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Molly Phinney Baskette

Senior Minister

Molly has recently traded blizzards for earthquakes in moving from Boston, MA to be First Church Berkeley?s newly minted Senior Minister. She can’t believe the epic blessing/luck that has brought her to such a joyful, vibrant, smart, curious and warm congregation in one of the most beautiful areas on earth!

The ministry bug bit Molly at progressive-Christian church camp when she a nerdy teenager, and she has worked for God for a living ever since, in a wide variety of settings: Mexican orphanages; large, quiet suburban Anglo churches where the median age was 65; less-quiet urban multiracial churches where the median age was 9; and most recently, First Church Somerville, a radically renewing UCC (that boasts its own Drag-Queen-in-Residence) in Berkeley’s doppelgänger, Somerville, Massachusetts.

She takes the Bible seriously, but herself, not so much. She loves Jesus and really does believe he is “God with skin on” but is not above fighting with him in the back seat of the car like you would any true sibling.

She writes books to fill gaps in the progressive Christian canon: so far, a book about church renewal (Real Good Church: How Our Church Came Back from the Dead and Yours Can Too), a book about how fun it is to publicly confess our sins (Standing Naked Before God: The Art of Public Confession), two grief workbooks for children, Remembering My Pet and Remembering My Grandparent, and a forthcoming parenting playbook, the anti-Dr. Dobson, for parents who want to raise their kids with a different kind of Christian spirituality that is also grounded in good science. She is a cancer survivor and is now at work on a memoir of faith and survivorship.

She serves as a senior consultant for the Center for Progressive Renewal, with an affinity for church renewal, social media and spiritual formation for the new millennium.

She lives in Alameda with her husband and two children, where she loves to march in the streets, bike the shore, or read in the hammock, depending on God’s agenda for the day.