More about the authors

PAUL SPARKS is a Community Organizer and Social Entrepreneur. His place-based expertise and trusted friendships in neighborhoods across North America make him an indispensable consultant to academic institutions, community organizations, and faith-based groups. He has served as a Pastor and Community Developer for 25 years and often consults groups seeking to understand the transition toward more local forms of everyday ecclesial life. He curates a growing faith community in Tacoma, Washington.

Paul speaks for strong resilient relationships within neighborhoods, and brave collaborative links across places. As a Social Entrepreneur he has co-founded three non-profits and a celebrated North American conference:

► Local Life: Coalition for Livable Communities

► Parish Collective: Rooted and Linked for Parish Renewal

► Urban Landscaping: Rapid Place Shaking Collaborations

► Inhabit Conference: Practice. Presence. Place.

Paul is the author of the upcoming book The New Parishioners and is currently an instructor for the innovative Leadership in the New Parish Certificate at the Seattle School of Psychology and Theology.

Paul lives in an urban neighborhood at the heart of Downtown Tacoma, Washington with his co-conspiring wife Elizabeth. They are part of a faith community comprised of friends, artists, and entrepreneurs seeking a common life together with their neighbors.


TIM SOERENS is a social entrepreneur, ministry leader, and co-founding director of the Parish Collective. As co-director of the Parish Collective he convenes ministry leaders, teaches, and consults with organizations seeking human flourishing in particular neighborhoods while also working collaboratively across the city.

He is also the co-founding producer of the annual Inhabit Conference and co-designer and instructor at the new “Leadership in the New Parish” certificate at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where he is adjunct faculty.

Previously, he was founding pastor of Cascade Neighborhood Church where he also served as vice-president of the Cascade Neighborhood Council, founding member of Lake Union Opportunity Alliance, and co-founder of the Cascade Farmer’s Market.

As social entrepreneur he is a founding adviser of Impact Hub-Seattle, an innovative co-working space for change makers in both non-profit and business sectors. He also is the curator for place-based innovation for Social Capital Markets the world’s largest gathering of socially motivated investors and entrepreneurs.

Tim earned a B.A. in Rhetorical Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Divinity from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He lives in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Maria-Jose Soerens and their son Lukas.


DWIGHT FRIESEN brings more than a dozen years of missional pastoral experience to The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. He was the community-curate of an Eastside emerging simple church for more than eleven years; he was ordained by the Christian & Missionary Alliance until surrendering those credentials in solidarity with women seeking ordination. He is a liturgical Anabaptist with progressively Evangelical and emergent sensibilities actively seeking to root his faith practice within place while linking globally with others who are seeking to live into their contexts.

Dwight earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at George Fox University, where his dissertation research focused on the development of a relational hermeneutic toward connective church leadership and ecclesial structure. He earned his master’s degree from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois and his undergraduate degree from Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta. He is active locally and internationally with contextual missional church movements, served for a number of years on the “Faith & Order Commission” of the National Council of Churches, and blogs irregularly at www.dwightfriesen.com. Dwight, his wife Lynette, their son Pascal, and their dog Jack live in the Lake Hills neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington.


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