President: Maynard Moore, Ph.D.
Maynard served on the host committee staff for the “Science and the Spiritual Quest
II” Conference held at Harvard in October 2001. sponsored by the Center for
Theology and the Natural Sciences at Berkeley. He has also been a participant in
several “science and religion” symposia through past involvement with the John
Templeton Foundation and the Metanexus Institute in Philadelphia. Through the
International Consortium on Religion and Ecology, Maynard participated in the
preparation work group for the “Future Visions” consultation in New York City in
2000, co-sponsored by the State of the World Forum and the New York Interfaith
Center. He supported Bawa Jain, Secretary General of the Millennium World Peace
Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, and assisted Dr. Douglas Johnston,
Director of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, in planning the
Maynard has been involved in the science and religion dialogue for about ten years,
through the DoSER program coordinated at AAAS, and also in an on-going dialogue
group in the Washington Theological Union. During 2001-2002 he coordinated a series
of sixteen formal sessions at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in
Washington DC that involved prominent scientists, including seven Nobel Laureates,
among them Dr. Charles Townes, Dr. Julius Axelrod, and Dr. William Phillips.
Currently Maynard serves on the Board of Directors for the InterFaith Conference of
Metropolitan Washington DC, one of the nation’s oldest such organizations, now
embracing eleven different faith traditions in the Nation’s Capital. In addition, Maynard
maintains active memberships in the Center for Process Theology at Claremont
Graduate Seminary in California, the Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy
at Wesley Seminary, and the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. He teaches a
regular Sunday morning class in Science & Religion at MMUMC in Washington. He
has completed work for two graduate degrees from S.M.U., an M. A. from the
University of Chicago Divinity School, and the Ph.D. in Higher Education / Adult
Education at the Union Graduate Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Secretary: Rick Barr
Rick Barr is the founder and coordinator of The Montgomery County Science and
Religion Discussion Group which he started in November, 2000. The group has met
continually since that time. Rick has participated in a three year Local Societies Grant
from Metanexus in Philadelphia with the Washington Theological Consortium and has
given talks on science and religion throughout Montgomery County. Rick has a BA in
history from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a Masters of Science in Technology of
Management from American University and earned an MA in 2015 Systematic
Theology from at Wesley Theological Seminary. Rick spent twenty years with Fannie
Mae as a risk manager, auditor and internal consultant prior to his retirement in 2007.
Jennifer Secki Shields
Jennifer Secki Shields earned her B.A. (major field: biology) at Case Western Reserve
University in Cleveland , Ohio . As a graduate student at the University of Virginia she
studied evolutionary biology, conducted field research, and served as an Award-
winning graduate teaching assistant and a graduate teaching consultant. In several
years of teaching and doing outreach programs, she often found herself answering
"God questions" from folks who wanted to know how she could be a Christian and
study science. In 2000, she became a Director of Christian Education and, since then,
has focused a great deal on teaching about the relationship between science and faith.
Since 2004 she has served as the chairperson for the annual Blackstone Seminar for
Science, Theology, Ethics & Ministry, an endowed program at the Virginia United
Methodist Assembly Center . She hosts The Nexus at Christ Crossman, where faith
and science meet for conversation. Jennifer resides in Falls Church , Virginia with her
husband and young family.
While living in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Kent Weaver is a member of Metropolitan
Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington, DC where he assists Maynard
Moore with a Science and Religion class. He is also active in the Montgomery
County Science and Religion Discussion Group that meets at Grace UMC in
Gaithersburg, MD. At various times he has been involved in a wide range of local
church lay-leadership positions. Currently he manages the provision of evening meals
for Metropolitan House, the men’s homeless shelter housed at Metropolitan Memorial
UMC, while also providing overall coordination of a number of other feeding programs
at MMUMC and the primary management of a service project website for the
Metropolitan Memorial Cooperative Parish which includes Metropolitan Memorial
UMC, St. Luke’s UMC, and Wesley UMC within Washington, DC. He also serves on
the board of directors for Metropolitan House and the St. Luke’s Mission Center.
Prior to retirement in 2009, Kent spent 40 years with the Montgomery County Public
Schools where he served as a high school math teacher, special education teacher,
middle and high school counselor, high school counseling department chair, high
school counseling specialist within the MCPS central office, and finally as supervisor
of school counseling services for MCPS.
Rev. William Maisch
Reverend William C. (Bill) Maisch was born in Washington, DC. He graduated from
University of Mississippi with bachelor degrees in physics and chemistry, Central
Michigan University with a master’s degree in management and administration, Air
Command and Staff College, Air War College, and Wesley Theological Seminary with
a master of divinity degree. A retired Air Force pilot, Bill flew combat aircraft, was an
instructor pilot, and taught advanced aerodynamics at the Air Force’s combat flight
instructor course. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and has
served as senior pastor in four episcopal appointments in the Baltimore-Washington
Annual Conference and served on the Conference Board of Discipleship. He is married
to Jill, who is a middle school science teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland. Bill
and his wife, Jill, have six adult children.
