Rob and Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Rob and Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma are co-founders of the non-profit organization *culture is not optional. They formed *cino in 2001 when they realized that others shared their post-college sense of isolation and desire to keep learning in community how to live faithfully in the everyday stuff of life.

*cino’s work has extended to a bi-weekly online magazine called catapult, the biennial Practicing Resurrection conference, a quarterly print publication called road journal and a growing series of topical books that includes Eat Well: A Food Road Map and Do Justice: A Justice Road Map.

In 2009, *cino purchased an historic 27,000 square foot school in Three Rivers, Michigan, to renovate as a center for intergenerational education, service and imagination.

In addition to their work with *cino, Rob and Kirstin helped found a fair trade store in Three Rivers, Michigan, in 2003. Staffed entirely by volunteers, World Fare has grown into its purpose of networking a small-town community to work for local and global justice. By way of tentmaking, Rob and Kirstin share a position at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, doing research, education and programming around discernment and popular culture, which includes organizing the Festival of Faith & Music.

Rob and Kirstin refresh their spirits by biking, making music, camping, reading, cooking (and eating) prolifically and gathering combinations of wonderful people around tables and bonfires.