The Rev. Joshua N. Sullivan

the other side of the sea

Joshua is a Christian (from the Lutheran tradition). He is the associate pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Joshua believes strongly 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 will pull 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.

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

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

After seminary, he learned a lot as an intern in a little Lutheran church in Brooklyn and as a vicar in Seattle at a big Lutheran church and a political advocacy non-profit called Faith Action Network of Washington. He learned that tradition is beautiful, but very dangerous. He learned that rejecting it is necessary, but this can also easily lead one astray as well. In December of 2018 Joshua was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament.

In everything he does Joshua hopes 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.

He lives with his wife Madelyn in Philadelphia with their cats Homer and Peter.