Who We Are
We seek to share the Gospel through all mediums as we challenge the status quo, share our stories and build authentic, transformative community around the world.
OUR CORE TEAM
Rachel Dawson loves words-- writing them, reading them, doodling them, and using them to speak truth and share the Gospel. She has been at the helm of The Rising from the very beginning, working to bring people together through words and create a space for conversations that matter. She is a lover of stories, snail mail, sunsets, soy lattes, rap music, tattoos, and puns. Her days are spent in the heart of downtown Richmond, VA as the editor of BibleStudyTools.com. You can always find her on Twitter and Facebook or in coffeeshops all around town, usually with her nose in a book and a braid in her hair.
Read more of her heart at racheladawson.com.
Holly Paulette is in love with good words and wants to share them with the world. She is the wife of a farmer, a diehard Hokie, self-proclaimed indoorsy type, and will never turn down a chocolate chip cookie. She's learning to find herself at the feet of the King of the Universe, who, for some crazy reason, knows her name. Follow along at hollypaulette.net
Taylor Schumann is a Virginia girl living in a Tennessee world with her husband and puppy child, Molly. At any given point you can find her with coffee in her hand and a book in her lap. She is passionate about being the hands and feet of Jesus, victim advocacy, and the Virginia Tech Hokies. If you're wondering how she feels about donuts, she feels good. Follow her at taylorschumann.com
Emilee Clemons? She’s a hot mess and a sinner, dearly loved and made into a new creation by Christ alone. She’s a lover of rainy days, thick books, the Greek language, and classic movies. Her not-so-guilty-pleasures include Netflix marathons and dance parties along with one of her eclectic playlists. You’ll find pieces of her heart in countless cities and villages all over the globe. She believes in the power of prayer, a strong cup of coffee, authenticity, and long handwritten letters. Emilee’s prayer is that she would manifest God’s grace in her life and in everything she creates.
OUR MONTHLY MEMBERS
Dawn is a Texan girl, born and raised. She and her husband Gabriel live in SoCal where she spends her days studying ancient languages and working towards a Master’s degree in Near Eastern Archaeology. She studies at La Sierra University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from an A&M sister school. While she hopes that one day these beloved disciplines will collide, she seeks simply to illuminate God’s Word through the historical remnants of the places in which His pages were written. She loves white mochas and chai lattes, cooking, traveling, being in nature, and watching YouTube videos of baby animals.
Kaitlyn Anderson is the worst of sinners with a love for words, truth and encouragement. Her passion is to ignite purpose in the hearts of women and spur others on to fiercely and authentically follow Jesus, as so many others have done for her. She's also a runner, carbohydrate enthusiast, and Air Force wife with a profound appreciation for dark coffee and a good conversation . Hear more from her at ACupofSunday.org.
Erica is from the Midwest, goes to school in the South, and spends her summers in the Northeast. She’s a culprit of holding hugs for a second too long and has experienced the “release tap” more than once. She loves running by the water, eating big breakfasts, and wearing too many rings. She’s a Young Life leader and has a passion for the ministry that has saved her life.
A believer in authenticity, she believes in words that heal. She believes that we have the power to impact people and change the world through the threading of syllables. Her life is a testament and product of an overwhelmingly generous, grace-giving and loving God.
Kaitlyn was born and raised in the Northwest, but she’s found her current home in Arizona is where she was always meant to be. She’s passionate about everything creative and is dreaming of the day (soon) when she will have her degree in Graphic Design. Kaitlyn isn’t your typical writer, but she’s found a love for sharing her messy, not-so-perfect, real life experiences as a way to keep moving forward and (hopefully) encouraging others along the way.
Catch her on Instagram @kaitlynboyd
My name is Hunter, and yes, I’m a girl. I am a senior at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California but I’m a Texan at heart. I love grammar. I run an Instagram account for my quirky dog. Anything involving coffee or flowers? I’m hooked. My younger sister and I are really weird and goofy when we're together. I love to read, listen to podcasts, and weave or knit when I have free time. I’m a fan of rainy days in coffee shops with loved ones. Of fall colors and crisp mountain air. Of spontaneous ice cream-related adventures. Of friendships that feel like family. Of falling in love with a new place. Of documenting it on camera. Most of all, I love to write. Writing is how I process, remember, and understand. I have even found that God speaks to me through my writing. I’m currently trying to figure out what lies in store for next year, a process that is teaching me to rely on God like never before. He will provide, I know that, I’m just waiting to see how.
Jordan is a twenty-something writer currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. When she’s not dreaming of writing and speaking truth to women across the world or new tattoos, she’s probably listening to Harry Potter audiobooks and co-leading impractical dreaming, an online community whose vision is to see every woman on the planet free from the bonds of shame, insecurity, and fear by having hard conversations in a space of unyielding empathy. Jordan loves discovering more about Jesus, and would appreciate knowing who allowed her to become an adult because she believes they made a terrible mistake.
You can always count on Summer living near the ocean and in the sunshine. Growing up as a missionary kid in the Dominican Republic has led her into creativity whether that's hiding out in the Mango trees reading every adventure book, making silly videos with her sister or letting her imagination overflow onto the pages of her short stories. She's developed a serious coffee addiction, especially after working as Barista in a gourmet doughnut shop called Sidecar in Southern California. She believes that the world has so much to offer. She takes any opportunity to share all the things God has led her to experience in hopes to inspire others to go outside and do crazy things - life is about living and the world is our playground.
