Rev. Ashley Goff, Director
Ashley has been at Church of the Pilgrims since January 1999 and serves as one of the pastors at Church of the Pilgrims.
In 1995, Ashley completed a year of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) in Atlanta, Georgia, where she became involved in justice ministries with the poor and incarcerated. During the JVC, Ashley lived in community with six others to practice and live out the JVC values of simple lifestyle, justice, spirituality, and community. She worked in Atlanta with poor and homeless people living in emergency shelters.
After JVC, Ashley went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she graduated in 1998. While in NYC, she worked at Broadway United Church of Christ doing visitation to women at Riker's Island and Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. In her last year at Union, Ashley co-facilitated an economic cooperative group for mothers living on public assistance.
Working with The Pilgrimage continues Ashley's commitment to transformative education through reflection and action. Ashley enjoys Pilgrimage groups who are willing to move out of their comfort zone with relationships and allow their lives to become disrupted by the Gospel.
Ashley is ordained in the United Church of Christ and lives in Arlington, VA with her husband, Bob Glennon, who is Director of Social Services at Miriam's Kitchen, a community kitchen located at Western Presbyterian Church in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of D.C.
Rachel Pacheco, Program Manager
Rachel came to DC for seminary after spending two years in Tucson, AZ as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer where she lived in community with other volunteers, practiced living simply, and commuted by bicycle. She worked at the Community Food Bank and with the Presbyterian Campus Ministry at the University of Arizona. Building on seeds planted by a college spring break trip to learn about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in south Florida, Rachel learned about the challenges and inequality of our food system, as well as the harsh reality of the US-Mexico borderlands and the life and death consequences of our trade and immigration policies.
It is because of these and other experiences that Rachel is committed to the work of the Pilgrimage. She loves challenging volunteers of all ages to see new layers to the world around us in the hope that they will use this new vision to work with others toward equality, justice, and healing in their home communities.
David Harris, Poet-in-Residence
David is a forty-year-old native of Washington who grew up in suburban Maryland. A few years ago David became homeless due to untreated health problems. David describes this as the darkest experience of his life, but it led to many positive experiences: David was soon recruited for the Speakers' Bureau of the National Coalition for the Homeless; the Speakers' Bureau educates the public about homelessness by telling personal stories. This is what led David to become involved with the Pilgrimage.
Another positive result of homelessness was David discovering Miriam's Kitchen , a soup kitchen in downtown Washington. Miriam's provides programs fostering art and creative writing among homeless people. David had been a poet while growing up, and Miriam's helped him rediscover poetry. In the fall of 2002, the staff at The Pilgrimage suggested that David use his gift for writing to help Pilgrimage volunteers reflect on their service. David has been doing writing workshops at the Pilgrimage ever since; David describes his Pilgrimage experiences as a source of learning and great joy for many volunteers and himself.
David's homelessness ended on October 6th, 2004. He has a nice apartment, conveniently within walking distance of The Pilgrimage, and continues to be active in working with the National Coalition and doing workshops for The Pilgrimage.
In May 2009 David became a published author with his first book, Street Corner Majesty: Poems by David Harris. Street Corner Majesty tells of David's story of homelessness through his own poetry. Street Corner Majesty can be purchased at AuthorHouse.