I decided at age 8 that I wanted to be a priest, yes a priest. I grew up in a Catholic tradition. Ten years later, still wanting to enter the ministry, I enrolled at Brandeis University, which is an excellent school of a non-secular Jewish tradition. I was a double major in college: Philosophy and Political Science. I took Philosophy to get ready for the seminary; I took PoliSci in case I chickened-out and went to law school or something else instead. In 1982, I graduated from Brandeis in the Spring and in the Fall I entered the seminary – Philosophy won.
I was ordained on April 10, 1985, and I served in two wonderful churches for the next 32 years. First, I was an assistant pastor at a cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania for 3 years, then for the next 29 years I served a church community here in western Massachusetts. That’s when I married my wife Sharon, and had our two daughters, Kristin and Amanda.
During this time, I entered Smith College, which has a co-ed graduate department. I received my Master’s in 1993 in Religion and Biblical Literature. Just so you know, this meant that I attended a predominantly Jewish college first and then a predominantly women’s college second, and I think these experiences helped me to be more open-minded than I was accustomed.
It was a rather long and complicated journey from the Catholic tradition to becoming a UCC minister. I’m not good at boiling things down, but I’d have to say that my quandary with trying to figure out how meaningful change could take place in a relevant time period, combined with my absolute respect for church democracy, led me to change denominations and seek Privilege of Call in the UCC, which was granted in the Fall of 2017.
Hatfield Congregational Church took a chance on me on November 12, 2017. They have been a patient teacher and I am truly enjoying my time among them. The rest of my bio is yet to be written, but you’re more than welcome to come along and help write it.