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Chaplains in Residence 2020-21
A Buddhist chaplain seeking ordination in the Zen Soto tradition under Buddhist teacher and socially engaged activist Roshi Joan Halifax. His work as a chaplain teaches him every day that the only question that matters is, "Did I love well and was I loved?" Andreas answered the call to service four years ago, leaving a ten year corporate career as a researcher studying the impact of physical space design on work performance. As a self-taught photographer and filmmaker Andreas volunteered as a life legacy storyteller for DC Capital Caring Hospice and he was also commissioned by Joseph's House Hospice in Washington DC. Andreas interned for two years at Children's National Hospital in Washington DC and sits on the Children's National Ethics committee. He graduated from a two year interfaith chaplaincy program at Upaya Institute & Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM. Andreas is a Greek native and as a refuge himself has a special interest on the objectification of suffering and restoring humanness through storytelling. He completed his first unit of CPE at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. Andreas holds a Doctorate in Knowledge Management from George Washington University School of Engineering & Management, an MBA from St. John's University NY, and a B.Sc. in Computer Science & Accounting from the University of Manchester, UK.
An ordained Lutheran minister (NALC), Carter Askren served as a parish pastor for twelve years before completing a hospice chaplain internship and residency at Frederick Health Hospice in Frederick, Maryland. Carter earned the Master of Theological Studies from Duke University Divinity School and the Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia (BSHE) and completed his initial CPE internship at Duke University Medical Center.
Olufolahanmi A. Omotayo Coker
An Adventist, born and raised in The Apostolic Church, where he was ordained into eldership in 2009. Earned his Masters of Divinity from Liberty University School of Divinity, Lynchburg, VA, in 2013. Baccalaureate from Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, Nigeria, in 2001. Started CPE adventure with the Adventist Healthcare System, Rockville, MD, in 2019. A 13 year veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. Omotayo is married with two children.
Enters the residency program with three years of clinical hospital experience. After completing his Masters of Divinity at Vanderbilt in 2015, he relocated to Baltimore to work for a church to help run the children's and community engagement programs. Andy's clinical assignments are within the Neurology units and Intensive Care, HIV/AIDS Infectious Disease, General Medicine and Easting Disorder/Mood Disorder. Seeking ordination in the Disciples of Christ denomination, Andy is passionate about Environment Justice and Disability Rights and how these issues integrate into patient care. Andy and his wife are proud residents of Baltimore City and remain very active in civic life outside of work.
Israel Alejandro Mejia Porras
Is originally from Colombia, South America. He is an ELCA Ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament. Besides his Theological studies at the Lutheran School of Theology in Bogota, Colombia, and the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oakland, CA, he has obtained a college degree in Music-Choral Conducting. Rev. Mejia moved to the United States invited by the ELCA South Carolina Synod to serve as a Mission Developer for the Latino Community. Rev. Mejia has been deeply involved as an advocate and activist for the LGBTQIA+, Latino and immigrant communities. In Colombia, Rev. Mejia was a music educator at school and college. He worked for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia. He also worked with children and youth who were victims or living in communities at risk and worked extensively in programs designed for the benefit and wellbeing of single mothers, victims of violence, refugees, and development of leadership in communities at risk, among others, using music education as a healing art.
Born in Lorain, Ohio, of immigrant parents from Puerto Rico, Jesús is the second of fourteen children. At 14, he entered the seminary and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1981. During his 30 years as a member of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, he served as a missionary priest in Mexico for 14 years. Feeling a call to be married as well as to minister outside the confines of the church, he requested dispensation in 2005. Jesús has a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago, a Masters of Divinity in Theology from The Washington Theological Union, and a Masters in Biblical Studies from the Pontifical University of Mexico. He became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach i n2005, through the Coach training Institute. In 2005, he met and fell in love with Leigh Kramer; they were married in 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland. He worked for 12 years with The House of Ruth Maryland, where he coordinated the domestic violence prevention and outreach services to Baltimore's Latino community. Currently, he serves as the Chaplain Resident for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Received his Bachelors in Torah Law and continued on to his Masters in Torah Law at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore Maryland. He is from the Hassidic sect of Orthodox Judaism. He completed two previous units of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and an additional unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He was born in Jerusalem Israel and relocated with his family to Baltimore Maryland at the age of 8 and is fluent in English, Hebrew and Yiddish.