For the last year, I’ve been working as Co-Director of the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County alongside Dwight Wilson. This summer, Dwight decided to retire from his Co-Director role and has instead joined our IRT Board. Beginning this month, I am now the part-time Director of IRT. I thought I’d share the announcement today. This also gives me the occasion to lift up the vision of this wonderful organization. Even as we go virtual, I think we’re going to have a meaningful program year.
Image Description: Photo 1) Renee Roederer stands on a street with the fallen, purple leaves of jacaranda trees in Pasadena, CA, Photo 2) Dwight Wilson and Renee Roederer sit side by side as Co-Directors at the First Presbyterian Church Mission Bazaar, Photo 3) Renee Roederer stands near a meadow with a Colorado mountain in the distance. She’s wearing a purple shirt that says “Epilepsy Awareness: Love”, Photo 4) Renee is gathered in her living room with members of the Young Adult Interspiritual Community.
The Rev. Renee Roederer serves as the Director of the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County. Keeping our values of respect, compassion, and dignified appreciation at the center, she believes strongly in the power of interfaith dialogue. “For 25 years, the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County has hosted transformative conversations throughout our communities,” she says. “These transformative conversations have invited us to deepen interfaith friendships, gain mutual understanding, and discuss the pressing issues of our day. When we come together in shared dialogue, we catalyze meaningful impacts for Washtenaw County. In this vision, we form relationships and take action for collective change.”
Renee Roederer says her personal motto is, “Connection changes everything.” Describing herself as a relational network weaver, she prioritizes community formation with the fundamental conviction that social connection bolsters interdependence, care, and transformative action. She believes that IRT serves as a tremendous community platform to deepen spirituality and form interfaith friendships with lasting impact.
Renee Roederer grew up in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, a suburb near Louisville, Kentucky on the Indiana/Kentucky border. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Louisville and a Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister, she has served Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations in Austin, Texas; Pasadena, California, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. In these intergenerational communities, she worked as a campus minister and pastor for young adults. She keeps in touch regularly with alumni who have moved all over the country, and more than a decade later, they are still building a network of kinship together.
For the last four years, Renee Roederer has served as a Community Chaplain within Washtenaw County as commissioned by the Presbytery of Detroit. In that role, she is the organizer for Michigan Nones and Dones, a community for people who are religiously unaffiliated or who have departed from organized, institutional religious communities. Together, they talk about faith, spirituality, and larger meaning over shared conversation and friendship. As a Community Chaplain, Renee Roederer also serves as the founding mentor for the Young Adult Interspiritual Community which includes students and recent alumni from the University of Michigan who represent a variety of spiritual backgrounds.
Renee Roederer is an advocate for Disability Justice and also works on the staff of the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. In that role, she practices relational care and community formation as she provides support and educational resources to individuals and families with epilepsy. As a trauma survivor and as a person who had epilepsy in childhood, her own experiences of disability positively shape her identity and vision. She brings values of disability culture, such as inclusion, interdependence, accessibility, and community care, into our life together at IRT.
In a time when there is so much upheaval and promise in our world, Renee Roederer is grateful to journey with our IRT Board, faith leaders, community partners, and every participant in our dialogues. Together, we will grow in relationship, action, and mutual support.