Debra serves as pastor of Urban Abbey. She is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, which invited her to love liturgy, explore diverse theological perspectives, and experiment with preaching in a rigorous academic community. While Dallas, Texas boasts fine winter weather and she loved living four hours from Paris, in Germany for a few years; she is glad to be home in the great state Nebraska and grateful to be serving at First United Methodist Church Omaha. She owns a clergy collar for parades and protests because her work focuses on social justice, liturgics and building community. While in Omaha she has lead her faith community in starting a Pub church, called Wesley Pub, though she doesn’t drink beer and now a coffee shop, called Urban Abbey, though she prefers tea. She is newly married to a Republican Accountant named Mike and enjoys being so close to her Mom’s fine cooking. Most of all, she is grateful.
Rev. Chris Jorgensen
Pastor Chris joined the Urban Abbey community on July 1, 2015 after completing seminary at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey. Along with assisting Pastor Debra with the day-to-day ministry of the Abbey, she will also be helping us to invite students into conversations about faith at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is excited to be part of a faith community where people with differing views are welcome and there is an endless supply of coffee.
James Dias, hailing originally from Pennsylvania, came to Nebraska to attend Weslyan University and decided to stay. After years of experience of restaurant management, flower arranging and delivering, from place to place, he was asked to consider how much he loves coffee and people. James has lead our adventure at Urban Abbey as the manager ever since that fateful day of a phone call from Rev. McKnight, Jim has a passion for working with our local partners to cultivate community and compassion throughout the Omaha metro area. From barista to number cruncher, from community servant to diplomat, Jim does it all.
Sierra Salgado Pirigyi
Director of Community Engagement and Campus Ministry
Sierra is the Urban Abbey’s new Director of Community Engagement and Campus Ministry. She has an array of nonprofit experience, starting as an Administrative Assistant for Project WISE in Denver, Colorado. She spent several years as Project Interfaith’s Program Coordinator and also previously served as the Urban Abbey’s Community Engagement Coordinator.
Sierra is currently a graduate student, working on her MA in English-Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies online through Northern Arizona University. She received her BA in Spanish Language and Literature with minors in Mass Communications and Chicano/Latino Studies from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Sierra is passionate about issues of identity, how they affect worldview and experience, and growing communities that are inclusive for all. She spends her free time reading, writing, gardening, cooking, and exploring her adopted home of Omaha with her husband, Roger, and their three ferrets, Roxie, Glenn and Simba.