My journey with Jesus began at my baptism on May 16, 1954. I grew up in the Lutheran church always knowing that Jesus loved and died for me. My confirmation in May of 1969 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bremerton Washington was my affirmation that I would follow Jesus, but then I missed my first communion celebration with my confirmation classmates because I went on my first backpacking trip with friends. The call to explore God’s creation has often been as strong as my call to be in the midst of God’s people.
Though I was always active in my Lutheran congregation, I also participated in the charismatic renewal of the 1970’s. While attending a Quaker college I participated in a variety of local congregations: Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Independent. Yet when I finished college, I knew that I was still a Lutheran at heart and so decided to attend Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul.
I graduated from Luther Seminary in 1984 and faithfully served one congregation: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN for nearly three decades. I was blessed to be called as Lead Pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in 2010. Ministry has always been a part of my spiritual journey, though at times I fear that in my serving God’s people, I have neglected my connection to Jesus. I still need to die to self and rise again to newness of life (Romans 6).
Through out my pastoral ministry I have had three foci:
1. The Lord is a God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving the iniquity and transgression of sin. (Exodus 34:6-7) In a word: Grace.
2. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. (I John 14:11). In a word: Love.
3. (Pastors) are to equip the saints for the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12). In a word: Equip.
My wife, Carolyn, served four years as a Lutheran pastor at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church in NE Minneapolis, but chose to be home as our children grew up. In more recent years, she has written a Bible study for the Women of the ELCA and has served as continuing education advisor for the Minneapolis Area Synod. Our three children are now young adults. Jonathan graduated from college in 2009 and has formed a new company with friends. Suzanne graduated from college in 2005 and works and writes in St. Paul, MN. Christina is a junior at Swarthmore College in suburban Philadelphia.
Since 1999, I have found that running could be a spiritual discipline. Running with a group at St. Andrew’s, I have completed eleven marathons and have hosted an annual 5K race benefiting Habitat for Humanity. I continue to enjoy backpacking in the mountains as a path to spiritual, mental and physical renewal.