Elder Board

The ECC Elder Board is a selected group of key volunteers who work alongside ECC staff to cast a vision for the future of our church and give oversight to the budget, fundraising, and leadership work of the co-pastors.

August Alvarado
Elder Board Chair

August Alvarado was born and raised in Texas and grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. August enjoyed being an alter server, attending youth group, going on mission trips, and being both a camper and counselor at a Christian summer camp. August continued her passion for serving while at CU-Boulder by organizing local volunteer opportunities for a large student ministry. In 2016, she began her search to find a new church home that honored inclusion and diversity. She found it at Highlands Church in Denver. August first heard about ECC while at Highlands, but soon left the state to complete her doctoral internship. After completing her doctorate degree in school psychology from UNC, she was fortunate to return to Colorado to complete her postdoc and to finally start attending ECC in-person. August prides herself on being a learned optimist and pushing herself to grow in her knowledge and skills. She also likes to create a sense of belonging for every person. She currently works in Fort Collins at a group practice providing psychological assessments and counseling to young adults and children. She has a heart for foster children and walking with youth as they navigate adolescence. In her free time, August likes to do anything that’s creative, active, outdoors, or with her senior pup, Bentley.

The below members are listed alphabetically, following the bios of our current chair.

Tonja Ahijevych

Bio Pending

Mary Jo Highland

Mary Jo Highland was raised on a steady diet of feminism and liberation theology by her nun and priest parents, Mary and Joseph. After she came out, her father would wear his priest’s collar to PFLAG meetings to tell other parents that their kids were NOT going to hell. During this time, Mary Jo met some friends who wanted to start a church and became a founding board member of Sojourn Grace Collective in San Diego (one of the pastors there, and one of those friends, ended up writing a few books, including Unclobber)

Mary Jo made her way to Boulder County and our little church community just as it was starting. She is a big-question asker and status-quo critic. She hopes our community will define ourself by who we want to be rather than who we don’t want to be. 

Oh yeah, and she bakes too, so please bring your sweet tooth to church. In her weekday life she’s an enthusiastic parent to two adult humans who have made huge contributions to her growth, both spiritual and otherwise (apparently she doesn’t parent on the weekends). She is an aspiring immigration attorney and is passionate about educating everyone about their constitutional rights.

Bryan Pearce

Bio Pending

Nancy Ramsdal

Nancy Ramsdal is a born and raised Brooklynite. She moved to Colorado in 2010 to live near family after having her only child with her husband, Anthony. They also juggle coparenting his oldest daughter, a college student in Austin, TX. She was raised in the Lutheran church, attended Nyack College, and has an interdisciplinary degree in youth ministry and social sciences. She started her career as a youth development professional at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and then pivoted to working as a financial advisor with Ameriprise, T. Rowe Price, and Allstate. After health issues forced her to retire, she now runs an online support group in Boulder for other Ehlers Danlos Syndrome patients to network and share tips for managing the condition as well as referrals to knowledgeable health care providers in the area. For fun, she officiates for local roller derby leagues, plays video games, loves to attend concerts, and reads a lot of books. A friend told her about ECC about 6 months after it was started and she has been attending ever since, as her family had been searching for an inclusive place where everyone is accepted as they are.