Rev. Sharon Moe | Senior Pastor
206.622.7278, ext 104
Rev. Sharon’s Moe’s ministry has been one of advocacy for the LGBT community and all marginalized in our world, reaching out to embrace people who are without adequate income from work and who are unable to afford housing or support their families, and helping to heal the world devastated by violence, war and division. She brings a passion for scripture, a yearning for justice and love for a broken world to her ministry at First United Methodist Church.
Before coming to First Church, Rev. Moe served five churches in the Pacific Northwest Conference and served as the Tacoma District Superintendent. She graduated from Union Theological Seminary in NYC and was ordained in the Pacific Northwest Conference.
Rev. Moe has traveled extensively throughout her ministry. Her travels include visits to Israel and the West Bank to work with Palestinian Christian children and youth in the Kids for Hope project with children and youth from other countries, a cross-cultural camping program to introduce the children of Palestine to the children of the world. She leads tours to the historic and religious sites of the Holy Land with a focus on learning the political and social struggles within Israel and the West Bank.
Rev. Moe traveled with peace groups twice to Iraq in 2002 and visited Syria in 2007 with the UN Association of Seattle to be a witness to the crisis situation of Iraqi refugees in Syria.
In 2003 Rev. Moe went on Sabbatical to Africa, climbing into the Virunga Volcanic Mountains in West Uganda to look for the Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and to connect with Maasai villagers in Kenya and Tanzania who formed the Maasai Environmental Resources Coalition. From Africa she back-packed in Europe and then lived just outside the West Bank wall near Bethlehem for several months, studying the social-political historical and contemporary roots of the conflicts there.
Rev. Moe has been a delegate from the Pacific Northwest to General and Jurisdictional Conferences as well as Chairperson of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and of the Western Jurisdiction Coordinating Council.
Rev. Moe is Norwegian by heritage. In her free time, she loves to read Scandavian (and other) mysteries and play Scrabble.
Rev. Austin Adkinson | Minister of Just Discipleship
Rev. Austin L. Adkinson is a white, cisgender male, ordained in the United Methodist Church. In other words, he is a magnet for privilege, and as such, everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, he identifies as queer and is most at home with people who seek to challenge patriarchy, racism, classism, heterosexism, and all systems of oppression. He earned a Master of Divinity in New Testament Studies from Union Theological Seminary (NYC). Along with Rev. Moe, he was elected and served as a member of the General Conference delegation from the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UMC. Rev. Adkinson is the convener of the Biblical Obedience Action Network of the Western Methodist Justice Movement, which works to dismantle discriminatory denominational policies by focusing in word and action on the biblical mandate to love God and neighbor. He is currently seeking a publisher for a collection of devotional readings on extracanonical texts. He loves downhill skiing, craft beers, and working for the glory of the kin-dom of God.
Elizabeth Blanton | Director of Communications & Outreach
206.622.7278, ext. 105
Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and worked professionally in graphic design and photography before joining the team at First Church. Elizabeth enjoys creating fiber art, as well as hiking and traveling with her husband Ben and her dog Kai. She grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Alicia Landis Choi | Office Coordinator
Alicia moved to Seattle in 2014 after five years spent working for a study abroad program in Kaikoura, New Zealand. As a graduate of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Alicia is passionate about progressive theology and wilderness-based theological education. She and her husband live in North Seattle with their cat, Dae-ho, and enjoy cooking, backpacking, traveling, and spending time with their extended family in the Seattle area.
Elisabeth Ellis | Music Director and Organist/Accompanist
Elisabeth Ellis is a Seattle-based pianist with a focus on opera, ballet and vocal collaborations. She has been Company Pianist at the Pacific Northwest Ballet since October 2014. Elisabeth also has worked with Seattle Opera as chorus pianist for La fille du régiment, and she is a frequent performer at Seattle Opera BRAVO events. Her involvement with local opera companies includes City Opera (Così fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro), Vespertine Opera (Les mamelles de Tirésias, The Rape of Lucretia), Vashon Opera (excerpts of Dialogues des Carmélites, Don Giovanni and Albert Herring), LMC’s production of Hansel and Gretel, Puget Sound Concert Opera (Andrea Chenier and I Capuleti e i Montecchi), and Ballet Bellevue’s production of Handel’s Messiah. As both rehearsal/orchestral pianist and assistant Music Director, Elisabeth has worked at the 5th Avenue Theatre on productions of A Room with a View, A Chorus Line, and most recently, Carousel. Elisabeth also works with many local chorales and orchestras, highly valued for her skills both as a pianist and as an organist.
Duuna Evans | Food Services Coordinator/Host
Jonathyn Kraig | Director of Young People’s Ministries
Jonathyn joined First Church in 2011 and was an active church volunteer before joining the church staff. He is excited to serve the church as a staff member: “When I joined First Church, I never imagined that I would take such a direct role in the academic and spiritual growth of young people. I feel honored!” In the fall of 2017 Jonathyn will finish his master’s degree in Elementary Education. He is currently a substitute teacher in the Tacoma and Kent school districts. His love of children goes all the way back to the time when, as a young person, he helped out in his grandmother’s daycare.
Eric Liljegren | Church Business Administrator
206.622.7278, ext 102
Eric is a lifelong Seattle-area resident, church member and leader, and has worked in information technology and property management. Eric and his family live in Shoreline and attend Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church. Eric finds his vocation at First Church deeply satisfying, and holds great affection for this community of Christians. In addition to his love for the church, Eric enjoys sailing, hiking and camping, and motorsports.