I remember it clearly. My wife rolled over in bed and said ‘I never want to be a pastor’s wife.’ And I responded ‘That’s good. Because I never want to be a pastor!’ You can probably guess how that turned out. I have been at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community since 2004, a church I helped start as a Presbyterian Pastor. And despite my protest so many years ago I am very grateful to be a pastor today.
I believe the work of the pastor is to create sacred space for individuals, groups, and communities to experience divine grace. Especially as it comes to us in and through the person of Jesus.
I have helped create sacred space in a tattoo shop basement as a chaplain of a punk rock band and in a pilgrimage to Scotland to experience Celtic Christianity with seminary students. I have explored creative forms of sacred space and worship using drama, reimagining tradition, and by focusing on issues not normally address in worship such as mental health.
Although having found a home spiritually as a Presbyterian Church (USA) pastor, I consider myself a theological mutt. I have worked in the United Methodist Church as a Youth Minister, as well as done work with Baptists, Episcopalians, and the Salvation Army. I also have a love of Pope Francis and for St Ignatius of Loyola, whose Spiritual Exercises transformed my life.
And in the end that is what sacred space is about. It’s about encountering the divine for the sake of transformation. No matter what the background or the experience. And recently I have found more of that sacred space and transforming work in my own life through the spiritual practice of Centering prayer.
I bring all these rich experiences and practices to my work as a Coach, Worship Consultant, and Spiritual Director. I feel blessed to be on this transforming journey of faith and would love to share some of it with you.
I currently live in Pittsburgh with my wife Carolyn and my two boys Ben (a Freshman at Pitt) and Sam (a Junior at the Creative and Performing Arts School) as well as our two dogs Luna and Duncan. Places I love experiencing sacred space are with good books, camping with my family, and sitting under a star filled sky at night.