Dear St. John’s Family,
Finally! After months of waiting, I am honored and excited to officially introduce myself as your new pastor. I’ve heard so many good things about the St. John’s congregation: your God-honoring, music-filled worship; your commitment to missions, locally and beyond; your ongoing engagement with scripture through Bible studies and children’s and youth Christian education; your steadfastness in prayer; your desire to engage with your community to extend open arms and serving hands to transform lives through Christ. In short, you have taken Christ’s call to make disciples to heart, living out that call on a daily basis. That is
, and I find it both exciting and humbling to now serve as your pastor.
Very quickly, a little background about me: originally from York County, PA, I came to Eastern PA to attend Moravian College (Bethlehem), graduating in 1996 with a degree in biology. For the next 14 years, I worked professionally in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries while actively participating as a layperson at Quakertown UMC. As those 14 years progressed, God’s calling to serve as a pastor that I first perceived as a teen could no longer be ignored. In 2009 I enrolled in seminary, and in 2011 I resigned from my pharma position to serve as pastor of Grace-St. Paul’s UMC in Jim Thorpe. God richly blessed my 9 years in Jim Thorpe, as the congregation grew and an additional worship service was added. My wife Jennifer, whom I met at Moravian, has been a steady source of encouragement and strength every step of the way. Jennifer and I are blessed with two wonderful children, Gavin (17) and Darcy (15), who are eager to join in the life of St. John’s. I have experienced the transforming power of Christ’s love, mercy and grace in my life and am passionate about extending the good news of Christ Jesus to all.
So here we are, ready to meet the amazing people of St. John’s, serve with you in ministry and mission, and discern God’s next steps for this great congregation… right in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic. COVID-19 will make the introduction process more challenging, yet please know I am committed to getting to know you as quickly as I can. Safety is paramount; all appropriate precautions to minimize risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 will be taken as St. John’s begins to restart in-person ministry and I begin to meet the congregation. I’m eager to meet and learn more about you – watch for opportunities in the coming weeks to meet your new pastor!
In closing, I’d like to leave you with the prophetic words of Isaiah:
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
People of St. John’s, know that God is at work! Our Lord’s word will not return empty; it
accomplish what God desires. Transitions, pandemics, uncertainty or anything else this world throws at us cannot change this truth. God has accomplished great things in the first 58 years of ministry at St. John’s, and I’m convinced that God will accomplish even greater things through His congregation moving forward. Know that I’m praying for you daily, and I cannot wait to jump in serve our Lord together!
Grace and Peace,