Sometimes I think of myself as a “spiritual slow learner.” What I mean by that is although I’ve been interested in deepening my spiritual life ever since I was a teenager, it’s taken me a long, long time to figure out just how to do that.
My particular path toward spiritual growth has taken me through a couple of creative writing programs (Johns Hopkins and George Mason), through seminary (Meadville Lombard), and into a spiritual direction training program (One Spirit Learning Alliance).
Through it all, I’ve held onto a few simple practices, practices that may or may not have seemed “spiritual” to me at any given moment: devotional reading (especially poetry), journaling (“morning pages” anyone?), and sitting (occasionally meditating, mostly just sitting).
What finally made things click for me was, after a decade of ministry as a congregational life consultant for the Unitarian Universalist Association, finding myself with a very real need for a soul-sustaining spiritual life. (Big life changes, like getting hitched and having a kid, can do that to you.)
So I recommitted to those spiritual practices of mine, added a couple of new ones (intentionally spending time in nature every day, regularly meeting with my own spiritual director), and found myself seeing the world, my relationships, and my life in a new light.
That new light includes a desire to help others trying to get serious about their spiritual lives. I know from experience that it isn’t easy. It can be, frankly, kind of boring sometimes. But in the end, those new insights on how to best live one’s “wild and precious life” (as poet Mary Oliver puts it) are worth every ounce of effort we put into it.
So, that’s the “unofficial” about me. Here’s my button-down biography in case you’re interested:
I have over 20 years experience serving individuals and congregations in the areas of faith formation and spiritual growth, first as a religious educator in Bloomington, Indiana, New York City, and Chicago, Illinois, and most recently as a congregational life consultant working for the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. I hold a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago and a certificate in InterSpiritual Counseling from One Spirit Learning Alliance in New York.
I’ve received additional training in The Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter and Discerning Your Call: Dependable Strengths® for Congregations at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I’ve completed the Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders sponsored by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. I’m a Certified Practitioner of The MBTI® Step I™ and Step II™ Instruments and a certified PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator. I’ve also been approved as a Conscious Aging Facilitator by the Institute of Noetic Sciences. In 2013 I was named the Fahs Fellow for Innovation in Technology by the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard.
I currently live in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with my wife, Julia, and our son (a ginger-haired wonder of a boy), Henry David.