The Rev. Celeste Kennel-Shank is a bivocational pastor and award-winning journalist. Her first book is What You Sow Is a Bare Seed: A Countercultural Christian Community during Five Decades of Change. She is past president of the Associated Church Press and a contributing editor of the Christian Century magazine. Her work has also been published in Sojourners, Faith and Leadership, and the Washington Post, among other publications.

Raised in an ecumenical worshiping community in Washington, D.C., she is now ordained in Mennonite Church USA. She pastors an emerging community of faith, Moveable Feast, and co-leads a garden ministry, New Horizons Garden, in East Garfield Park (above). She is also a chaplain to people who are struggling with addiction and other serious illness, and who lack housing.

She is married to Josiah A. Groff and in their free time they enjoy exploring parks and Chicago neighborhoods with their dog, Grendel. 


University of Chicago Divinity School

Master of Divinity 2013

Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University

Master of Science in Journalism 2007

Goshen College

Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies 2004

D.C. Public Schools

Pre-kindergarten through high school diploma 2001