Archive for the ‘Vocation & Ministry’ Category

I believe that congregations are meant to be a vibrant and vital part of their local community.  Even as God calls us to care for people in all parts of the world, we have also been placed in local communities where congregations become a source of life through worship and discipleship.  Local communities also provide a context in which to serve our neighbor and gather as community to continuously expand our mission outward.

As pastor of Temple Lutheran Church in Havertown, PA, I have found local collaborations to be central to our misison:

  • President, Haverford Township Clergy Association (2008-2010)
  • Coordinator, Haverford Township Senior Dine Around (2005-present)
  • Community Advisory Board, Surrey at Havertown Center (Senior Services)
  • Board Member, Haverford Cares Project (response to Hurricane Katrina)
  • Leadership team, Youth Together (youth ministry collaboration)
  • Event sponsor, Kevin Cain Make My Day 5K
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I had the privilege of preaching at the 2009 Southeastern PA synod assembly.  Worship was centered around Paul’s engaging the people of Athens in conversation by leaving the temple and meeting people in the marketplace.

I shared a recent experience I witnessed as a conversation about Jesus sprang to life over social networking on Facebook.  Watch the video here

This weekend at our annual synod assembly, the Lutheran bishop of SE Pennsylvania recognized the “Law & Gospel” YouTube video (see earlier post). She called it an example of proclaiming God’s word in the language of the 21st century. I thought it would be appropriate to go ahead and put the event on YouTube, too. Look for me at the end! I’m not sure, but I think she lumped me in with St. Paul and Martin Luther (which I can only agree with insofar as both of them, like me, considered themselves to be real turds).

The original video has now been well received by our bishop, Lutheran theologian/historian Dr. Timothy Wengert, and was posted this afternoon by national speaker/author Kelly Fryer (who has written books about “reclaiming L, C & E words”) on her website/blog.
I still enjoy watching it…you should watch it, too! Watch it…rate it…comment on it!! With your help, my kids can become the world’s next meaningless internet celebrities.

Shortly after graduating from seminary in 2004, I accepted a call to serve as pastor of Temple Lutheran Church in Havertown, PA.  I am very excited about being a part of a small but vibrant and compassionate congregation.

As the only pastor, I am connected to all parts of the ministry of the congregation.  At the same time, I continue to strive to enable volunteer leaders and help people discover the areas of ministry that they are passionate about.

I have been greatly encouraged by the congregation’s deep love for one another and warmth toward new faces that visit for worship.  I also remain amazed at the amount of service that is accomplished by a relatively small congregation.  Examples include participation in a soup kitchen and food cupboard ministry, Habitat for Humanity, World Hunger projects, local foundations, blood drives, and many other acts of compassion.

I have also been glad to be a part of the congregation’s efforts during multiple renovation projects to our 90-year old church building, important discernment and changes in our worship life, staff transitions, and challenging financial circumstances.  Congregation leaders have become increasingly visionary and effective from year to year.

During my final year of seminary, I also served as a chaplain at Cathedral Village, a retirement community in Philadelphia, PA.  My primary role was to serve residents in the skilled nursing facility.  I led two weekly worship services (including one in the Alzheimer’s/dementia unit) and spent most of my time visiting with residents.