Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski
Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski has been an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ denomination since 2009. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and an Elementary Teaching Certificate from Grinnell College in 1999, but left teaching to begin her ministry in 2001 as a full-time youth director for St. John U.C.C. in St. Charles, Missouri. In 2004, she began seminary full-time at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2007. She went on to serve on Missouri Mid-South Conference U.C.C. staff as the Acting Conference Youth Coordinator before accepting a call to her first pastorate at St. Peter’s U.C.C. in Washington, Missouri.
Leah came to Fauntleroy Church at the end of 2015. She describes us as the “unicorn” church, saying that no church is perfect, but Fauntleroy Church comes pretty darn close (we’re perfect for her, at least!) She loves our strong inner-church community and faithful outer-church desire to follow Christ’s teachings toward making the world a better place. We’re a church, she says, that loves to be together, to learn together, to strive for the realm of God on Earth, and to serve as a sort of community center to our neighborhood, empowering relationships and good work to develop. She also appreciates our open and affirming belief that LGBTQIA persons are created beautiful by God (just as they are), as well as our willingness to stand up for all those marginalized by society (in particular immigrants and the homeless).
Pastor Leah, her spouse, Jamie, and their daughter, Naomi, love the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the convenience of living in Seattle paired with the small-town feel of the Fauntleroy area, being near her brother who lives in Redmond, and the caring, future-focused nature of our congregation. They look forward to living into that future with us!