I’m an ordained elder in the New England Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and on an exciting journey of faith and ministry. I’ve discovered that I’m most fulfilled when I am co-creating something, whether it’s a blog, a church program, or a family. Welcome to a space where I share my thoughts, my sermons, and little observations from a young, progressive, fallible pastora.
As of July 2014, I am now the pastor of Lebanon United Methodist Church in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Still learning the ropes and adjusting to life “upside-down” — New Hampshire is a visual flip from my previous home state, Vermont — I’m excited to serve in this vital, reconciling congregation, and reach out together in service in the Upper Valley region and beyond.
I previously served at Trinity United Methodist Church in Montpelier, Vermont (where I was also co-founder and president of a local non-profit organization, Just Basics, Inc.), Grace United Methodist Church in Plainfield, Vermont, and at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Castleton-on-Hudson, New York.
The title of my blog comes from a hymn by Julian B. Rush, “In the Midst of New Dimensions,” a favorite hymn of mine from the United Methodist Hymnal supplement, The Faith We Sing (2000), emphasizing God’s presence with us on life’s journey.
God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar, we your people, ours the journey, now and ever, now and ever, now and evermore.
You can also interact with me in other places on the web. Visit me at:
WYSIWYG disclaimer: Here on this blog, as well as in my real life, what you see is certainly what you get, and I’m nothing if not authentic. Yes, that means that sometimes I wear my heart on my sleeve, and my snot on everyone else’s. As I said in a post about the purpose of this blog, I do consider it part of my ministry to be so transparent in my humanness that people can’t help but think, “well if God can use *that*, then maybe God can use me too!” For this reason, I may not always be orthodox or what people expect. All I ask is that comments remain civil and constructive. I reserve the right to change, edit, or delete any post or comment at my discretion.
What do I believe? It’s hard to put into words and leave unchanged, but here’s a post where I outline a lot of it, and here’s a sort of creed I wrote once.
I believe in God who created and creates with love, grace, and justice, who cares for each individual creature deeply, and calls and empowers us all to a new vision wherein, with God’s help, we heal our broken relationship with God, each other and God’s world.
I believe in Jesus the Christ, the Word of God incarnate: in his life, he taught us the message of God’s love and the vision of God’s realm, a radical message of inclusion and faith for which he was willing to die; in his death, he embodied true love of and true faith in us and God, thus making possible the restoration of our broken divine-human covenant relationship; in his resurrection, he liberated us from suffering and death, healing the rift between God and humanity, and making possible the promise of eternal life with God.
I believe in God’s Spirit, present in the life of the church and of individual persons, communicating throughout history the gospel of God’s love, and inviting all people into God’s grace. I believe that all of God’s creation, human, animal, and earthly, is an expression of God’s very self, can be a revelation of God’s Spirit, and must be reverenced as God’s own, as “the least of these.”
An Unorthodox Ecclesiology
(something I wrote once about what the Conference and the church is to me)
Yeah, I bit off a bit more than I could chew, responsibility wise, this Conference session. But I’m in a place where that’s okay, where people understand, where we all have times when we over-commit because we love God and we love what we do and we love to give a gift, and where we all are there for one another, laughing and crying and getting silly and dreaming about the future. We all have moments when we need one another, when we can’t stand on our own, and from that shared experience, be it exhaustion or grief (or public tipsiness?) we make no judgment, just walk each other back to where we belong.
You want to know what I think The Church is? Read that previous paragraph again.