In our next episode of #TapestryOfCall we invite the peace-filled poet and activist, Siki Dlanga. Join us as Siki shares her wisdom, joy, and beautiful soul. Siki shares with us what it looks like to embrace our call as a release in the troubled world. She shares a part of her story to open us up to the possibilities of restoration and wholeness.

Here’s her bio:
Siki Dlanga is a woman who loves beauty, craves and needs beauty. The uglier the world becomes, the more Siki is fascinated by the function of beauty in society. She considers the knowledge of Jesus as the ultimate beautifier of the world. Siki has seen how beauty is often denied to those who are denied justice and conveniently packaged for the privileged as though it were their human right to own it. She is beginning to contemplate that perhaps beauty is at the heart of any just cause. Post-apartheid South Africa is where she wrestles with the ugliness of gender-based violence, racial injustice, inequality, and other forms of beauty deficiencies including her own. Siki is an MA Political Communication graduate from American University in Washington DC. You can find her beautiful poetry books “Word of Worth” and “Siki’s love Collection” on Amazon or Kindle.

In our next episode of #TapestryOfCall we invite the beautiful Minister Nila Curry back to this space to share her wisdom with us. Nila shares what it looks like to cultivate wholeness and creativity through self-love. This empowering conversation will inspire you to take time out to care for the inner-self that is waiting to be restored and renewed. We loved everything about this conversation and we hope you do to! Nila is such a beautiful soul and gift in this world and we’re grateful she took the time to share this inspiring message.

Here’s her bio:
Nila Curry is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary with Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degrees. Nila is a minister, story-teller, and curator of sacred spaces at Emory Fellowship UMC (Washington, D.C.) and The Open Church of MD (Baltimore, MD). She is currently discerning Ph.D. work and is interested in the intersecting points between womanist trajectories, prophetic imagination, and the Black-speculative Arts. Nila is a Miami native who enjoys traveling, community storytelling, and creative writing. She is also the founder of TribePurple LLC, a womanist initiative for healing and transformation.

Special thanks to Odai productions for the editing and production:

Thank you Minister Nila! All the love, sis!

We continue this season, #TapestryOfCall, with Vania Iscandari, a licensed master social worker and overall amazing human. Vania offers us a perspective on what it looks like to be our true authentic selves and to trust our intuition. This lovely conversation is so inspiring and we hope you hear the affirmations that Vania gives us.

Here’s her bio:
Vania Iscandari, LMSW is an advocate, visionary leader, and mental health professional utilizing healing centered approaches to equity and justice. As a social worker, Vania creatively works at the intersection of macro and clinical practice where she sees her work as transforming minds, communities, and systems for a healthier society.

Vania is an avid impact specialist, organizer, and relationship builder. She is the founder of Emi Well—an online boutique wellness studio, created for community and by community.

Vania enjoys exploring the arts through traveling, cooking, writing, and photography.

Special thanks to Odai productions for the editing and production:

Thank you Vania Iscandari!

You can follow Vania @itsveeinspired and follow her new company @joinemiwell on Instagram.

Happy Black History Month, y’all!!

We continue this season, #TapestryOfCall, with the Rev Kelsey Brown. This conversation is so full of joy and openness and we hope it will be a balm to your soul as it was ours. Rev Kelsey shares about the beauty and the struggles of her work with and among her community of Jehu’s table-an African Descent Lutheran congregation. We are so grateful for her vulnerability and her wisdom.

Here’s her bio:
Rev. Kelsey Brown describes herself as sometimes funny, very queer, frequently anxious, and completely absurd. A 20-something hailing from Long Island, New York – she comes equipped with the accent & attitude to back it up. In her free time, she is falling back in love with spoken word poetry, breaking it down on the dance floor, and ritual creation. She believes with her full heart that God’s delight in diversity is call for us all to embrace the fullness of humanity. Racial justice and advocacy work fuel her fire, while deep friendships and long naps quench her thirst. She can be seen in her natural habitat – quoting show-tunes, doubled over in laughter and challenging others to “do the work.”

Special thanks to Odai productions for the editing and production: @afoteyodai

Thank you Rev. Kelsey Brown!
You can follow Rev. Brown and the Jehu’s Table Church here.

Also here is a list of the many inspiring reads, music and artists we discussed on the podcast.





Enjoy and Happy New Year!

This season we are joined with some amazing WOC leaders (pastors, activists, writers, and everything in between) who share how they are answering a call to do the work at this time. We are calling this season Tapestry of Call because we see each person’s call and vocation as a part of a whole. We’re all connected.

Our first episode starts out with Rev Nicolette Marie Peñaranda. She shares with us what it’s like to be a bi-vocational pastor. The challenges and triumphs. And we are grateful to know her and for her willingness to be transparent and share some of her journey with us.

Here’s her bio:
Rev. Nicolette Marie Peñaranda is the pastor of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Nic was raised in the Metro New York area where she attended Wagner College for her degree in Sociology, History, and Masters in Business Administration. While receiving her MDiv at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Nic began merging her love of art with scripture. This blend has led to a mural on display at Instituto Evangelico Argentino en Grand Bourg, Argentina and at the 2018 National Youth Gathering’s Creative Expressions area. She is now the 2022 National Youth Gathering’s Creative Expressions Manager to continue to put her craft to use. Outside of the church, Nic leads racial justice facilitations through her game MONadvocacy. The Peñaranda family now resides in Berwyn, Illinois where Nic is running for City Council member. When Nic is not accompanying a congregation or running for office, she spends time with her spouse Dennis, her daughter Mahalia, and her two cats Penne and Rigatoni.

You can support her campaign for 1st Ward Alderman here:
Here is the link to support her campaign for 1st Ward Alderman