Life is a meandering journey, twisting and turning. Along my journey, God has led and shaped me in ways that I did not plan out initially. I grew up in western NY, working with my hands, a son to a cabinet maker. This detail is significant only in that I didn’t have educational goals. I was an unofficial apprentice of the trades, but I felt the call to do youth ministry young. I didn’t know how to do that. So, I went to college, believing that four years of college was more education than I would ever need. The thirsting to understand and experience and integrate life and faith more profoundly has not relented, however.
I live with my family in Colorado Springs. My wife works for Young Life and has for over 20 years now. We met through Young Life back when I was an area director and she the Office Manager at a camp in the Adirondacks. We married in Lake Placid, then moved to the Hudson Valley. We continued together in Young Life for a time there. There came a point, however, when my calling shifted. I felt the call to ordained ministry and continued study. I view myself within the tradition of the scholar-pastor. While the relational, incarnational roots of Young Life shaped me in indelible ways, I am drawn to the practice of study, preaching and leading worship, active listening, and pastoral care. I am compelled by the Reformed tradition which affirms: 1) God pursues us in love and grace long before we catch on, and long after, 2) a pastor is called not only to be a pastor, but also a thinker and leader in the community, and 3) the Spirit works through the church gathered in assemblies reasoning it out together.
So, after about ten years of youth ministry, and a couple years of finishing seminary and ordination, I was ordained to a call to the Kiskatom Reformed Church in Catskill, NY. I left that call in 2012 to pursue a Ph.D., which landed us in Colorado in 2013 where Holly continues to work with YL in the Springs, and I have been a Ph.D. student and pastor to Calvary Presbyterian church.
My time at Calvary has been one of fruitfully navigating challenges and uncertainty through careful listening, dialogue, and intentional communication and decision making. It has also been a time of fruitfully engaging our spiritual journeys with God’s grace through dialogue, scripture, poetry, embracing the connections between heart and mind, seeking to love the Lord with heart, mind, strength, and soul. We have enjoyed mutual love, care, respect, and trust. We have sought to be the church with and for each other. Furthermore, Calvary has been a place where I have blended my intellectual curiosity and pastoral presence and preaching. Mind and heart work in sync for me.
I am grateful for the opportunity, pending your ratification, to be the church together with you all. I look forward to journeying together in this muddy world, rooted in God’s grace, and seeking to be a faithful manifestation and expression of God’s forgiveness, grace, love, and community.