Who am I? The simple response is I am a pastor and a spiritual director. I am also a photographer, kayaker, hiker, cyclist, trainer of dogs, and friend. Of course that only scratches the surface. Like you, there are many parts to me. What guides me and centers my life is my spirituality. I learned long ago that in order to live a full and meaningful life, I need to nurture my spiritual side. I need to understand who I was in relation to God, and to let that understanding guide how I lived in the world. I was fortunate to have a group of friends who were very in touch with their spirituality, who inspired me to dig deep and grow in my own spirituality.
The journey that began all those years ago continues today. I am constantly reading and gaining inspiration and knowledge from all kinds of sources, even from a book on the history of the saxophone! Photography is also a spiritual practice, through which I learn more about myself, the world, the needs of the world, and God, through the lens of the camera. Nature is an incredibly powerful source of connection and inspiration. I understand those who say they worship better in nature than in church. There is something in nature that awakens me and connects me with something much bigger than myself. The church does that as well, for it connects me with others on a similar journey, and it invites me to share in concrete ways of expressing my faith and caring for others.
The strength and guidance I get from weaving these things into my life feeds me as I journey down my own spiritual path and explore the threads of the divine that weave through my life. I continue to both grow in my spiritual life, and to integrate the deep truths about myself and my relationship to the divine into my life. I have articulated some of that in my purpose statement which you can read here.
My journey has led me to serve as pastor of a church, being privileged to walk with people through some of the most joyful and most difficult times of their lives, as well as to journey with people who wanted to live their lives with greater purpose and connection.
I have also traveled with adults to New Orleans to work on hurricane recovery efforts, led youth to Yellowstone National Park to maintain trails to preserve the natural beauty, and worked with others to begin an after school program for kids who had no supervision between the end of school and when their parents came home from work. It is important that my spirituality shows itself in action.
For fun, on any given day you may find me kayaking, biking, hiking, taking off for a camping trip to the mountains, lugging my photography equipment around in search of the perfect photograph, reading a good book, or getting together with friends.
Some Other Details
- Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) from Boston University in religion and archaeology.
- Masters of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
- Doctor of Ministry Degree (D.Min.) from McCormick Theological Seminary, focusing on congregational revitalization and transformation.
- I am a Conflict Mediator, having received my training through the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center.
- I am a consultant for churches desiring transformation and excellence.
- I am a Spiritual Director, with a certificate in Spiritual Direction.
- I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), having served as a pastor for over 25 years.
- I am the pastor First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Nebraska