Author of Mother God
Born in South Korea and raised in Iowa, Teresa had a brief stint as an ESL teacher in Japan, then landed in Houston, teaching early elementary and earning a Master of Education from the University of Houston. As a Vanderbilt Divinity School and Disciples Divinity House student in Nashville, one of her most unexpected moments was reading Schleiermacher at 5 a.m. while pumping milk for her 4-week-old infant (don’t ask her what she remembers about Schleiermacher now.) Rev. Teresa serves as a hospice chaplain, occasional preacher, and children’s minister. She and her spouse have two adorable and exhausting toddlers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to reach out!
Who do you see as the audience for Mother God?
I see the main audience as progressive Christians searching for gender inclusive language for God, as well as those interested in a more expansive understanding of the Divine. I hope Mother God also finds an audience in people who identify as “spiritual but not religious,” those seeking ways to talk to children about sacred and holy topics, feminists, children’s ministers, Sunday School and all kinds of parents.
What was your inspiration for this book?
This is a book I wish I had growing up as a young girl in a conservative Christian context. I watched for years as my male peers were nurtured to lead in the church while I was expected to stay silent. As a woman minister who found her way to another denominational tradition I have searched for children’s picture books that represent God as more than an old white man with few results. Finally, as a mother of two young girls, I hope this book instills in them a fuller and richer understanding of God, and the assurance that they are also made in God’s holy image.
Why will people want to read your book?
I believe people will want to read this book because it presents images of God that they desperately need for their spiritual life. Children’s literature has only recently expanded its range of racial and cultural diversity; Christian picture books should be leaders, and not followers in this. In academia, feminist, Black, Womanist, Mujerista, and liberation theologies have and are creating frameworks for understanding God and theology; this children’s book follows in this vein. This book presents God with diverse expansive metaphors that are not new, but found within holy scripture.
What do you hope readers will discover?
I hope readers of all gender identities will discover they are made in God’s image, and that God’s image includes feminine and gender-expansive identities. The children’s picture book world has come to understand that representation matters in fostering literary appreciation, interest, and connecting readers to the text, themselves, and the world. I hope that readers will find new and meaningful images that broaden their understanding of God, their own belovedness, and their work in this world. I believe that when we identify God in feminine imagery, in disabilities, and in Black and brown skin, we discover that we too must love people made in God’s expansive image. I hope readers are inspired by this book to create communities of justice, equity, and peace for all of God’s children