My journey to ministry began with an amazing gift.
I am originally from a small town in Southern Michigan. While church wasn’t a part of my life growing up, I became fascinated with religion after taking an anthropology course, World Religions, at Grand Valley State University. It inspired me to begin a journey to finding where I fit, what I believed, which ultimately led me through the doorway of my first UU congregation. After that first service, I began to wonder about ministerial leadership. My wonderings led me to a meeting with the minister of that congregation. I left that meeting with a date for my first sermon and the gift, that she expected my success right from the beginning.
After that sermon, I knew this was my calling. My partner, Matthew and I packed up our lives, including our two cats, and traveled to Boston where I completed my Masters of Divinity at Boston University School of Theology. From there, we packed up our lives again and went to California, where I had the opportunity to be both the intern minister at the UU Church of Davis and their campus minister at University of California, Davis.
When I first started my ministerial journey in Boston, I knew that my heart would bring me back to the Midwest, back to family, friends, and the Great Lakes. Simon, Watson, Matthew, and I made the journey back in 2018, when I began as the minister at Beacon Congregation. In May of this year, we welcomed our first son, Harvey James. It has been a beautiful journey and I look forward to what lies ahead.
All of these experiences, along with my ministerial presence, leadership within the denomination, and extensive training have prepared me to offer meaningful pastoral care and committed leadership. With this presence, I also bring an enthusiasm and a joy that is the base of my ministry. What this joy and enthusiasm looks like in each ministerial situation changes. It rises and falls to meet the emotional needs of the moment, but always the commitment and care for others is present and fed by messy, complicated, beautiful relationships.
My journey to ministry began with a gift, an expectation of success. I pass that gift on, that expectation that we will succeed, to every congregation I have the privilege of serving.