Brandi S. Sanders is a singer, preacher, and teacher who has a passion for ministry to women. Born and raised in Chicago, Brandi has always served her community. She taught elementary school in Chicago for 5 years, has served several churches, and has worked as chaplain in multiple hospitals. Brandi currently serves as the Manager of Global Personnel for Serve Globally (ask her for the backstory), one of the mission priorities of the Evangelical Covenant Church. She works with global personnel all over the world as they prepare to return to the States, as they work towards credentialing, and most recently, as they navigate this global pandemic. As a young adult, Brandi discovered a passion for preaching God’s word. Brandi is an advocate for faith and forgiveness. Many people are familiar with Brandi’s singing gifts–she has been singing for as long as she can remember! Brandi is currently exploring other gifts and finding new hobbies. Near the end of 2020, she joined a virtual workout group and now appreciates being super sweaty at the end of a good workout. Brandi and her husband Leslie have 2 daughters, Sarabi and Rhyan.
Ciera is a Deeply Rooted alumn; she performed her spoken-word poetry for us in May 2017 and November 2018. She is a courageous, authentic person who writes deeply about her faith, doubts, discoveries, and struggles. Check her out here!
We have finalized all the speakers and most of the workshops!! We’re super excited to introduce our speakers to you. Each of them brings something unique to the table and we know they will complement each other well. We’re still waiting on 3 titles for the social justice workshops. We expanded this year and added another social justice workshop!
Previously she worked in healthcare consulting and as an Associate Pastor of Willow Chicago, serving as a part of the teaching team and overseeing all social justice, community group, communications, and care ministries.
Tracey Bianchi is the Worship and Teaching pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook. She is also a featured writer and speaker for MOPS International and an editorial advisor for Gifted For Leadership. Her writing has appeared in Leadership Journal, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and more.
“What I need from the Lord and what I bring to my waiting and what you bring to your waiting is unique to your story, to your baggage, to your sin patterns. And what God is unraveling in you in your waiting is unique to you.”
Deeply Rooted is 3 weeks from today and we wanted to give you a sneak peek of what to expect.
Kathy Khang is a witty, intelligent, profound woman who has the ability to engage her audience on their heart level. She brings an energy and wisdom that inspires, challenges, and encourages. and connects the Gospel to her listeners in a remarkably accessible style. Which is why we asked her to return and be our opening speaker!
This is Kathy Khang speaking on Rest at Deeply Rooted in November 2016.
Joy and I (Tammy) are in full swing prepping for our next Gathering on November 10th and 11th. We’ve opened registration and can’t wait to see who is joining us!! Here are a few things you need to know:
- We have housing!! If you are coming from the suburbs or another state and don’t mind sleeping in a church camp retreat type setting (think bunk beds and sleeping bags), please stay the weekend. It is free, but donations are accepted. You can join the Jesus People community for breakfast on Saturday or pick up something at Everybody’s Coffee in the Wilson Abbey building. There is limited free overnight street parking or for $12 you can park in the hospital parking lot two blocks away.
- We have added a new workshop track: In addition to our faith and art tracks we now have a social justice track! One of our workshops will be on the history of homelessness in Chicago and the other one will be announced soon. Each track has two workshops, you can choose one track or mix them up!
- We have a pay what you can option. We don’t want financial stress to keep anyone away. On the registration page you will see that option, just enter what you can afford. There will also be scholarships available. If you have the means to pay for someone else in need, there is an option to give a scholarship.
- Our art workshops require a supply fee. We want to offer the most engaging, challenging, and creative workshops we can which means that a supply fee is necessary, and you will take something home to remind you of how the Lord met you at Deeply Rooted. Supply fee for each art workshop is $10, payable at registration online.
- We offer a homemade lunch with the staff and speakers!! We want to give you the opportunity to spend time getting to know us and meet the speakers. In order to make it cozy and intimate (and because the room is only so big) we have to limit the number of participants. The cost is $12 and you can pay online when you register.
If you have further questions, please fill out this form:
Thoughts on Deeply Rooted, May 2016, by Diane Buell
Deeply Rooted is a gathering of women striving to break chains of oppression and lift each other up in the name of the Lord. The speakers are of excellent caliber, powerful in their messages and compassionate in their hearts. I was moved by the telling of their stories as women who have experienced social injustice and see where problems of power lie.
The speakers and worship team do not seem to just sit around hoping things change; they have spent their lives working for a difference both in themselves and their world around them. I had an encounter with Jesus that night as I worshipped, and felt the Holy spirit say: Listen and then act.
The Scriptures say to always encourage one another and this is what Deeply Rooted did for me. The evening encouraged me to stand firm in what I believe. I’m looking forward to the next Deeply Rooted in November.
Diane Buell lived at Jesus People USA from 1994-1995. She comes back every spring and fall for Deeply Rooted—and is always given a warm welcome by her old friends.
June Felix joined us at our May 2016 event and shared so much wisdom with us. We are thankful for her encouraging and challenging words.
“This journey into exploring the unknown began last year, late in July when my mother passed away. Her passing left me with so many unanswered questions. So for ten months now I’ve been dealing with the fact that these are questions that simply won’t be answered—the answers died with her—as her mother’s did before her. She didn’t do this on purpose, but she passed down the mystery to her children. It was her legacy.”
We have our lineup finalized and are working on the details of the schedule for our November 4-5 gathering. Joy and I have that squeee! feeling, like, We’re really doing this?! Again?!
We are so excited when we get to brainstorm together how to bless, encourage, and challenge the women who will be attending.
I met Michelle Van Loon at the Festival of Faith and Writing. She squeeed all over me when we were introduced, telling me how much she loved Jesus People USA and our ministries. I told her about Deeply Rooted, and she gushed when she said, “If you EVER need a speaker, please let me know. I would LOVE to be a part of that.”
So here’s Michelle, and she’s a part of it! She is a woman who tells the stories of “spiritual ragamuffins, rebels and refugees.” I’m sure all of us fit into at least one of those categories right now, or will soon enough. You won’t want to miss her in November.
She is the author of four books, has contributed to several devotional projects and is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s popular Her.meneutics blog.
I have a contributor blog called The Mudroom and Michelle is today’s featured writer. You can read the first part of her post here, and click the link if you want to read more. If you like what you read, consider following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, leaving a comment, or subscribing.
Requiem For a BFF by Michelle Van Loon
Being the new girl in 8th grade was like walking over hot coals every day. All the other kids were a part of established cliques. Hormones and insecurity are a double rip tide that pulls under all but the strongest and most resilient of us during middle school.
It was a life preserver to have Karen draw me into her circle of friends during a ski trip. Her clique wasn’t “cheerleader popular”, but they were a pretty cool group. As time went on, we cycled between being besties and drifting from each to connect with others in the intense friendships that characterize adolescence. Karen and I found our first bond in our respective difficult home lives and our shared weed smoking habits, then as each of us came to newfound faith in our Rescuer, Jesus.
When I got married at the end of my sophomore year in college, Karen and I learned that the bond of true friendship was elastic in nature. Our lives went in different directions for a while, and our rubber-band bond stretched farther than it ever had before.
Our lives were different for a while, as I focused on married life and then starting a family, and she traveled abroad and finished college. We fell again into closer orbit after she and her husband started a family. We were together in the trenches of parenting, and our kids grew up spending lots of time together. Even after my family moved a couple of hours away midway through our kids’ respective childhoods, Karen and I stayed tethered to one another by phone call and visit.
Want to read more? Click here.
You can also read more of Michelle’s writing on her blog: Pilgrim’s Road Trip.
Anita Scott performed three breathtakingly beautiful poems for us, and you can watch them here!