Clergy & Staff

The Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, Pastor

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Pastor-Lynne

Born and raised in Ohio- mostly Kent, OH.

Obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Kent State University with duel major of Special Education- Behavior Disorders/Emotionally Disturbed and Elementary Education, 1976.

Taught special education for five years in Ohio and earned a Master’s of Education in Counseling also at Kent State University, 1980.

Served as an Elementary Teacher Trainer in Western Samoa in the Peace Corps for three years.

Elementary School Counselor in Southern California for two years.

Graduate of the School of Theology at Claremont, CA with a Master’s of Divinity, 1989.

Served as pastor of Immanuel UCC in south central Los Angeles for eight years. (bi-lingual, African-American/ Latino congregation.)

Currently serving as the pastor of Ainsworth United Church of Christ, a multiracial, multicultural, open & affirming, just peace, accessible congregation in northeast Portland since 1996. Under her leadership, Ainsworth United Church of Christ was given a service award from EMO for housing the HIV Day Center and supporting their work. Ainsworth UCC also received the first Local Church Justice Award from the UCC national Justice & Witness Ministries in 2001.

During the course of her ministry Lynne has concentrated in multiracial, multicultural work, urban ministries and ecumenical and interfaith ministries for which she has written articles and has presented various workshops and panels. In Los Angeles, Lynne was involved in gang intervention and prevention work, parenting, community organizing, transitional housing development, and justice advocacy.

In the United Church of Christ, Lynne has served on a variety of boards and committees. Early in her ordained ministry served as President of UCC Council for Hispanic Ministries of the Pacific, 1989-1994, and served on the National Council for Hispanic Ministries.  She served on the Board of Directors for the UCC Board for Homeland Ministries, Local Church Ministries Team and Justice & Witness Ministries and served on Finance Committees for each.  Lynne also has served on a variety of committees and teams with the local conference, and recently served as Moderator of the Central Pacific Conference and on the Board of Directors.

Lynne has served on a variety of ecumenical boards and coalitions.  She is a past President of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Board of Directors.  She has participated with Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA), and was the preacher for AMA’s Interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Service and received the AMA’s Bridge Builder Award in 2002.  Lynne was a founding member and served as co-chair of the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland.  She serves on Jobs With Justice Workers Rights Board, worked with Ceasefire Oregon and has participated in a variety of groups concerned with racial and economic justice in Portland.  She also has been called upon to speak at peace and justice actions and rallies and lobbying at the State Capitol. Lynne has been involved with Jubilee Oregon, and went with Jubilee USA to the World Social Forum in Kenya and to Zambia.

Lynne is active in advocacy for children, for education and health care. She has also been a spokesperson and advocate for LGBTQ rights, racial justice, workers rights, and peace making. She was arrested twice for civil disobedience, first in support of workers’ right to organize and then for peace-making action.

She is married to the Rev. Héctor E. López; has two children, three grandchildren and one cat.

The Rev. Cecil Prescod, Minister of Faith Formation

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CecilThe Rev. Cecil Charles Prescod is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a brother in the Order of Corpus Christi, an evangelical catholic religious order. Cecil serves as Director of Faith Formation at Ainsworth United Church of Christ in Portland, OR.

He holds a B.A in Philosophy from Haverford College (PA), and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

Cecil has been active in social justice issues since his youth.  Among the organizations that he has worked with are Ministers for Racial Social and Economic Justice (MRSJ) and United Black Christians in the United Church of Christ, Mackenzie River Gathering Foundation, the Urban League of Portland, Public Policy Committee of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Love Makes A Family, Inc, Brother to Brother, the American Friends Service Committee, KBOO Radio, and PFLAG Portland Black Chapter. the Urban League of Portland, and PFLAG-Portland Black Chapter.

In 2002 Cecil received the Russell Peyton Human Rights Award from the Metropolitan Human Rights Center.  In 2012 Cecil was was recognized as one of the Queer Heroes NW by the Q Center and the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN).

Cynthia Butts, Music Director

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With a background in music education and choral direction, Cynthia Butts leads the Ainsworth choir with enthusiasm, sharing her love for sacred choral music. She is known throughout the Northwest as an outstanding soloist.

Cynthia offers a diverse and inclusive music program at Ainsworth encouraging young and old, novice and experienced singers and musicians to participate in making music. If you are interested in sharing your gift of music please contact Cynthia.

 

 

Dan Gaynor, Accompanist

A native of Portland, pianist Dan Gaynor studied at Mt. Hood Community College and Portland State University with teachers including Randy Porter, Dave Barduhn, Darrell Grant and Glen Moore. He played with many musicians including Nancy King, Kelly Joe Phelps, Alan Jones, Glen Moore, Bob Mover, Lawrence Williams, Esperanza Spalding, Rob Scheps, Robert Moore, John Stowell, Ingrid Jensen, Marguerite Jeunemann, David Friesen, Ron Steen, Mel Brown, Artis the Spoon Man, “Sweet Baby” James Benton, Chris Conrade and many others. As an accompanist, Dan has performed with performers including poets, painters, clowns, actors and singers of every level. He appears on Oasis by David Valdez & Pere Soto, both releases by Barbara Lusch (with Bobby Torres, Reinhardt Melz, Rob Thomas, Essiet Essiet, Scott Steed and other sidemen) and on Saffron Robe by Chopslaughter. Most recently, Dan played on the first CD by the Portland Jazz Orchestra, Good Morning, Geek.

Shawn Birchfield, Office Administrator

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