Meet Cameron Van Kooten
Room for All Community Coordinator
With praise to God and in gratitude to our supporters for all the gifts and prayers that have made this possible, the Room for All Board is delighted to officially introduce our Community Coordinator, Cameron Van Kooten. He joins RfA Executive Director, Marilyn Paarlberg, as a full-time staff member.
Cameron is originally from Pella, Iowa, and graduated in 2013 from Central College, where his concentrations included nonprofit management and writing. He served as president and publicity coordinator for Centralâ€™s chapter of One Iowa, Iowaâ€™s leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, and in that capacity, created a â€œBest Event of the Yearâ€ panel discussion and community dialogue featuring LGBTQ people and allies. Other campus roles included responsibility for the Student Centerâ€™s social media presence. Central College is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA).
Prior to accepting this position, Cameron served as the first director of the Lunn Cooperative, a new community resource center for non-profit organizations created by the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, NY. He has also been an active member of the RfA Board for two years, where his gifts and dedication have been demonstrated in a wide variety of our programming initiatives. He understands and instinctively embodies RfAâ€™s commitment to graceful engagement with those who differ.
Overall, RfA believes that Cameronâ€™s combined experiences at Central and his subsequent professional and volunteer roles are a great match for the Community Coordinatorâ€™s responsibilities in reaching out to the congregations, campuses and regional groups that we seek to serve.
Of particular note, however, is Cameronâ€™s personal faith story and his rootedness in the Reformed tradition and our particular denominational ethos. He grew up in Reformed churches (CRC and RCA), and served as Central Collegeâ€™s corresponding delegate to the RCA General Synod for two consecutive years. As such, he has a deep understanding of the RCA, and has confessed to being a â€œpolity geek.â€
Cameronâ€™s grounding in the RCA was a crucial factor in our selection, as we heard in him a profound and mature sense of call to serve the church through RfAâ€™s mission to support, educate, and advocate for the full affirmation of people of all sexual identities and gender expressions in the life and ministry of the RCA.
Finally, for Cameron, this is not simply an intellectual, professional, or even vocational call. He has a personal stake in RfAâ€™s mission, as well:
â€œAs a gay Christian, I have experienced both the bitterness of exclusion as well as the abundant joy found when all Godâ€™s children are faithfully welcomed. I envision the day when RfAâ€™s commitment to the full inclusion of all people becomes the RCAâ€™s commitment, and Iâ€™m eager to help play a role in this tremendous work.â€
Cameron begins his work on Monday, January 12th, 2015. He looks forward to hearing from you at email@example.com or (201) 803-9738.