For many years, decades even, I wrestled with myself.
Was I a preacher that wanted to write, or a writer that preached? Most of the time it was just a dull ache as writer inside was subjugated to preacher, who was the one getting paid after all. But sometimes the skirmish broke into the open or fueled depression and anxiety.
Finally, in 2013, with great fanfare and deep gratitude for the privilege that full time parish ministry had been, I became a part-time preacher and a full-time writer (in Vermont no less). What I have discovered since, and which should have been obvious all along, is that I am both. My preaching would have been greatly diminished without the love of writing, and without the practice of ministry I would have so much less to write about.
Poetry To date, six of my poems have been published. While each of these, and many of those still in the cue, are poems I celebrate, I am especially proud of “Mother Teresa’s God.” It was included in an exceptional international anthology from Eyewear Publishing (UK), “The Poet’s Quest for God.” You will find links to other poems elsewhere on the website, and I hope to have an announcement before too long, about a full-length book of poems.
Fiction “The Steam Room Diaries,” published by DAOwen (CA) in 2015, and the soon to be released, “Thoughtwall Café, Espresso in the Third Season of Life,” Unsolicited Press (US), are very different stories but both in that unique genre, god noir. Like this website, these novels take the view that the spiritual is best pointed to through art and imagination, and the sacred something potentially encountered in the everyday and routine.
Columnist “Denim Spirit” is a weekly column published in The Finger Lakes Times (NY, circ. 28,800). It often seeks to distill a Sunday sermon into five hundred words without any god-talk or church jargon. Sometimes it succeeds.
I have served congregations in university settings, urban neighborhoods, a suburb, and two in small towns surrounded by agricultural economies. They have ranged in number from forty-five members to over six-hundred households, and were housed in huge historic and architecturally significant campuses, as well as small wooden and brick buildings. In short, from Boston to Indiana, Ohio to New York and Vermont, I have had the privilege to love and be loved by beautiful people. Also, for more than a decade I had the privilege to witness the incarnation of deeply powerful community as it was built and nurtured in the Bajo Lempa, Usuluton El Salvador. As if that were not a feast enough for anyone, I also had the privilege of teaching world religion for five years at a Jesuit college.