LEAD 2019 Talks: Lee Schott

Lee’s Talk: “Everything I need to know about church, I learned (leading a church) in prison. It’s raw, real, wise and welcoming. And it will renew us.”

Lee is pastor of Women at the Well in Mitchellville, a church based inside the walls of the Iowa women’s prison, whose vision is to lead the church in love that breaks down walls. Lee previously served (2003-2011) as co-pastor of Polk City United Methodist Church, a small-town church near the Des Moines metro. A 2007 graduate, with honors, of Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, Lee was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in 2009.
Lee’s ministry career follows what she had thought would be a career in law. After college, she went to Harvard Law School and began her career at a private law firm in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1995 she and her family moved home to Iowa and she worked as an in-house lawyer at a life insurance company. A lifelong United Methodist, she sensed a call from God after she began praying in earnest at the age of nearly 40. Lee resides with her husband on her family’s farm near Prairie City, Iowa.

LEAD 2019 Talks: Lydia Sohn

Lydia’s Talk: “We keep telling this story about ourselves: “we are dying.” The only thing killing us is this narrative.”

The Rev. Lydia Sohn currently serves as the Senior-Pastor-in-Transition at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in San Diego, California (as of July 1, 2018). Her strongest interests include contemplative spirituality, progressive theology and helping people live in alignment with their true and authentic selves. When she is not writing or pastoring, she is probably spending time with her husband and son or eating pastries (always with a cup of coffee, of course).She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College and a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, where she was a Marquand Scholar. You can subscribe to her blog at www.revlydia.com.

LEAD 2019 Talks: Thomas Irby

Thomas’ Talk: “I started a worship service with & by folks with various abilities and disabilities. It changed the way I understand the image of God.”

Thomas was born in Panama City, FL. He studied Mass Communications and Media Production at Florida State University. He holds a Master of Divinity From Duke Divinity School. Thomas is a provisional elder in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the UMC and currently serves as an Associate Pastor at Ashland Place one Mobile, AL. Thomas has been married to Leah for 11 years. They have two children: Judah and Mabel.