Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is my great honor to have been called by the Session to serve St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church as Interim Pastor during this time of pastoral transition. I realize that hearing this announcement of a new pastor at St. Andrew’s may prompt mixed emotions. I want to recognize the possibility that this news is both exciting and a difficult reminder of how sorely Pastor Jim Toole is missed. I miss him too, as he was my friend and trusted colleague. My goal during this time of transition will be to serve God faithfully, preaching, teaching, offering pastoral care, guiding the staff, and moderating the Session through the process which will prepare the congregation to call a new installed pastor. Let me introduce myself more fully.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of my graduation from seminary and ordination (on July 8!) as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. For the past sixteen years, I have served as Associate Pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Tucson, serving in all areas of church leadership, specifically overseeing discipleship ministry for all ages as well as multicultural worship and outreach ministries. I have been blessed to lead numerous ministries, collaborate with gifted staff, and serve in both local and international mission outreach. I serve the Presbytery on the Commission on Ministry, and on the boards of two Christian non-profit organizations that serve the Tucson community: Tucson Refugee Ministry (Board President) and Renewal Centers. At the University of Arizona, I studied Anthropology and Religious Studies (BA 1997). I am also a graduate of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv 2001) and Fuller Theological Seminary (DMin 2013).
Most importantly, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I can affirm that the Holy Spirit has been pursuing, correcting, and directing me through my whole life. My childhood was lived outside of Buffalo, NY and the summer before my eighth-grade year my family (Mom, Dad, and my brother, Andrew) fell in love with and moved to Arizona. I was baptized as a child, confirmed as a middle schooler, and my faith began to flourish in the high school youth group at Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley, AZ.
Lori and I have been married for twenty-four years, having met as college students in the Presbyterian campus ministry at the U of A. We have two sons, Caden (beginning at Grand Canyon University this fall semester) and Brennon (entering the 10th grade at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy). Lori teaches high school mathematics at PRCA. My hobbies and likes include exercise, playing guitar, photography, reading, travel, family research, drinking boba tea, tinkering in the garage, and I’m a big Buffalo Bills fan! Two Labradoodles (Austin and Oliver) round out our household – and bring constant joy!
I look forward to meeting and greeting you personally in the weeks and months ahead, expectant of God’s healing and transforming work among us.
Counting It All Joy,