Bringing together diverse ministries for the common cause of church unity and city transformation.
A high-energy visionary with rich experience in leading diverse teams for mission-based enterprises, including Christian organizations and private businesses, with the simple, but complex goal of making a difference in the world. Joe sees himself today as an ordinary man on a quest to make a difference. Earlier in his life, he often felt confused and hopeless, questioning the meaning and reason for everything going on inside and around him. But once he was able to connect with his purpose in life, everything changed. The fog of despair began to lift, as he decided to devote himself to making life better in a hurting world. As an ordained minister, Joe's mission-oriented work around the world has honed his ability to build relationships and influence change, while never losing sight of the big picture. He leads through friendship, teaching and giving with a strong belief that any person, no matter how ordinary one feels, can choose to do extraordinary things. Joe has authored several books dealing with conflict resolution in families and organizations. His books include "She Called Me Dad" and "Is There Not A Cause?: Beyond the Disappointment of Aimless Christianity". Joe and his wife Mary have five children and four grandchildren.
Bishop Eduardo Nevares
Bishop Eduardo Alanis Nevares hails from the great State of Texas, being born in San Antonio, and raised in Houston. At the age of 14, Eduardo left his parents and his three brothers and one sister, and entered the high school seminary, St. Henry's Prep Seminary in Belleville, Il. Graduating from high school, he began his Philosophy studies at the La Salette Seminary in Altamont, N.Y. After two years, he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Following one year of Spiritual Exercises, he travelled to Kenrick Archdiocesan Seminary in St. Louis, MO, where he completed four years of Theology and received his Masters of Divinity degree. He was ordained a Transitional Deacon in November, 1980, and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on July 18, 1981, for the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette. As a Missionary Priest, he has travelled the world over, and served the People of God through his Preaching and Sacramental ministry in English, Spanish and French. He has served as the Associate Pastor and later, as the Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Lufkin, TX for seventeen years, and has served as the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Tyler, TX for seven years. Bishop Nevares served as the Catholic Chaplain to Stephen F. Austin University Campus for two years, and was later assigned to the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH for another two years where he served as Vice Rector in charge of the College. On April 27, 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI named him Auxiliary Bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, where he serves together with Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. Bishop Nevares was ordained to the Episcopacy on July 19, 2010, and continues to "Serve The Lord with Gladness" to the present day.
As the presidential liaison for American Bible Society, Robert Briggs works to strengthen the organization’s relationships with critical global partners. Working closely with American Bible Society’s president, Briggs is helping to open new opportunities for a third century of mission. Briggs has served in several roles at American Bible Society since he joined the organization in 1999. First, he led the fund development teams for five years before transitioning in 2007 to oversee the launch of Global Scripture Impact, American Bible Society’s research arm. A Global Council Member of the United Bible Societies, chairman of the Nominations Committee and a member of the Executive Board of the Forum of Bible Agencies-North America, Briggs oversees American Bible Society’s partnerships with the world’s Bible agencies. Additionally, as a member of the Every Tribe Every Nation (ETEN) Steering Committee, Briggs is on the front lines of Bible translation, working alongside the largest Bible agencies in the world to accelerate the digitization of existing translations and the development of new translations. Briggs is a graduate of the University of Missouri and, before joining American Bible Society, held leadership roles with the American Diabetes Association and Cityhill (a Christian publishing company). He and his wife have five adult children and two granddaughters.
Peter & Sharon Poppleton
Peter and Sharon have been married for over thirty-five years. They have three sons and five grandchildren (so far). He has worked in publishing companies for the Catholic Church in the area of faith formation for over 30 years and has spoken at the diocesan level throughout the Southwest. Sharon and he have attended leadership-level conferences in the United States, France, Assisi, and Rome. Their particular focus has been creating an active and intentional Catholic Christian Culture in the home and building Christian community. Currently he is a Consultant for Our Sunday Visitor and the Overall Coordinator of City of the Lord a Covenant Community located in Arizona and California. The community has received both Pontifical Right in the Catholic Church and been recognized as a Private Association of Diocesan Right in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona.
