Rev. Ashley Goff, Director
Ashley has been at Church of the Pilgrims since January 1999 and serves as one of the pastors at Church of the Pilgrims.
In 1995, Ashley completed a year of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) in Atlanta, Georgia, where she became involved in justice ministries with the poor and incarcerated. During the JVC, Ashley lived in community with six others to practice and live out the JVC values of simple lifestyle, justice, spirituality, and community. She worked in Atlanta with poor and homeless people living in emergency shelters.
After JVC, Ashley went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she graduated in 1998. While in NYC, she worked at Broadway United Church of Christ doing visitation to women at Riker's Island and Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. In her last year at Union, Ashley co-facilitated an economic cooperative group for mothers living on public assistance.
Working with The Pilgrimage continues Ashley's commitment to transformative education through reflection and action. Ashley enjoys Pilgrimage groups who are willing to move out of their comfort zone with relationships and allow their lives to become disrupted by the Gospel.
Ashley is ordained in the United Church of Christ and lives in Arlington, VA with her husband, Bob Glennon, a social worker who is coordinator of DC Department of Mental Health homeless services, and their three children, Sam, Maddie, and Ryan.
Karina Saunders, Program Manager
Karina graduated from Davidson College in 2008 with a BA degree in Spanish. Originially from New York City, Karina has extensive leadership experience working with service learning groups through the Youth Service Opportunity Project and Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools.
Karina has her own transformative experiences in Haiti and on the U.S./Mexico border as experiential learning opened her up to a different world view and set of values.
While at Davidson, Karina was active with the Davidson United Methodist Church. Before coming to The Pilgrimage, Karina worked at Thrive DC, a local non profit prevent and end homelessness by providing vulnerable individuals with a comprehensive range of services to help stabilize their lives.
David Harris, Poet-in-Residence
David is a forty-year-old native of Washington who grew up in suburban Maryland. A few years ago David became homeless due to untreated health problems. David describes this as the darkest experience of his life, but it led to many positive experiences: David was soon recruited for the Speakers' Bureau of the National Coalition for the Homeless; the Speakers' Bureau educates the public about homelessness by telling personal stories. This is what led David to become involved with the Pilgrimage.
Another positive result of homelessness was David discovering Miriam's Kitchen, a soup kitchen in downtown Washington. Miriam's provides programs fostering art and creative writing among homeless people. David had been a poet while growing up, and Miriam's helped him rediscover poetry. In the fall of 2002, the staff at The Pilgrimage suggested that David use his gift for writing to help Pilgrimage volunteers reflect on their service. David has been doing writing workshops at the Pilgrimage ever since; David describes his Pilgrimage experiences as a source of learning and great joy for many volunteers and himself.
David's homelessness ended on October 6th, 2004. He has a nice apartment, conveniently within walking distance of The Pilgrimage, and continues to be active in working with the National Coalition and doing workshops for The Pilgrimage.
In May 2009 David became a published author with his first book, Street Corner Majesty: Poems by David Harris. Street Corner Majesty tells of David's story of homelessness through his own poetry. Street Corner Majesty can be purchased at AuthorHouse.