Rev. Dr. Flunder is the Founder and Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ and the Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She describes herself as, “disciple and proponent of the radically inclusive Christ, who has raised her voice for justice from the church house to the White House and steps of the Supreme Court.”
Ordained in both the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church, Rev. Dr. Flunder has served her call through prophetic action and ministry for justice for over thirty years. Her call to “blend proclamation, worship, service and advocacy on behalf of those most marginalized in church and in society” led to the founding of the City of Refuge UCC. Based in San Francisco for 22 years, the City of Refuge grew into a thriving inter-city congregation with influence stretching from the local to the international. In 2013, City of Refuge relocated to Oakland, continuing to preach a message of “extravagant welcome, restoration and action within God’s “Beloved Community.””
In June 2003, Rev. Dr. Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship (renamed The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries in 2011), which is a multi-denominational coalition of over 100 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing churches and faith-based organizations from across the US into Mexico, three African countries, and in Asia.
Rev. Dr. Flunder is dedicated to responding to the needs of the AIDS epidemic. Rev. Dr. Flunder with her staff founded the Hazard-Ashley House and Walker House in Oakland and Restoration House in San Francisco through Ark of Refuge, Inc., a non-profit agency providing housing, direct services, education and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the US and three Africa countries. The Ark of Refuge transitioned into the Y.A. Flunder Foundation, which contributes to the work of social justice exemplified through service and public advocacy, including collaborative partnerships to support the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Mutoko, Zimbabwe.
She has served on numerous boards including as Chair of the National Sexuality Resource Center, Chair of San Francisco Inter-religious Coalition on AIDS, Chair of the Black Adoption Placement and Research Center, Founding member of the African American Interfaith Alliance on AIDS, and Co-Chair of the Religious Advisory Committee of the National Black Justice Coalition.
Rev. Dr. Flunder served as a Trustee of Pacific School of Religion for nearly ten years, and is an Adjunct Professor and speaker at PSR and at numerous other seminaries and universities including Auburn, Brite Divinity, Chicago Theological, Columbia University, Drew, Duke, Eden, Howard, Lancaster, New York Theological and Yale. She is a graduate of the Certificate of Ministry and Master of Arts programs at PSR, and received her Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
In December 2014, Rev. Dr. Flunder served as the keynote speaker for the White House observation of the 26th Anniversary of World AIDS Day. She was named the 2015 Spiritual Hero in the January edition of the Science of the Mind, produced by the Centers for Spiritual Living. In 2011 she received the Robert C. Kirkwood Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Community Foundation.
She is also an award winning gospel music artist and author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic and Radical Inclusion, as well as contributor to several other published works.
We are proud and honored to welcome Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder to our Board of Trustees and look forward to the work that awaits us.