Christina grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church surrounded by icons, incense and liturgical expressions of faith. Chris, on the other hand, grew up as a pastor's kid in a rural Texas town. They met in Bible School and traveled for 3 years with a musical art group around the US, Canada & Europe. They spent their summers leading groups of high school students to Mexico and Guatemala as a way to expose teens to other cultures and expressions of faith traditions.
After their first anniversary, they relocated to St. Louis, MO with 3 of their traveling band members to become youth pastors at a local church. This eventually led to becoming associate pastors and being sent out to start a church in Madison, WI. Their desire was to contextualize their collective faith experiences into creating a dynamic community interested in practicing and living out spirituality in day-to-day life.
As foundry414 began to take shape, they noticed God drawing people with little-to-no faith background, as well as long-time Christians looking to develop leadership skills and find their voice. This led to starting intentional mentoring programs, cohorts and 1-on-1 leadership development. At the same time, they started low key groups that provided safe spaces to ask hard questions, share doubts and deconstruct faith without feeling isolated.
In addition to creating a safe space to explore faith and develop leadership skills, Chris and Christina both share an interest in contemplative spirituality. Christina is an oblate at Holy Wisdom Monastery, having studied Benedictine spirituality, and now shares contemplative retreats
and 1-on-1 spiritual direction. She particularly has a desire to see Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z engage in contemplative practices as a way of life.
Chris received his spiritual direction certificate Franciscan Spiritual Center in 2021. His desire is to see contemplative spirituality impact our neighborhoods and communities by offering peaceful presence, beauty and care for others. Chris and Christina also help host The Contemplative Life podcast.
Foundry414 is a small, vibrant, non-denominational church community filled with engaged members who care deeply for one another and for the greater community around them.