, PA.

Kim is a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree and a Certificate in Youth and Young Adult Ministry. She recently completed Transitional Ministry training with the Interim Ministry Network.

She prides herself on offering unique opportunities for youth to engage in a deep dive at the intersection of faith and the world. F.U.E.L (Faith Used in Everyday Life) is one of her signature programs that help youth examine and set their faith into action daily.

Nationally, she is a certified trainer in the Our Whole Lives curriculum, conducting workshops on Human Sexuality and Spirituality for Youth and Young Adults. She has served as a committee co-chair for the U.C.C.’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Youth Event and a member of the Penn Southeast Conference Committee on Ministry. In 2016 she was called to be the Chaplain for the National Youth Event in Orlando, Florida, and the closing preacher during General Synod 2017.

 


Sunday, July 21, 2024

Rev. Riana Shaw-Robinson, preaching

The Rev. Riana Shaw Robinson is a preacher, pastor, and prophet. Riana is passionate about speaking the truth in love, offering a constant invitation for people to see themselves as beloved, and providing various ways to respond to the command to love God, self, and neighbor. Riana was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament with the Reformed Church in America (RCA).

Riana recently birthed Miriam’s Song Church. This community centers the healing, wholeness, and flourishing of women and nonbinary folks of color and is guided by the divine liberation embodied in Jesus.

Riana is a wife and proud mom of four. She is an East Bay native and currently lives in Oakland.

 


Sunday, July 28, 2024

Rev. Dr. Davena Jones, preaching

Rev. Davena Jones is the new Bridge Conference Minister for the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Davena was born in the Oceanview/Ingleside District of San Francisco to Luther and Myrtle Creer. Her nickname is Chippie/Chocolate, given because her Aunt Lilli said she looked like a piece of chocolate the first time she saw her.

Of her upbringing, Davena says, “We lived in a two bedroom home. My sisters and I shared a bedroom. I have an older sister and a younger sister. Being the middle child had its challenges, but I love my sisters very much. And from them, I have four nephews and a niece. And I am also a great-aunt of one great nephew and three great nieces. What a joy they all are.”

Davena married her high school love Theron Jones nine years ago and is a mother of four adult children: Eugene, Theron, Matthew and Mikayla, and is MeMa to two grandsons and two granddaughters. And no, she says, she is not that old! Davena and Theron are also raising their 14 year old nephew-son, E’Carri, who is very athletic, enjoys attending UCC camps and Annual Gathering, and loves God.

Davena began as Associate Conference Minister in November 2015. She is a longtime member of Pilgrim Community Church (UCC), San Francisco, with her husband who is a deacon in the congregation. A graduate of Pacific School of Religion, Davena is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program of San Francisco Theological Seminary, and her dissertation project is “Resources for Churches Around Intimate Partner Violence.”


Sunday, August 25, 2024

Rev. Mariah Callison, preaching

Rev. Mariah Callison has been a chaplain at John Muir Health for eight years. She is also a Certified Educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Mariah teaches the Enneagram to her students as a personality theory and as a spiritual practice for personal and social transformation.

 

 

 

 

Previous Guest Voices

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Rev. Bob Howell, preaching

During the 1940s and 1950s, Bob Howell grew up in town located just over the Bronx line. Bob and his older brother grew up under the influence of parents who were leaders in a neighborhood Congregational Church; his father a deacon, his mother a trustee.  They encouraged participation in all aspects of church life, including Scouting.  Both boys became Eagle Scouts.  After completing a two-year degree in college, Bob entered the Army.  Always sensing God’s call to enter full-time Christian ministry, Bob became a chaplain’s assistant serving in Korea shortly after the Korean War.  In Korea, he was given the opportunity to direct the distribution of relief supplies sent to the people of Korea by the people of the United States through Operation Handclasp established during the Eisenhower Administration.  The experience motivated Bob to return to college to learn as much as he could to possibly enter a career in international development.  Soon after being discharged from the Army and before reentering college, Bob married his high school sweetheart, Dottie.  They have been married for 62 years and have two daughters, each of whom blessed them with a grandson.  After completing a Ph.D. in rural sociology, Bob began a 35-year career as an extension sociologist with the Cooperative Extension Service, first at Penn State University and then at Washington State University.   As a specialist in the social impacts of rapid community change and public involvement in the resolution of controversial issues, he conducted educational programs for county extension agents and public officials, serving on a team of social scientists working in the Western part of the United States.  Bob received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach courses conflict resolution at a university in St. Petersburg, Russia shortly after the fall of Communism.  The continued call to Christian ministry led Bob to take an early retirement to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.  Upon graduating in the year 2000 he was called to pastor a Congregational Church in the nearby retirement community of Rossmoor.  He retired from that position in 2010 and shortly thereafter Bob and Dottie joined DCC.  He continues an active ministry in Rossmoor through its interfaith council, helping the community become more diverse and better embrace diversity.  At DCC, Bob has served on several commissions and committees.