Dr. Sy Garte earned his Ph.D.in biochemistry and BS in Chemistry from the City
University of New York. He has been a Professor of Public Health and Environmental
Health Sciences at New York University, Rutgers University, and the University of
Pittsburgh. In addition to over 200 scientific publications in genetics, molecular
epidemiology, cancer research and other areas, Dr. Garte is the author of four books,
and of articles in Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith (PSCF) and God and
Nature. He recently retired from a senior administrative position at the NIH, and is
now President of the Natural Philosophy Institute, where he is working on a John
Templeton Foundation grant to study the theory of gene regulatory networks. Dr.
Garte is Vice President of the Washington DC Chapter of the ASA, and a member of
the John Templeton Foundation Board of Advisors.
Richard M. Ballew, Ph.D.
Richard (Ricky) Ballew graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of
Science degree in chemistry and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a
Ph.D. in chemistry (physical). He has worked in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical
industries at companies including CuraGen, Celera Genomics, Covance, MedImmune,
and AstraZeneca, where he has held positions in technology development, laboratory
automation, and information technology, as an individual contributor and in
management. He is a Certified Lay Servant in the Central Maryland District of the
Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and
currently serves the congregation of Memorial UMC in Poolesville, Maryland as its lay
leader. His wife Helen is a seminary student and a certified candidate for ordained
ministry in The United Methodist Church.
Prior Board Members:
Rev. Angela Maves
Angela was raised in Yorkshire, England. Working in advertising in London, she met
George who is from Washington DC and moved here permanently in 1984. She first
attended Foundry UMC, then moved to Miami, Florida (William Jennings Bryan UMC)
and later attended Church of the Saviour upon returning to DC. She graduated from
Wesley Seminary in 2006 and has served as a chaplain at The George Washington
University Hospital for twelve years. She also serves as a Deacon at Dumbarton UMC
where she has been for fifteen years. Angela has been interested in Native American
Indian culture for thirty years, most recently writing and filming with a Dakota Elder
in South Dakota on the preservation of language and culture at a petroglyph site in
Minnesota. She enjoys reading and discussing theology, and she is especially interested
in the connections between physics and spirituality. Angela and George have one
daughter, Emily, a senior in mechanical engineering in Detroit.
Vice President 2011-2014: Reverend Jo Woo Park
Reverend Jong Woo (J.W.) Park was born in Seoul, Korea. He graduated from
Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. with a Master of Divinity in 1993.
He is married to HiRho Y. Park, who is an ordained minister of the United Methodist
Church, Director of Continuing Formation for Ministry at the General Board of Higher
Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. They have been blessed with
one daughter Felicia Y. Park.
During his ministry, Rev. Park has co-authored Witness from the Middle: Korean-
American Pastors in Non-Korean Local Churches in the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Park continues to be very active in the United Methodist Church, serving on the
following Conference level committees: Scholarship, Trustees, Board of Ordained
Ministry, Mentoring Pastor for Probationary Members, Vice Chairperson on Mission
and Personnel. He has also been the president of the National Association of Korean
United Methodist pastors in cross-racial appointment. Finally, Rev. Park has been
elected as a General Conference delegate for 2012.
President 2008 - 2011: Rev. Dr. Walter Shropshire Jr.
Rev. Dr. Walter Shropshire Jr. is a United Methodist pastor having retired in 2003
from full time ministry at Foundry United Methodist church in Washington, D.C.
where he served for twelve years as Minister of the Parish, an associate pastor
position on a large staff serving a 1400 member congregation. He worked for 32
years as a Ph.D. research physicist at the Smithsonian Institution before retiring as
Assistant Director of the Environmental research Center in 1986. He graduated from
Wesley Theological Seminary in 1990 with a Master of Divinity degree, summa cum
laude. He won Templeton Awards for Teaching Sci/Rel classes in 1996, 1999 and
2001. He became a fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in 1995.
Vice President 2008 - 20011 Dr. Tony Gattis;
Dr. Gattis was one of five founding board members, served as Vice-President for
Organizational Development from 2009 until July of 2011.
He also re-designed the website in 2010 and served as webmaster from May of 2010
until July of 2011.
Treasurer 2008-2011: Dick Rhorer
Dick Rhorer is a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg,
Maryland, where the Montgomery County Science and Religion Discussion Group has
been meeting for eight years. Dick is on the Baltimore-Washington Conference
Commission on Archives and History.