Background and Philosophy

Thank you for the warm welcome to Oaklands during worship on February 5 and the annual meeting!  I’m so grateful to be able to support Pastor LeAnn and the church.

I’m in my 25th year as a Presbyterian pastor. I served a church in Dayton, Ohio, one in Long Island, New York, and then in one Takoma Park, Maryland.  My wife, Kolya, also went to seminary. She has a passion for environmental education and works for the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.  Our daughter, Sophia, is a high school junior.    For fun, we like to hike, to contra dance, and enjoy live music, especially world music and folk.   Hearing a good joke (or bad pun) makes my day.
I live in Montgomery County, and a year ago, I went with a sister city delegation to Gondar, Ethiopia.  That trip changed my life through witnessing two hospitals there and the medical need.  I sense the Spirit’s moving me to combine pastoral ministry with health care.  Now, I’m a full-time student at the Maryland Institute of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia).  God willing, in three years, I hope to open a “pastoral acupuncture” practice.  There’s a movement called “community acupuncture” that has a basis in liberation theology with a beautiful vision of social health.   Please pray for me as I seek to follow Jesus’ calling into healing ministry.

So what’s a Parish Associate?  It’s a volunteer position, invited and supervised by your pastor.  (It’s different from what’s called an Associate Pastor –that’s a paid position called by the congregation.)  When LeAnn is away from church, if you need pastoral care or a hospital visit, I will be on call.    Although I won’t be in worship too often (in part because I’m available to preach on Sundays when a pastor can’t be there), I’m honoredto support Pastor LeAnn and Oaklands for pastoral visitation and care.   I’m eager to experience what God is doing in your midst.   Amen.