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Dec 23, 2021

Join us after our Thanksgiving month break to get to know some of the folks who serve on the People of Faith for Justice Board of Directors! Maggie Fertschneider and Rich Kurrasch join us today to share their faith journeys, challenges in justice work, and how  justice work can be deepened within a faith perspective. We ponder the questions of which justice issues are most imperative, and whether faith communities will continue to be relevant to today’s society.



Rev. Dr. Rich Kurrasch

While a native of South Dakota, Rev. Dr. Richard Kurrasch traces his roots more to Los Angeles and what some call the “religion of California” in the 1950s and 1960s. That landscape apparently nurtured a more substantial faith as well. What emerged in the Nebraska Panhandle where he and his wife, Ann Marie, met became what would be a constant in their lives for fifty years: his parishioners. That journey would include pastorates in California and the Upper Midwest, with an unexpected detour to Maui. For many years he served Congregational churches, though in recent years he has found his ecclesiastical home with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Rich earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Riverside, a Master of Divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary (the graduate School of Religion of the Church of the Brethren), and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Theology at Claremont, California.

Beyond the local church, Richard had the unique privilege to serve as Moderator of the International Congregational Fellowship which included a quadrennial meeting in Seoul, South Korea. Other theological interests include explorations in desert and wilderness spirituality and the intersection between religion and the arts, particularly in contemporary American novels. He enjoys writing and hopes to publish a memoir in the coming year.

Since retiring on the Central Coast, Rich has served on the Board of Directors of People of Faith for Justice where he is especially interested in addressing the looming climate crisis with the insights of Process Theology.

Maggie Ferschneider 

Maggie was born on July 30, 1931; she is known as a “cradle” Methodist, as Maggie’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all Methodists.  

Maggie’s first memories were of attending Sunday School and later, becoming part of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. There, Maggie began to see that working for justice and social action were a part of her faith. Amos’ words in the Bible, "Do you know what I want? I want justice–rivers of it. I want  fairness–rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want,” became powerful to Maggie. Jesus' words, "Love one another and treat others as you want them to treat you," became the most important words in the Bible to Maggie. Maggie says, “If you feel everyone has a right to Universal Health Care, then you need to advocate for that. That means educating your faith community as well as working with Congress.” 

All of her life, Maggie has been given the opportunity to develop and be the leader of many committees and agencies within the Methodist Cal-Pacific and worldwide General Conferences. This allowed her to work with other Christian denominations as well as with other faiths. Maggie is especially grateful for those who mentored her and opened up opportunities for her to be a disciple of Christ and to work for justice her whole life long.   


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People of Faith for Justice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit  organization.


The People of Faith for Justice Podcast is produced and edited by Jeff Manildi

Music for the People of Faith for Justice Podcast is provided by Andrew Gorman