These are elders, saints and prophets who have accepted an invitation to-date to participate in the Rolling the Stone Away gathering.
Mel Soriano first came to this country as a child in 1969. Raised in a traditional Filipino Roman Catholic home, he was raised in the Chicago area before his family settled in Los Angeles. He is the product of parochial, public and--at the University of Southern California and Oxford University--private education He studied Psychobiology and Business Administration for his two stints at USC and read British History in the UK.
In those days, Mel worked at the college yearbook, helped out at the One Institute Archives, did some LGBT young person support sessions in West Hollywood, did research with those who were suffering Alzheimer's and held hands with others dealing with the trauma AIDS. He started working in 1996 with a software firm that specialized in databases and web tools, which now also develops mobile apps.
He converted to the Episcopal Church in 2000. He has served in All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, which has the largest congregation west of the Mississippi. He sings for the church's Canterbury and Coventry Choirs, leads the weekly Taize worship services, advises as a Lay Counselor and serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and a Lay Visitation Minister. He has served on the Vestry (the parish's governing body), chaired the Pastoral Care and Congregational Development Committees and served on the Growth Committee. He has served as a New Member class leader, Greeter, Coffee host, Congregational Dinner host, and has given several adult education talks.
Mel has been elected twice to the Board of Directors of Integrity USA, the LGBTQ group affiliated with the Episcopal Church. There he volunteers as the Communications Director and as Secretary, and helps manage the content on the web and social media.
Mel has walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain several times. In spring 2016, he walked the 600 miles from Lourdes to Santiago de Compostela, sharing the Lourdes waters with those on the journey seeking healing. In fall 2017, he led a church group on the Camino. If you ever have questions about pilgrimages to Taize, the Camino, or Iona, he'll be glad to share with you his reflections from his blog LetAllWhoAreThirstyCome.com
He married his best friend Stephen Mulder, a second grade teacher, in 2014 at All Saints Pasadena. They enjoy world travel, eating, cooking, and both volunteer extensively at Union Station Homeless Services, the largest homeless agency in eastern Los Angeles County.
(This biographical statement provided by Mel Soriano.)