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Kiku Johnson, preaching

We are delighted to welcome Kiku Johnson, executive director of the Rainbow Community Center, who will be our guest preacher for PRIDE Sunday.

Kiku (he/him) is an intersectional, queer, Chinese, trans man originally hailing from Michigan and has been living and thriving with his partner in Oakland, CA since 2004. Kiku is an educator, trainer, and consultant engaging his human-centered design thinking, with a visual arts background focused on diversity, equity, and expansion. Kiku has 30+ years of experience with youth development and responsive community program design, outreach, implementation, impact, evaluation, and advocacy through a social justice lens. He is independently and collaboratively adept at creating culturally, trauma-informed/healing-centered, accessible, affirming approaches and content for a wide variety of intersectional communities including LGBTQI+, People of Color, youth, and adults working across sectors including juvenile justice, education, mental health, community-based, and faith-based organizations.

Kiku has traveled the country educating on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Affirming Approach and Expansive Practices connected with the CDC-funded handbook he authored that is open source. He is a Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy/Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Supporting LGBTQ Youth Program Fellow. He loves being in community with all folx with a special affection for the cat community. Kiku loves teaching mediums for expression like stained glass construction and is fascinated with how things work and embodying MacGyver at every opportunity! He’s writing a book about his life journey through trauma and as a man of trans experience. Most importantly, Kiku knows liberation is found every time he gets on the dance floor!


Sunday, February 13, 2022
A Conversation between Bette Felton and Veronica Benjamin

Bette Borden Felton, DrPH was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Bette attended UC Berkeley in the ’60s and graduated from UCSF in nursing in 1970. She worked in pediatric, perioperative, and public health nursing for 7 years. Bette taught nursing and public health at Catholic University,  and at Cal State East Bay for 20 years. She served as Dean at California State University, Concord Campus, and is Co-Founder and Board Chair of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University, East Bay.  Her main current work is  Chair of Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, supporting the public health system in Contra  Costa County.  She is also the Vineyard Manager and Assistant to the Winemaker at Sky Terrace Vineyards, Danville, CA. Bette has been a member of Danville Congregational Church since 1990.

 

 

 

 

Veronica Benjamin (Ph.D.) grew up in the Danville area before moving abroad in 2007. She completed her PhD in Indian Philosophy and Religion in 2019 with a focus on a 5th-century grammarian-philosopher, Bhartrihari. Upon returning to Danville in late 2019, as she transitioned out of academia, she was inspired to be more active during the 2020 George Floyd uprising at which time she learned about the 2018 Danville Police shooting of Laudemer Arboleda. Despite attempts to find groups committed to ongoing activism locally, she was catalyzed into organizing a new group, Conscious Contra Costa, after Tyrell Wilson was murdered on March 11th, 2021, by the same officer who killed Laudemer. Conscious Contra Costa focuses on local activism and civic engagement surrounding police brutality and racial equity, as well as supporting the two families who have been grievously impacted by Danville’s refusal to address racism in policing and community attitudes

 

 


Sunday, February 6, 2022
Rev. Rhina Ramos, preaching

Rev. Rhina Ramos is an ordained United Church of Christ minister leading a Spanish speaking congregation open to the LGTBQI Latinx community. Rhina is also the National Coordinator for Encuentros Latinx at the United Church of Christ national office promoting inclusion of LGBTQI in faith communities as well as Latinx in traditional white congregations. Rhina was born in El Salvador and emigrated to the United States at age 14 in 1983. She graduated from Hofstra University Law School in 1995 and was a labor attorney for five years recuperating thousands of dollars in unpaid wages for immigrant workers.  In 2003, she obtained a Masters in Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. In her free time, she loves long walks listening to sappy romantic music in Spanish.

