Friday, June 29, 2007

All About Towanda

Who is Towanda?
I am a 44-year old woman, although sometimes I feel like I'm 27. Or 6. What does 44 feel like? Heck if I know. I still like to splash in mud puddles, play catch, and eat popsicles.

I am a graduate from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC); as an anti-racist feminist, peace-and-justice-loving, I'll-speak-my-mind-if-it-pleases-me, decolonizing, lesbian woman, it's good to have a place I can call home with my whole self. I consider myself a radical street pastor, "the fierce good reverend of the revolution" as I have been named by friends in the freedom movement.  I also teach at Iliff on occasion.

Is Towanda Your Real Name?
Towanda is my alter ego, as in, "Towanda, the amazing Amazon woman! Righter of wrongs! Queen beyond compare!" If that doesn't ring a bell, go rent "Fried Green Tomatoes."

Where all have you lived again?
In chronological order:
*Monticello, AR, 9 years. My birthplace, in the county my ancestors founded.
*Austin, TX, 2 years, while Dad was in seminary.
*Chanute, KS, 5 years. I call this my time of "exile."
*North Little Rock, AR, 1 1/2 years, then summers while I was in college.
*Dallas, TX, 4 years, while I was at SMU.
*Hunt, TX, for one summer when I worked at Mo-Ranch.
*Hobbs, NM, for one school year.
*San José, Costa Rica, for 1 year.
*Louisville, KY, for one summer, while I worked at the PCUSA office.
*Brief (6 weeks) stay in Silver City, NM.
*Tucson, AZ, for 4 years.
*Santa Fe, NM, for 2 years.
*Portland, OR for 5 years.
*Denver, CO...we shall see! 8 years and counting...

Do You Really Like Baseball That Much?
Yes, I do! I think heaven will be endless ball fields where anyone can play, and there's choir practice and opera between innings. Free beer/cokes, peanuts, and hotdogs.

Who is "Cielo?"
My partner of 20 years. "Cielo" is Spanish for sky or heaven, and is also a term of endearment.

How Long Have You Been Blogging?
Since 2003, and here since July 4, 2007.

How Can I Get In Touch With You?
E-mail me at


  1. The wife of a cousin of PH's teaches at Iliff! Incredibly small world - her initials are AE, and I think she's teaaching OT. Have you had any classes with her?

  2. I have not had a class with her (I hope to) but am on a committee with her; we also both go to the informal Hebrew reading group. She's terrific. My friends who've actually had her in class rave about her.

    Small world indeed!


  3. Hey Towanda and Cielo, it is terri from iliff, new grad. Remember me? Yes, AE is totally awesome. She even got *me* to write poetry. Hope your summer is wonderful.

  4. Hey Terri! Of course I remember you. Welcome to the Window! Our summer is going well, hope yours is too.

  5. Hello Towanda, my friend-- We miss you in Portland. Ben has recently become a huge sports fan and would love for you to come to a Beavers game with us. Thank you for sharing your long and rich list of things, people, places for which you are thankful. Christmas wishes to you and your lovely cielo-- we love and miss you both! J,L,G,B

  6. Came here from Mibi52's place--I am an Arkansas native, raised up with the Church of X in Searcy, although my parents didn't really believe all of that, just did it to please the grandparents. Now I consider myself a follower of Christ in the Episcopal tradition (how I know Mibi). I live in the stiffling red state of South Dakota, and love your blogging! Hugs to you!

  7. Welcome to the window, Lauralew! Another reader here is from South Dakota (although she lives here in CO now). Thanks for the compliment!

  8. RoCk ON UCC!! I grew up attending Plymouth Congregational UCC in Des Moines, IA & have always loved their open & accepting views on faith & God's people.

    BEST WiSHES & God bless your journey... :)

  9. I am glad to read the Window from afar...not to seem to committed to the life and work of a justice seeking pastor. I am fine right here in my head ideating on the issues concerning society. thanks for writing!

  10. Hi Towanda!

    I grew up in the UCC (my granddad was a UCC minister) and I share your life-giving values. I found you through Pilgrim's Moon.

    Good to meet you! Come over and visit Diamond-Cut Life sometime, if you like.


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