I view my life as a continuous journey towards Christ that is always leading me towards more distant horizons and new experiences with my fellow travelers. Growing up in a vocal, progressive UCC family, I was immersed in a culture where issues of social justice were debated frequently and the nature of God was a regular dinner topic. No question was too great or small as my parents challenged us to deepen our Christian understandings. I thoroughly enjoyed these discussions,:, they gave me a love for learning and a passion to find God’s will for my life. At church, I learned the Bible stories by heart and was inspired by my pastor’s lessons. My upbringing made me consider myself a pilgrim, on a lifelong spiritual journey into a closer personal relationship with God.
Along this journey I have sought to immerse myself in diverse cultures and experiences as a means of understanding and loving the immensity that is God and God’s Creation. I was surprised to discover that the more I learned and the more diverse my experiences, the more my life became focused on God and ministry.
After high school, I left my conservative suburban town for a small liberal arts college in rural Vermont where I studied philosophy and psychology. I wanted to find out why people do the things we do? And more importantly how can we do the right thing? If such a thing exists?
From there, I went to New York City’s Union Theological Seminary and earned two Master’s degrees. Along with my academic studies I hiked mountain trails in New Mexico, stayed with Native Americans in Canada, travelled to Japan and Germany, and explored the ancient ruins of churches in Turkey. I held several jobs from dishwasher to camp nature director. Since graduation I have worked as a chaplain and Director of Special Ministeries. Through these experiences I have developed strong relationships with those around me that have only increased my feelings of love and acceptance of others.
My studies and the social activities I took part in have all led me towards a passion for Ordained ministry and service. That passion became a conviction when I took on an active ministerial role at Pitman Presbyterian Church and completed 4 units of Chaplaincy training. (CPE) Theory became practice and practice became faith as I have walked a path towards ordination in the United Church of Christ..
Some major milestones along this path include my first public sermon, planning and performing a very personal marrage ceremony, developing an experiential 8-day Holy Week worship program for Riverside Church in New York, that was initially greeted with hesitation, but has become a beloved tradition that I have carried to every new place I have worked, and finally all of my work as a Chaplain at Cooper, Bellevue, and VA Hospitals. I am now fully ordained and work as a Chaplain at a New Jersey State Psychiatric Hospital on weekdays and provide pulpit supply for UCC and associated Churches on Sundays..
Despite any doubts of mine, God has always had faith in me, and I believe God has lifted me up so that I can lift up others. I feel strongly that God has called me to be an ordained minister who will walk with others along their spiritual journeys.
Marlboro College in Vermont
Union Theological Seminary in New York
Praying at the now abandoned and ruined tomb of the Apostle John near Ephasis in Turkey.
My first marriage blessing
Holy Week Dinner Devotional Bible Study in a Chapel at Riverside Church NY..
Exploring a Galilean fishing boat, built to scale, with other UCC leaders during our trip to Germany.
Part of the youthgroup at the Pitman Presbyterian Church who participated in our Youth Sunday Service.