I grew up in central MN. As an adult, I've lived in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Denver, and Boston and have now found my way back to greater MN. At the University of Minnesota, I earned a degree in English and Art History. I also held an internship at a sober high school, a place for teens in recovery from substance abuse to finish their diplomas. After a few years as a bouncer, a tutor, and managing an amusement park, I felt a call to ministry. I attended the Iliff School of Theology and Andover-Newton Theological School, graduating in 2013 and specializing in intentional interim ministry. First Congregational UCC of Glencoe, where I've served since November of 2015, is my second solo pastorate. I was ordained by the United Church of Christ in January 2016. Now I spend my time working with a youth mentoring program, Habitat for Humanity, trying to stay in shape, and taking in live theater when the opportunity arises.
For those who aren't familiar with our denomination, the Congregational Church merged with the Evangelical & Reformed church in 1957 to create the United Church of Christ, a new denomination committed to staying relevant to the modern world and being welcoming to diverse traditions and ways of thinking. Because of this merger, our church is both a congregational church and part of the United Church of Christ. We believe that the only head of the church is Jesus Christ, and therefore each church has the freedom and responsibility to follow where they feel God is calling them. We believe in working with other churches and faith groups, and that social justice is an important part of God's plan for us. One of my favorite UCC slogans is "Our faith is 2,000 years old. Our thinking is not." Indeed, we take our Christian identity seriously, while still listening for what new things God may be saying in the 21st century.
In the UCC, we also like to say that "no matter who you are, and no matter where you are on Life's journey, you are welcome here." We won't require you to believe all the same things as everyone else. And even if you're not sure what you believe, here at First Congregational UCC of Glencoe we work hard to share God's welcome and the warmth of fellowship, so that we can keep exploring God's love together.