The Flame’s Pastor
Leo Bancroft (he/him/his) is a pastor with the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He has a Master of Arts in Systematic Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California.
Leo is a bisexual trans man who has spent most of his life in the Portland Metro area. In addition to The Flame, he also works in tech support and is a natural born goofball. He loves to play on the trapeze and practice handstands.
His favorite bible passage is Romans 8:38-39, because he appreciates the reminder that nothing he does will make God stop loving him. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Minister of Music
Elise Ruiz-Hom (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Hawaii before moving to Portland with her wife, Lydia, in 2011. Elise and Lydia had the great pleasure of living with Leo for about a year and a half before getting their own place in Beaverton. Elise knows first-hand that LGBTQ-identifying individuals (and allies) can have a very complicated relationship with faith, and was therefore excited to join Leo at The Flame to support his vision of creating a safe space for people to explore what faith looks like for them in their lives.
Elise is currently the Program Coordinator at Safe Place for Youth, a runaway and homeless youth shelter in Hillsboro. She is also the Minister of Music at The Oregon Community. She likes to spend her free time hanging out with friends and family, usually around some good food or a good movie.