Pastor Jeanelle N. Ablola
Pastor Jeanelle Nicolas Ablola is a 2nd generation Filipino American. Her parents immigrated to San Diego, CA (Paradise Hills) in the early 1970's and raised her in the United Methodist Church, her mother being a PK (Pastor's Kid) in the Philippines. Her parents remain very active at their local church.
In 2004, she received her BFA in Graphic Design, minoring in Art History, at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Pastor Jeanelle has not always had a smooth relationship with church community or Christianity, wrestled with God for a long time, and found herself answering the call to go to seminary in 2007.
Throughout seminary she was nurtured and supported as a pastoral and community servant-leader by the Japanese American UM Caucus, the CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force, and the Network for Religion and Justice for API LGBTQ people. She is still active and in relationship with these communities, as they strive for transformation and change.
She received her Masters of Divinity (M. Div.) at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley in 2010. She spent two years of Field Education at Buena Vista UMC and served as Minister of Youth & Community Outreach. In this position she coordinated a program called JAMS (Justice, Art, Music, Spirituality), which organized opportunities for the church and community to come together and strengthen relationship, through exploring issues such as the occupation in Palestine, LGBTQ inclusion in Asian Pacific Islander (API) churches, human rights in the Philippines, and establishing affordable housing in the city of Alameda. She also cultivated the leadership of the youth at Buena Vista UMC, supporting their endeavors for outreach, spiritual growth, fellowship, and critical thinking.
She was appointed Lead Pastor at Pine UMC in July 2011. She is co-chair of the CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force, board member of NRJ, and a member of the Annual Conference's Advocacy & Justice Committee. In 2014, Methodist Federation for Social Action California-Nevada Chapter (MFSA) awarded her with the Bishop Leontine T.C. Kelly Peace and Justice Award.
It is through activism that she experiences deeper connection with Jesus Christ. She is interested in exploring how individual healing is connected to social justice and vice versa. Currently in ministry, her emphasis is on empowering community through supporting the deepening of their faith lives in love, transformation, justice, wholeness, and action rooted in the Holy Spirit.
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