Poetry & Creative

A self-proclaimed "artist-activist" Carla was the 4th Poet Laureate of York, PA and has toured the globe as a performer and workshop leader. Carla's lyrical and evocative imagery frequently lifts up the stories and voices behind social issues too frequently dehumanized. From written or performance poetry to her funk fusion band, Groove Ink, Carla's original and commissioned work delight and inspire!

Cultural Competency

Carla is an award-winning curriculum designer, trainer, dialogue facilitator, and public speaker in areas of Racial Justice, LGBTQ equity, cultural competence, and community-based advocacy. She partners with nonprofits and corporations on customized trainings, equity audits, restorative justice mediation, and inclusion-based strategic planning and her curriculums are in use across the country.


Carla is an ordained redevelopment and congregational vitality pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and a certified interfaith crisis and trauma chaplain. She is a liturgy and content creator for national faith-based organizations, a frequent preacher and trainer on areas of faith and justice, and has shepherded multiple congregations into new ministry through long-term residencies.

About Carla

Carla Christopher (she/her/hers) is a poet-activist, cultural competency trainer, and ordained redevelopment/congregational vitality pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) – one of the first out LGBTQ Black women ordained in her denomination. Carla was the 4th Poet Laureate of York, PA and has toured the globe as a performer, multiply published and award-winning author, public speaker, and workshop facilitator / trainer. She specializes in areas of creative writing and storytelling, community-based advocacy and activism, trauma-informed care and mindfulness, diversity, and cultural competency.

Carla currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop in Charge of Justice Ministries, Lower Susquehanna Synod (south central PA region) and on the pastoral teams for Heidelberg United Church of Christ in York, PA. She is adjunct faculty for the Stevenson School for Ministry and United Lutheran Seminary Kindling Faith Institute and writes regularly for Disrupt Worship, Living Lutheran, ELCA World Hunger, Sparkhouse, Sundays and Seasons and others.

When not preaching and teaching, Carla is a commissioner on the Pennsylvania Commission for LGBTQ Affairs and the York City Human Relations Commission, moonlights with the poetry-funk fusion band, Groove Ink, and shamelessly spoils her dog, a Great Pyranees named Bishop Winnie Mandela Love Christopher.

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