Giovanni Traettino is the Pastor of the Evangelical church of Reconciliation in Bari, Italy. He has an apostolic ministry to a network of churches in Italy and in the Central African Republic. With an appetite for the harmony and the eminence of the Body of Christ, he is an inventor of the negotiation between the Evangelicals and the Catholic Charismatics. Giovanni resides in Bari, Italy with his wife Franca and two children.
Professor Matteo Calisi, born in Bari (Italy) on 11th February 1958, is married to Giovanna De Pascalis and they have two sons, Daniele and Francesco. Matteo studied Music at the Conservatoire, and Theology and Byzantine Studies at the Ecumenical Faculty of Bari, his home town. At the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) Pope John XXIII had led the Church in praying for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, “Lord, renew your wonders in this our day as by a new Pentecost”. The Council called all Catholics to commit to work for the unity of Christians. In 1975 Pope Paul VI went on to say that the experience of the New Pentecost was a new opportunity for the Church and was not an option for Christians. It is against this backcloth that Matteo’s role in charismatic renewal should be seen. Having been involved in Roman Catholic charismatic renewal since the 1970s, Matteo, together with his wife, founded the Community of Jesus in May 1983. The Community is committed to a three-fold ministry of worship, the reconciliation of Christians, and evangelism. It was significantly shaped by input into Matteo’s life from two men, Cardinal Suenens and David du Plessis. At Rimini in 1978 Matteo met Cardinal Suenens, one of four moderators of the Second Vatican Council and a supporter of the renewal movement. Through further meetings at the Vatican their friendship developed and the Cardinal encouraged Matteo to start the Community of Jesus, with its particular emphasis on unity and reconciliation within the Body of Christ. He visited the infant Community later that same year. With the encouragement of Cardinal Suenens, Pope John XXIII had invited David du Plessis, a Pentecostal minister with a passion for the unity of the Church, to attend the Second Vatican Council. In May 1981 Matteo attended an international conference in Rome at which David du Plessis was one of the speakers. As Matteo talked with David, a defining moment took place which was to set the direction for Matteo’s future ministry. The minister took off his own lapel badge depicting – “70 x 7” – a reference to Jesus’ words on the need to forgive, and pinned this onto Matteo, saying “My dear son, may you become an ambassador of reconciliation.”Over the following years this call on Matteo’s life has been acknowledged by the Vatican and also recognized by many leaders within other denominations. Supported by the Community of Jesus, the work of reconciliation has led him to minister in an international context, co-operating with many ecumenical organizations. Within the Roman Catholic setting Matteo has served as Vice-President of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) and President of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships (CFCCCF). On the 11th March 2008 he was appointed as a Member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Matteo continues to be encouraged in the work of reconciliation by Pope Francis.
Mike Herron is a pastor and psalmist who travels throughout the world preaching the Good News of Christ, leading worship concerts, teaching Seminars and speaking at a variety of events. He is a pianist and composer with six recordings as well as the author of two books. Mike began in full time ministry in 1974 as a worship leader and became the founding pastor of Life Church in Salem, Oregon. He has also served the Lord as the International Director of Ministers Fellowship International; as the director of Canzion Music; as a part-time pastor in the worship department of Lakewood Church in Houston and as the Vice-President of ‘Integrity Music Latin’ in Mobile, Alabama. Mike has a Master’s Degree in Practical Theology from Oral Roberts University. He and his wife Marsha have 3 children and 8 grandchildren and are members of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He enjoys golfing and walks with Marsha and their chocolate Lab, Ginger.
Gary Kinnaman served as Senior Pastor of Word of Grace Church for twenty-five years. Under his leadership, the church grew to an average weekend attendance of over 4500. He now serves as a pastor at large, mentoring and networking church, government and market place leaders to serve the Phoenix area. His leadership in this regard led to his appointment to Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Faith and Community. Gary is a graduate of Biola University (B.A.), Arizona State University (M.A.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.A. in Theology), and Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (D.Min.). A gifted communicator, Gary has written ten books, his most recent is the critically acclaimed, Seeing in the Dark: Getting the Facts on Depression and Finding Hope Again. Gary and his wife, Marilyn, who make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, have three adult children and eight grandchildren.