The Left Hand Church Elder Board is a selected group of key volunteers who work alongside the Staff Team casting vision for the future of Left Hand Church and giving oversight to the budget, fundraising, and leadership work of the co-pastors.
Lonni Pearce is a proud Colorado native and is married to her wonderful partner Bryan. They have two wonderful sons who bring them great joy. As a family, they love being in the Colorado mountains and playing lots of board games.
Lonni grew up as a pastor’s daughter at a church in Englewood, Colorado, where she was raised grounded in the knowledge of God’s love for her. She found herself gradually drawn to progressive theology and was delighted when she heard about plans for Left Hand. She considers her anchors to be the ideas that we are called to love God, each other, and ourselves, and we are invited to live healthy, useful, and interesting lives.
Christy Estoll was a military kid, moving around a lot and grew up being very involved in church with her family. She went to school at Wheaton College in Chicago, and after college moved back to Colorado to work for The Dale House in Colorado Springs.
In 2015 she was introduced to Highlands Church in Denver and immediately felt a sense of peace and belonging in a faith community in a way that she’d never felt before. She feels privileged to have been a part of Left Hand Church since it was just a glimmer of an idea, and is so grateful to be surrounded by a community of people who are committed to the work of bringing hope and belonging to Boulder County and beyond.
Christy works as a labor and delivery nurse and is the mother of three teenage boys. She is currently pursuing her midwifery degree with the University of Colorado School of Nursing. In her spare time she can be found baking pie, building pergolas, and snuggling on any spare couches in the area.
The below members are listed alphabetically, following the bios of our current co-chairs.
August Alvarado was born and raised in Texas and grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. August enjoyed being an alter server, attending youth group, going on mission trips, and being both a camper and counselor at a Christian summer camp. August continued her passion for serving while at CU-Boulder by organizing local volunteer opportunities for a large student ministry. In 2016, she began her search to find a new church home that honored inclusion and diversity. She found it at Highlands Church in Denver. August first heard about Left Hand while at Highlands, but soon left the state to complete her doctoral internship. After completing her doctorate degree in school psychology from UNC, she was fortunate to return to Colorado to complete her postdoc and to finally start attending Left Hand in-person. August prides herself on being a learned optimist and pushing herself to grow in her knowledge and skills. She also likes to create a sense of belonging for every person. She currently works in Fort Collins at a group practice providing psychological assessments and counseling to young adults and children. She has a heart for foster children and walking with youth as they navigate adolescence. In her free time, August likes to do anything that’s creative, active, outdoors, or with her senior pup, Bentley.
Brenda Carmody has been a Christian since 1969 and was raised in, and attended the Church of Christ until January, 2017. She has been married to Tom, who is a professional Santa Claus, for 49 years. She has two daughters. Shannon just completed her Doctorate in Education and Molly is a MSW, Master of Social Work. Brenda is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and works for the Jefferson Center for Mental Health. She also has a small private practice in Lakewood.
Brenda’s passions are social justice and racial equality. She believes that her Christianity is inclusive and that the love of God to us is the pathway to loving others. She sees her profession as a way of manifesting that love into the world.
Brenda and Tom started attending Highlands Church in Denver in 2017 and discovered Left Hand Church. She has been attending Left Hand almost since its inception and shares the Ethos as often as possible because it speaks to many hearts.
Mary Jo Highland was raised on a steady diet of feminism and liberation theology by her nun and priest parents, Mary and Joseph. After she came out, her father would wear his priest’s collar to PFLAG meetings to tell other parents that their kids were NOT going to hell. During this time, Mary Jo met some friends who wanted to start a church and became a founding board member of Sojourn Grace Collective in San Diego (one of the pastors there, and one of those friends, ended up writing a few books, including Unclobber)
Mary Jo made her way to Boulder County and our little church community just as it was starting. She is a big-question asker and status-quo critic. She hopes our community will define ourself by who we want to be rather than who we don’t want to be.
Oh yeah, and she bakes too, so please bring your sweet tooth to church. In her weekday life she’s an enthusiastic parent to two adult humans who have made huge contributions to her growth, both spiritual and otherwise (apparently she doesn’t parent on the weekends). She is an aspiring immigration attorney and is passionate about educating everyone about their constitutional rights.
Nancy Ramsdal is a born and raised Brooklynite. She moved to Colorado in 2010 to live near family after having her only child with her husband, Anthony. They also juggle coparenting his oldest daughter, a college student in Austin, TX. She was raised in the Lutheran church, attended Nyack College, and has an interdisciplinary degree in youth ministry and social sciences. She started her career as a youth development professional at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and then pivoted to working as a financial advisor with Ameriprise, T. Rowe Price, and Allstate. After health issues forced her to retire, she now runs an online support group in Boulder for other Ehlers Danlos Syndrome patients to network and share tips for managing the condition as well as referrals to knowledgeable health care providers in the area. For fun, she officiates for local roller derby leagues, plays video games, loves to attend concerts, and reads a lot of books. A friend told her about Left Hand Church about 6 months after it was started and she has been attending ever since, as her family had been searching for an inclusive place where everyone is accepted as they are.