It is with great excitement that I begin this week to share in ministry with you at Harvard Epworth UMC. My wife, Sarah and I, and our two sons, Ben (21) and Blaine (18) look forward to being a part of this church family, and to joining with you in continuing the long tradition of a ministry at Harvard Epworth of faithful service, compassionate justice, and joyful community. It has been a blessing to begin to get to know some of those involved with the church and I can’t wait for the opportunity to get to know everyone and to begin this journey together.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote once, “a man is what he thinks about all day long,” and I can tell you that being a pastor is what I think about. Even over these last 12 years as I have worked as President and CEO of Deaconess Abundant Life Communities (a not for profit multi-site aging services provider founded by Methodists 125 years ago), although management was the function I performed, I really felt that my vocation continued to be ministry throughout this time. Of course, in addition to this focus at the Deaconess, I have been blessed by being the volunteer youth pastor at St. Matthews UMC in Acton, so this often provided me a unique blend of experiences.
I grew up in the church, with my dad being a pastor, but in a way coming to Harvard Epworth brings me back to where I first felt a call into the ministry. It was while I was at Harvard Business School, and got involved in mission trips to Haiti and Peru with the Graduate School Christian Fellowship, that I began to truly discern my call. Then, after a few years of working at a management consulting company in Cambridge, while attending Calvary UMC in Arlington, I decided to go to seminary and also began serving as pastor at a church in Newbury, MA. Martin Luther King, jr. said once, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step,” and as I come back to Cambridge now I look forward to inviting, encouraging, and joining people in stepping forward in faith to the futures that God places before us all.
As we begin this journey together, keep me in your prayers and I will keep you in mine. My ears, eyes and heart are open to the possibilities that God has for our ministry in the years ahead and this openness begins through being committed to listening to each of your hopes and dreams for the future. I also expect to become active in Cambridge and the surrounding community and appreciate any input and insight on connections to make. With God all things are possible, and we will continue to work for transformation in our lives, in our church, and in our world. I look forward to the adventure ahead.
Until we meet, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) See you in church!
Grace and peace,