Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a member of the FutureChurch board since June 2018, has agreed to serve as Board Member Emeritus for the next three years.  Bishop Gumbleton is a long time friend and supporter of FutureChurch. In 2013, he graciously presided over the transition of leadership from co-founder Sr. Christine Schenk to Deborah Rose-Milavec.

On the wider stage, Bishop Gumbleton has been a prominent  voice for justice in the world and in the Church.  A retired auxiliary bishop of the Detroit archdiocese, he is a leading voice for peace, justice, and civil rights in the United States.  He is a co-author of the 1983 U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference Pastoral Letter, “The Challenge of Peace.”  One of the first bishops to speak out against the Vietnam War, he is a founding member and past president of Pax Christi USA, the American Catholic peace movement. He is also a founder and former president of Bread for the World.

Since becoming a bishop in 1968, he has traveled throughout the world calling for an end to war and the abolition of nuclear weapons. He has spoken out courageously on behalf the victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic church, and he has advocated for the full participation and the rights of women and  LGBT people in the Catholic Church.  He led a delegation to visit the American hostages in Iran in 1979.  He continues to serve and to travel the world speaking and working on behalf of victims of war, violence, and prejudice.

Dr. Shannen Dee Williams

FutureChurch is also proud to welcome Dr. Shannen Dee Williams to the board.   Professor Williams is a historian of the United States with research and teaching specializations in African-American, women’s, religious, and civil rights history. She is at work on her first book, Subversive Habits: The Untold Story of Black Catholic Nuns in the United States, which is under contract with Duke University Press. 

Her  cutting edge research has been supported by a host of awards, grants, and fellowships, including a 2016-17 Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, a 2011-12 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Fellowship in Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, a 2011 Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association, the 2011 Huggins-Quarles Award from the Organization of America Historians, and the 2010 John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award from the American Catholic Historical Association.In the fall of 2016,Williams began a three-year term as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. In September 2018, Williams received the inaugural Sister Christine Schenk Award for Young Catholic Leadership from Future Church for using history to foster racial justice and reconciliation in religious congregations of women.

Rev. Fred Daley

Reverend Fred Daley, another new board member, is pastor of All Saints Parish in Syracuse NY , and  has been a  prophetic voice for  many social justice issues, including LGBTQI inclusion and women’s ordination.  He came out as gay fourteen years ago, and wrote for America Magazine about that coming out process and the impact it has had on his life. Daley said the day he came out, which happened to be the Feast of the Annunciation, was “the longest day of my life.”  Yet, overwhelmingly, Fred found support from his community and his bishops.  A staunch supporter of women’s ordination, alongside other Catholic women and men, he regularly witnesses  to the injustice of ordaiing only men to the priesthood at diocesance ordination rites  

Jocelyn Collen, President of the Board stated, “We are deeply grateful for the witness of our board members. and  expect our work will be shaped by their prophetic vision.”