If I had a personal mission statement, it would be:
“Reforming the church, one conversation at a time.”
This is a place where I reflect about things both theological and personal, musing about life and faith in an attempt to be better equipped for ministry in today’s 21st Century challenges.
Sermons, videos, reflections and more – all end up here.
Thanks for joining me.
I currently teach freshman religion as part of the Religion Faculty and also serve as one of the Campus Ministers at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, CT. I’ve shared a podcast since 2015 with my friend and colleague, Pastor Joe McGarry called “2 Bald Pastors.” Connecting faith to life while serving others is central to what I do.
I became the chaplain of the Old Saybrook Fire Department in 2018, started my training as a probie in 2019, and became a volunteer firefighter in 2020. Becoming a firefighter has been a real thrill, a wonderful way to serve my town and neighbors, and build a community outside of church-life.
I was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on July 20, 2002. I’ve served congregations most recently in Old Saybrook, CT; New Canaan, CT Avon, CT; and Hermosa, SD. I also served as Dean of the Eastern Connecticut Rivers Conference (2015-2020) and Southern CT Conference (2012-2014). Both are Conferences composed of several congregations of the New England Synod, ELCA.
I got my start at a Lutheran camp in Wisconsin (Crossways Camping Ministries) where I worked five summers, met and married my wife, met some close friends and received a great depth of ministry experience. The year after college I worked outside of Milwaukee 1/2 time as a youth director in a congregation, and 1/2 time at Lutherdale Bible Camp, where I got some good experience, and met several other of my closest friends. Eventually most of us ended up married and doing church work in various settings across the country. We serve as godparents for each other’s kids, and get together with our “camp cousins” whenever possible. I have two children and an amazing wife in Tammie, and they teach me many things about life, parenting, faithfulness, and what I don’t know, on a daily basis.
I went to Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin where I received a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Religion minor in 1997. After my year at Lutherdale, I went to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota where I received the Master of Divinity (M.Div) in 2002, and completed a Master of Sacred Theology (STM) at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2011. My thesis centered on mission and renewing congregations.
I am interested in how we carry forward the faith into the 21st century; as many times it feels like pushing a big rock, up a big hill. I suspect ministry has always felt like that, but this is the time and place in which we live, and the set of circumstances God has called us to engage. So here we are – trying to figure out what it means to be faithful, TODAY.
I invite you to the conversation.
Maybe together we can “reform the church, one conversation at a time.”
Peace – PGS