Ministry

I am a community theologian and pastor of a small, diverse UCC congregation in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States.

The work and the perspective captured on this site originally evolved before I began working in congregational ministry. However, it remains relevant in its depiction of the theology that guides my daily work in my congregation and in the community.

My goal – then and now – is to live out my faith in everyday life, to call attention to what the French Jesuit writer Jean-Pierre de Caussade called ‘the sacrament of the present moment.’ I continue to learn that there are many ways to preach the good news of God’s inclusive justice, mercy, and love.

My daily work comprises three primary components: public ministry, anti-oppression work, and reflection on a life of faith.

Public Ministry 

  • spiritual and non-spiritual conversation – while this often focuses on how we make sense of the the world and our place in it, I’m also good with discussing kids, pie, football, beer, art, or the other stuff of life.
  • prayer – a practice of prayer and meditation dedicated to the healing of the world
  • pastoral and spiritual care  – offered in the community, without expectation

Anti-Oppression Work

  • active engagement with issues of justice is a key part of my understanding of faith, with a particular focus on the useful intersections of contemplation and action

Reflection on a life of faith

  • writing as a spiritual practice – check out the Blog or What the Heart Holds on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
  • liturgy – written to engage both the breadth of tradition and the concerns of contemporary life
  • preaching – anytime I’m invited

What I Believe: 

We are made by God in God’s image and charged with the care of all creation.

Contemporary culture in the service of material power and profit dehumanizes us. This is the narrative of empire. Rather than seeing our differences as a source of strength and interdependence, it divides us – often violently – across them. It attempts to commodify the whole of existence.

The Incarnational Christ calls us to honor and experience God by honoring one another and the Earth. To that end, I seek to both contest the narrative of empire and recognize the sacred in the everyday and in every person. I aspire to enact and embody this theology by seeing through a lens that acknowledges all time as holy, not just Sunday mornings or other designated Sabbath and worship moments.

My practice of this faith emphasizes conversation, care and presence, prayer, learning, curiosity, collaboration, meditation, creative expression, respect, humor, imagination, liturgy, and the building of porous, meaningful communities.