 

 


Sunday, January 16, 2022
Rev. Riana Shaw Robinson, preaching

Rev. Riana Shaw Robinson is a preacher, pastor, and prophet. Riana is passionate about speaking the truth in love, offering a constant invitation for people to see themselves as beloved, and providing various ways to respond to the command to love God, self, and neighbor.

Dissatisfied with how the church talks about race, Riana invites others into a “holy conversation” that’s both hard and beautiful. This conversation extends beyond justice to examine how the American church has played a role in the history of race in the U.S., White supremacy, and systems of oppression.

Riana is currently in a season of creation, working across communities and organizations to examine what the Bible says about pursuing justice. She recently served as the Associate Pastor of Formation at Oakland City Church (OCC) where she spearheaded efforts to help the community live more deeply into its anti-racist values. As the Minister of City Engagement, she expanded the church’s community partnerships and commitment to solidarity with marginalized communities in Oakland.

Riana is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion and a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from Mills College. Riana is an East Bay native and currently lives in Oakland with her husband, 10-year-old son, and four-year-old twins. She is extremely proud of her oldest daughter, who is a recent graduate of Howard University.


Sunday, January 9, 2022
Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy, preaching

Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy serves as President of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California –a progressive, multidenominational seminary and center for social justice that prepares theologically and spiritually rooted leaders to work for the well-being of all.  A committed pastor, a nationally recognized higher education and immigration leader, and a sought after speaker, Vásquez-Levy leads at the intersection of faith, higher education, and social change.

Vásquez-Levy is committed to innovation and access in theological education and leadership formation.  He serves as convener for the GTU Consortial Council, is co-founder and convener for the Latinx Presidents and Deans of ATS schools, and is a member of the executive leaders group of AshokaU campus network and the Asociación para La Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH).  He also serves on the board of Church World Service, one of the largest ecumenical development agencies in the world, and the Advisory Council for Encore.org.

Vásquez-Levy regularly contributes a faith perspective to the national conversation on immigration, including speaking at a congressional briefing, participating in two immigration consultations with the Obama White House, and recently engaging in a series of public conversation with various State Attorneys across the country in an effort to reframe our national conversation about immigration.  He has worked on consulted on a number of documentaries on immigration, labor, and human rights and is the author of various publications that explore migration stories in sacred texts and in people’s lives.

Vásquez-Levy has lived in four countries, including working on refugee resettlement in Canada, and taught courses and led international study and service trips across the globe.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Texas Lutheran University and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, including studies at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.


Sunday, December 19, 2021
Dr. Sharon Fennema, preaching

Sharon R. Fennema (she/her) is a facilitator, ritualist, activist, teacher, and scholar whose work lives at the intersections of critical race, postcolonial and gender theories and embodied spiritual practices which form identity and craft theology. She is passionate about empowering faith communities and changemakers to become the communities of justice and love we seek in the midst of the struggle for freedom, because she believes that each moment, from the most mundane committee meeting to the most profound direct action, can be an inbreaking of the kin’dom of God.

Dr. Fennema currently serves as the Join the Movement Curator and Storyteller for the national setting of the United Church of Christ.  In this position, she helps lead the denomination’s antiracism initiative using stories as both inspiration and lessons for cultivating a life of practices that move us toward racial justice.  Prior to joining the UCC national staff, she was Assistant Professor of Worship and Director of Worship Life at the Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA where she taught classes in antiracist and decolonial spiritual formation, organization leadership as care work, mourning as resistance, and ritual, trauma and social change. She also collaboratively shepherded PSR’s Community Worship services as a laboratory for striving and failing at liberation in practice.

She is the author of several articles including “Postcolonial Whiteness: Being-With in Worship” in Liturgy in Postcolonial Perspectives: Only One is Holy and “The Forgetfulness of Gentrification and the Pilgrimage of Protest: Re-Membering the Body of Christ” in the journal Review and Expositor. One of Sharon’s greatest passions is creating prayers, rituals and worship resources that help communities respond to the needs of the present moment. (You may remember her “Prayer for Handwashing in the time of COVID-19” we distributed at the outset of the pandemic.)

You can find much of her liturgical writing on social media: https://www.facebook.com/sharon.fennema.