the other side of the sea

Born in 1985, I am an artist, musician and writer, as well as a pastor in the Lutheran tradition. I currently serve at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Being a Christian (and especially of the Lutheran flavor) means believing firmly that our faith and trust in God alone saves us—that is, it liberates us and makes us fully human. With great power and beauty this trust and humanness pulls us to serve our neighbors, especially those cruelly marginalized in our world because of the intersectional categories of race, gender expression, class, sexuality, disability, or substance use.

I walked away from Christianity and the banality of the American Protestant church as a teenager. In love with painting, I went to art school at RISD and graduated with a BFA in 2007. Then I went to New York City—where my spirit was crushed pretty much almost immediately. But I worked for some amazing artists, and for a pretty incredible frame workshop. And living in Brooklyn I also made lots of artwork and music of my own, and some great friends along the way. At a particularly low point everything started to shift. I read something by Simone Weil and started praying the Lord’s Prayer again.

Then God called me back to God, back to the Church, back to that Lutheran place he started as a baptized infant. This made me cry a lot, I didn’t really understand why. Then in 2013 I headed to Yale Divinity School and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and graduated in 2016.

I learned a lot as an intern in a little Lutheran church in Brooklyn, and as a vicar at a big Lutheran church and the political advocacy non-profit Faith Action Network of Washington in Seattle. Realizing that tradition is beautiful but very dangerous, I find that rejecting it is necessary, but still this can also easily lead one astray.

In December of 2018 I was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament and called to serve as the associate pastor at St. Andrew’s.

In everything I do I hope to deepen for folks the joy and mystery that God has revealed to all the cosmos in Jesus, the Christ—the perfection and union of spirit and flesh, the gift of forgiveness, and communion with God.

I live in Philadelphia with my spouse Madelyn and our cats Homer and Peter.