Melanie Weldon-Soiset loves languages and books. Her parents tell her she delighted in speaking her own secret language as a baby, and Melanie’s teachers often had to tell her to “shush!” during class. Thankfully, this native Georgian found a productive way to engage her linguistic interests by studying Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. Melanie also loves opposites, and tries to find deeper paradoxes in them. Perhaps this craving to connect disparate things contributed to her calling to China. Along with her husband Brian, Melanie moved to Hangzhou, China in 2011 to study another language, Mandarin. A passion for paradox drives her Methodist thirst for theology, so Melanie earned her Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., in 2010. She put this degree to good use as the Director of Christian Education at Western Presbyterian Church from 2010-2011. In Shanghai, she flexed her MDiv muscles as the Teaching Pastor at a nondenominational church of 2000 immigrants. With members from over 100 nations and six continents, the church provided daily challenges and joys in multicultural ministry!
After almost five years in China, Melanie returned to the United States, and to D.C., in 2016. She is thrilled to serve as the Fellowship Program Director at Sojourners, and is simultaneously pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. Her hobbies include preparing fusion recipes, poetry writing, and contemplating apt alliteration while walking on nearby greenways.
Posts By This Author
Letters: Fostering Conversation
Thank you for David Gushee’s thoughts about sexuality in January 2015’s “Tackling the Hard Questions” and “Disputable Matters.” His articles are refreshingly honest and humble, even while speaking truth. I appreciate the references to authors writing about the conversation between pastoral reality and scriptural interpretation. Both need to be taken seriously, and these articles do that.
Seminary graduates share what they learned about God's call to social justice.
What's in a Name?
Our current practice in the U.S. actually reflects the earlier legal reality of coverture: In the process of the "two becoming one flesh," the wife lost her rights to property, legal representation in court, and even her public identity as her husband became the sole representative for the family. This combination of identities (or, rather, the wife becoming lost in her husband's identity) led to wives taking their husbands' last names. For me, losing my surname would have represented silent assent to this oppressive practice.
How I've Learned to Talk About Race
The Truth of Tax Transparency Will Set Us Free
Balancing Stillness and Action
Ahead of Sudan Vote, Concern over Interference by Lord's Resistance Army
Clear Benchmarks for Sudan
TIAA-Cref Divests from Sudan Oil Interests
Advent, Mary, and Sudan
The season of Advent always invites me to contemplate many facets of Christianity: the contrast between what God extols versus the world's values, the power of patience, and the strength of hope. While important in all times and places, each of these themes can especially speak this year to the current situation in Sudan.
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