Emily Lorin is rowdy and wild. She considers herself a rogue Christian—mostly because she makes a lot of Christians angry and a lot of Christians make her angry. This tattooed yogi was steeped in the deep south for most of her life and only found her voice, her soul, and her freedom to love and live authentically when she moved to New York City. Her battle cry is radical love and rowdy peace. She has no qualms over four letter words or pissing people off with her audacious acceptance of all people and brutally honest, uncomfortable, and often innuendo-filled conversations. She keeps shit real and playful. She believes Jesus was a total badass and only wants her love for people to be as scandalous as his. She is a therapist by trade, writer by birth, and an over-analyzingfeeler by both nature and nurture. Her heart cries for social justice; she can never speak too much about any systemic issue that keeps people oppressed and out of reach of living their fullest, loudest, most joyful life. If loving people too much is a thing, it’s her thing.
Born and raised in the Middle East in Dubai, twenty-year-old Caroline has a strong passion for traveling and exploring more of God's world--she has two continents left: Antarctica and Australia. Even though she spent most of her early life abroad, Caroline now calls Nahville home, even though she currently attends Pepperdine University in California. Though Caroline is a self-proclaimed ritzy gal, as she often finds herself spending far too much on clothes and food, there is a much deeper adventurous side to her; nothing thrills her more than driving with the car-top down while blasting country music (Florida Georgia Line or Sam Hunt) at top volume, dancing unapologetically in public, kayaking, long mountain hikes, strolling down the aisles of REI, white-water rafting, and---her favorite-- skydiving. You could say that she's a naturalist and a bit of an adrenaline junkie-- she is definitely not afraid of heights (that's a first!). Moreover, she recently took a C.S. Lewis class whilst at college, which completely changed her perspective on the Gospel; she developed a newfound appreciation for the deeper intellectual and philosophical side of the Word. Deep thought-provoking conversations bring Caroline so much joy.
She recently started a blog, The European American, that touches on her more airy and ladylike side, fusing fashion and lifestyle with the Gospel. You can also--occasionally-- find her on Instagram: @carolineanisa
Lauren McHugh is a newlywed, recent college graduate, and lover of words. She has been reading chapter books as long as she can remember and was always that girl who had at least one book in her bag. She loves tea lattes, classic novels, making lists, buying notebooks, sports, and is always looking for something new to learn. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @laurencatherinn
Read everything on The Rising from Lauren.
David lives with his wife, Kaitlyn, their son, Oliver, and their two pups in Southwest VA. They do both college ministry and wedding photography together, and they both share a passion for any and all stories. David is a self-proclaimed basketball junkie, but will truly embrace anything from a good Broadway musical or chick-flick to a good YA novel or biography. His ideal day is any day he gets to spend with good friends and his family, and it doesn't hurt if coffee is involved!
Rachel is a born and raised native of NoVA, though a relatively new Virginia Tech alum learning her way through the world of federal contracting. In her spare time, you'll find her outdoors, digging into good literature, wedding planning (yay May 2016!), and learning how to play the ukulele (a la YouTube). A believer in embracing your own imperfections, Rachel relies on His perfect grace to get though this thing called life.
Matt Smelser is an avid reader, passionate mentor, and—according to his mom—is also quite handsome. Matt challenges his generation of millennials to live thoughtfully and virtuously on his blog "Get Your 20’s Right." His readers are also quite handsome, so you would definitely fit in if you dropped by.
Braden is a Son of the one true God, a brother of the resurrected King of Glory, a saint, and an heir to the everlasting Kingdom. He has a really hard time believing these are true sometimes, but is REALLY thankful they are. He is a native Nebraskan who loves baseball (go Royals!), Husker football, books, traveling, scotch whiskey, good coffee, craft beer, and smoking his pipe. Braden is captivated by stories of bravery, adventure, redemption, and beauty. He kind of wishes that he lived in Narnia or Middle-Earth, but is also pretty happy with Earth. He wants to spend his life seeking justice and helping others become heirs to the Kingdom too.
Amber was born and raised in a small town laying happily under the Californian sun. She's an adventurer and homebody, a misfit and His beloved, a cocktail of trouble and grace. She's more contradiction than constant; always relying on His mercies anew. Her story is flawed and messy and mostly imperfect, but His love is redeeming and whole which affords her the amazing opportunity to share what is great in life: Him.
I am a serial entrepreneur, lover of all things coffee, and hopeful adventurer. For most of my life, my goal has been to avoid normalcy and take risks. This desire has led me all over the country, into and out of unique work situations, and to my wonderful husband, Matt. I feel most at home in a coffeehouse with a cup of black coffee in hand - this is where I have my deepest conversations, my most profound moments of grace, and spend most of my time.
Follow me into the adventure:
Megan Wolf is a 22 year old spunk-filled, year-round-pumpkin-loving graduate of Radford University. She currently has two part-time jobs, one being on staff with Cru at Radford and the other a nanny to two sweet little girls. She hates paying bills, loves small towns, and is indifferent towards sports. You're most likely to find her at any event with free food, as food is her first love. Including food, though, she loves Jesus a ton and knows she has a lot more to learn about his character.