Bio

Hi!  Thanks for visiting my website.  I hope you find it inspiring and encouraging.  Please drop me a line and introduce yourself too.  I’d love to know more about you.

I’m a rostered leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  I serve at pastor of Christ Lutheran Church on Allison Hill in Harrisburg, PA as well as the executive director of the health ministries at the church.  Christ Lutheran is a special place of healing.  You can learn more about the church and the health ministries at our website.

Prior to my current call, I served as the pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, in New Kingstown, PA.

I have a few passions when it comes to ministry.  One of them is homelessness.  During my time as pastor at St. Stephen, we launched a truck stop ministry in which we did laundry with people, made sure they could get a shower, and ate with people who were living in their cars, motels, or in other arrangements.  We provided sleeping bags, blankets, hats and gloves, and other supplies for people that are essential for survival, as well as tried to link people to health services.  We even did a worship service with people who wanted to worship together, including the sharing of the Lord’s Supper.

You can read more about this ministry in The Burg and in Living Lutheran.

Homelessness continued to grow as a challenge and so we launched a non-profit as well as another organization aimed at moving people into stable housing.

In July, 2020, I joined Pat LeMarche, a homelessness advocate and author, and several other dedicated people for what we called Sleep Out in the Park.

We set up shop in a pavilion in one of the Carlisle Borough Parks and live streamed interviews with about 17 people and organizations and stayed the night in the pavilion in an effort to raise awareness about homelessness and the challenges people face.  This has led to the launch of the Still Left Out in America podcast that I co-host with Pat.  You can find us on Facebook and YouTube and you can read and watch the news coverage here.

This grew in 2021 to the Homeless Blanket Project where people made over 200 blankets and they were laid out on the front steps of First Lutheran church in Carlisle, PA overnight to raise awareness around homelessness.  In 2022, we took the event to Washington, DC – to the West Lawn of the US Capitol – where over 1100 blankets were displayed.  You can learn more at www.memorialblanket.org.

I also have leadership responsibilities in the larger church.  I serve on the Policy Council of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania.  LAMPA advocates for wise and just public policies in Pennsylvania that promote the common good.

In addition, I have served as an elected member of the Lower Susquehanna Synod Council, the governing body of the Synod.  I served on the Executive Committee, currently chair the Mission Committee, and serve as chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force.  I also serve on the leadership team of the Vital and Vulnerable Congregations team for the ELCA.  In 2019 I also served on the Synod Renewal Team and the Assembly Planning Committee.

In 2020, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to begin teaching with the Stevenson School for Ministry.  I taught a course on faith and politics, as well as a course on living evangelism. In October 2020 I had the privilege of co-leading an online seminar on evangelism with the school.  You can see the video of the seminar here – https://youtu.be/Y09axDWQih0

In 2020, I was also invited to service on the advisory council for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics – a great publication exploring ethics.  I continue to serve in this way as well as contribute articles and book reviews for the journal.

In 2021, I was invited to serve on the advisory council of the Community Partners for Change of Cumberland County.  It’s a public-private community partnership that is working to end homelessness in our county.

In addition, I am a contributor to the Towards Racial Justice blog of Lower Susquehanna Synod.  You can check out some of my posts here and here.

In January 2023 I was lamenting yet another mass shooting in the country and the empty rhetorical response cycle that we experience. I wanted to changed the conversation so that we can focus on the humanity that is missing in the gun violence “debate.”  I reached out to a friend who help put together several other authors and we wrote a novel, “American Roulette”, about a mass shooting with a focus on the humanity of the people involved.

My educational background prepared me well for the work of ministry.  I graduated with honors in Political Science from Grove City College, in Grove City, PA in 1998.  In 2017 I graduated with my M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Now United Lutheran Seminary).  During my seminary time, I also had the opportunity to study at the University of Helsinki, Finland.  Our family spent a year in Finland, immersed in Finnish culture and exploring the many aspects of faith in Finland – it was one of the best experiences of our lives.  You can an article I wrote for a Finnish Lutheran Church publication at the conclusion of our time in Finland.

My work history also prepared me well for this vocation.  After college, I went to Washington, DC and worked as a Legislative Correspondant for US Representative Phil English, then as a Legislative Analyst for a Capitol Hill Lobbying firm – The Redding Firm.  Upon moving to Carlisle, PA, I started my own government affairs firm, The Atlantic Firm.  I then became a Legislative Assistant for PA Representative Will Gabig.

I then shifted careers, starting Best Solutions – an entrepreneurial coaching firm that worked with clients on strategy and messaging.  During this time, I also managed and did strategy for political campaigns for a variety of candidates and had a 75% success rate.

In 2009 I began discerning a call to ministry.  As part of this process, I gained valuable experience in the non-profit sector, working for Project SHARE – a food pantry in Carlisle, PA.  I began there as the Volunteer Coordinator and within six months became the Operations Manager, overseeing all of the staff and projects until 2012 when I began seminary.

During seminary, my internship took me to Evangelical Lutheran Church in Duncansville, PA where I learned valuable lessons in pastoring.  And I was fortunate to be a Senior Seminarian Vicar who served the people of Center Lutheran Church outside of Newville, PA.

In my personal time, I enjoy running (I’ve run 11 marathons, 18 half marathons, and a slew of other shorter distances), traveling (I have traveled across North America, in Central America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa), reading (mostly non-fiction politics, philosophy, theology, and churchy stuff), and writing.

I am married to my college sweetheart, Abigail.  And we are blessed to have four wonderful children and a dog, Jimmy.