Bio

Photo by Tom Deslongchamp

I am the freshly called (and not yet ordained) associate pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Perkasie, PA.

The youngest of three brothers, I grew up in small towns in central Connecticut. As a self-righteous and principled teenager, and as I followed my dream of becoming an artist, I walked away from Christianity. I studied fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where, more than anything else, I’ve found I got a solid work ethic and creative problem solving skills. I received my bachelors (BFA)  in 2007.

After graduating, I worked several jobs in the arts in New York City and created my own large scale paintings and sculptures. Also, inspired by the rich tradition of Black American blues and gospel, I honed my own style of music, curated a small record label, and spent many hours busking in the subway. Although I had always imagined that I had turned away from organized religion, after encountering the Christian writings of Simone Weil and Christian Wiman I realized that I had never actually left God or the Church, nor had God ever left me. So, between an exhausting work schedule and the grinding materialism of NYC, prayer and new insights about Christ came to my inner life.

Soon, I began to experience an overwhelming call to ordained ministry. I started at Yale Divinity School (YDS) and the Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) in 2013, and consulting with pastors from my home church I was shepherded back into the ELCA and began helping there at Bethany Lutheran Church in Sunday school, assisting minister and confirmation roles. At YDS I joyfully explored this new vocation in Christian leadership and found a love for combining Lutheran community and theology; justice and service; and worship and the arts. I earned my master of divinity (MDiv) and was honored with the ISM faculty prize in 2016.

In 2014, I served as a part-time intern in my old stomping ground of NYC concurrently with my studies at YDS at small, vibrant Lutheran ministry. I found my calling there working to bring grace and vitality to churches trying to adapt to confusing economic and cultural changes, and sharing Christ in creative and authentic ways. After Yale, I served as both a vicar for Ballard First Lutheran Church in Seattle (a good-sized church with Norwegian roots), and as an organizer for Faith Action Network of Washington (a multi-faith nonprofit advocating for sustainable and equitable public policy). Working in Washington state I experienced new kinds of Christian ministry and service, yet gained great respect for the traditional. I also discovered a deep love for pastoral ministry and was blessed to be part of the lives of many wonderful people.

Since the Fall of 2017, I’ve been pursuing a master of sacred theology (STM) at the United Lutheran Seminary, I’ll be finishing my thesis this year.

I currently live in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia with my wife Madelyn Robertson, a hospice social worker for Penn Medicine (and our two cats Homer and Peter). I like to take long walks in the city and the woods, keep up with my fine arts pursuits, and cook. I’m a lapsed Red Sox fan (ready to root for the Phillies!), and I love a good plain donut with a cup of coffee.

In all that I do I hope to deepen for people of all ages the joy, mystery and hope that God provides in Christ and through the Holy Spirit.