My name is Ben Robinson and it is a great privilege to serve at Urban Grace. I am from Spokane, WA and attended Whitworth University where I studied religion, philosophy, and peace studies. After graduating in 2003, I moved to Cairo, Egypt to start a youth group at an ecumenical Anglican church and pursue a Masters degree in Middle Eastern Christianity. During my time in Egypt, I married college classmate, Emily Hinson, and soon moved to Princeton, NJ where Emily began her career as a nurse and I attended seminary. Following seminary we returned to Egypt where I served as an associate pastor in the same Anglican Church and Emily worked at the US Embassy. In 2012, Emily and I returned to Washington so Emily could begin a Doctorate in Nursing at UW.
I feel truly blessed that my arrival in the Northwest coincided with Urban Grace’s search for a new pastor. I love church communities, particularly those that provide the space to think and wonder about God’s unrelenting love and recognize the duty and joy of serving those in need. Urban Grace is a community that lives out these values in her service to those on the margins and in its acceptance of us “perfectly imperfect” folks. Urban Grace shares my personal passion for the arts and the belief that art is one of the many media through which God is revealed to us.
I love running, good food and drink, art, sports, travel, getting out into the mountains, and conversation (which will likely bounce around and hit on many of these things that I love). I am new to the area and I would enjoy getting together, so please shoot me an email.
Events & Facilities Director
I am a renaissance man, an advocate for social justice and the arts, an unashamed foodie, and a passionate defender of the numerous reasons Tacoma is great. Formerly the Program Coordinator at Associated Ministries, I’m excited to be brought on as Events & Facilities Director at Urban Grace. I am also the Talent Buyer and part-owner of The Warehouse and Co-Director of First Night Tacoma along with the rest of The Warehouse crew. I dream of opening a place that brings people together around live music, the arts and great food. I hold a BA in Intercultural Studies from Trinity Lutheran College. Originally from Minnesota, I came to Tacoma a little over five years ago, haven’t left yet and don’t have any intention of doing so.
Director of Operations
I grew up on the Oregon coast and came to Tacoma to attend University of Puget Sound in 1994. After graduation, I served in college ministry for two years before starting seminary at Fuller Seminary Northwest in Seattle. I graduated in 2003 with my Masters of Arts in Theology. Before coming to Urban Grace in 2008, I worked for six years in the Missions department at a large church in the area. My husband, Sean, and I met in seminary and have been married since 2004. We have one son, Jamil, whom we adopted in May 2013. I enjoy traveling, throwing parties, movies (especially ones with twist endings) and reading good fiction. I’m grateful to be a part of the ministry of Urban Grace in big and small ways.
Eli Nicholes and Lousia Raitt
Children’s Education Coordinators
Photos and bios pending…
I am a Tacoma native, born and raised in the Titlow area and attended school in the heart of downtown. I have been taking the bus for years and in my travels I have come into contact with many influential people. Influential in not only the stories they share but also in the message they hold. I have been lending an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, but most importantly in my work with Urban Grace, I hope to now provide a mind full of solutions and a mouth well versed in the needs of a people. As I become immersed in my new internship with Urban Grace, I grow more ecstatic with each new experience and I hope to translate that into new opportunities for both myself and the Church.
I am an idealist, a conversationalist, a musician, a writer, and a dreamer. I like to read, to watch sports and movies, and to spend time with friends eating great food and drinking all sorts of beers and wines. My wife, Ally, and I moved to Tacoma from Wisconsin a couple of years ago. We are both singer-songwriters in the Americana Folk band The Tenants. We spent this last summer traveling across the country and playing music. I am excited about working at Urban Grace and serving the people of Tacoma.
Church Leadership Council: Meets every third Tuesday
Our Council is a team of volunteers, elected by the congregation, to vision and plan for the future of Urban Grace as well as consult on our current programs and needs. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members: Tracie Bonjour, Amber Bradford, Jack Comfort, Betsy Erickson, Angela Greenshields, and Brandon McGhinnis.
Board of Trustees: Meets every second Tuesday
Our Trustees are a team of volunteers, appointed by the Council, to oversee the financial, facility and policy details of Urban Grace. They report to the Council on a regular basis. Contact: email@example.com
Members: Bruce Erickson (President), Cheryl Hernandez (Member at-large), George Kovats, Holly Powers (Secretary), and Nils Wickman (Treasurer)