I was voted to be UUMAN’s 4th called minister on May 8th, 2016.
My wife Tammy and I, along with our 20 year-old daughter Isabella, moved here from the Pittsburgh area. We also have three young adult sons Austin, Brice and Sully who live in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Pittsburgh respectively. They were raised UU at the UU Church of the South Hills (Pittsburgh…aka Sunnyhill).
I am a 2016 graduate from the Meadville-Lombard Theological School and served as an Intern Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh from 2014-2016. I have undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University and a MS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Tammy is a third grade teacher in the Cobb County School District.
My out-of-church interests are music, specifically jazz & blues harmonica, chromatic harmonica, piano and guitar. I am also an avid trail runner and love the many relatively wild natural areas that have been preserved in this large metro area – specifically the areas along the Chattahoochee River and surrounding streams ( e.g. Vickery Creek, Gold Branch, Island Ford, Sope Creek, Palisades, Cochran Shoals, etc.). These are a true treasure!
I am a religious humanist – and this religious humanism is also informed by Taoist, Buddhist and Postmodern theologies and ideas. I am agnostic about god. I seek to maximize human flourishing and human community while being a responsible steward of the earth.
As a pragmatist and as one’s minister, I will encourage congregants to follow and deepen whatever theology resonates with them. Part of my role in this regard will be to provide questions, not answers. Hopefully, these questions will help deepen the varied theologies held by those I am called to serve.
This begs my thoughts regarding religious language. Sometimes I use it. Sometimes I don’t.
More often than not, people first come to our congregations when they are experiencing brokenness. They’re hurting and they need to be ministered to. We owe them that. And sometimes they need to hear and be comforted by a certain word or a certain ritual from their religious past that they can grab onto.
When I am sitting in the pews and the minister says a comforting word that doesn’t resonate with me, or with my particular theological orientation, I let it go. I let it slide by. It’s meant for someone else. And it is an easy gift for me to give to one in need.