Pastor Jeanelle N. Ablola (they/them)
Pastor Jeanelle Nicolas Ablola is a child of immigrants and a Filipino/x born, raised, and living in the US diaspora. Their parents immigrated to Southern California in the early 1970's and raised them in the United Methodist Church, being UMs in the Philippines.
They received their BFA in Graphic Design (2004), minoring in Art History, at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Pastor Jeanelle has not always had a smooth relationship with church community or Christianity, wrestled with God for a long time, and found themself answering the call to go to seminary in 2007.
Throughout seminary they were nurtured and supported as a pastoral and community servant-leader by the Japanese American UM Caucus, the CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force, and the Network for Religion and Justice for API LGBTQ people.
They received their Masters of Divinity (M. Div.) at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley (2010). They spent two years of Field Education at Buena Vista UMC and served as Minister of Youth & Community Outreach. In this position they coordinated a program called JAMS (Justice, Art, Music, Spirituality), which organized opportunities for the church and community to come together and strengthen relationship, through exploring issues such as the occupation in Palestine, LGBTQ inclusion in Asian Pacific Islander (API) churches, human rights in the Philippines, and establishing affordable housing in the city of Alameda. They also cultivated the leadership of the youth at Buena Vista UMC, supporting their endeavors for outreach, spiritual growth, fellowship, and critical thinking.
They were appointed Lead Pastor at Pine UMC in July 2011. They are co-chair of the CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force, board member of NRJ, and a member of the Annual Conference's Advocacy & Justice Committee. In 2014, Methodist Federation for Social Action California-Nevada Chapter (MFSA) awarded them with the Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly Peace and Justice Award.
It is through activism that they experience deeper connection with Jesus Christ. They are interested in exploring how individual healing is connected to social justice and vice versa. Currently in ministry, their emphasis is on empowering community through supporting the deepening of their faith lives in love, transformation, justice, wholeness, and action rooted in the Holy Spirit.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org