From a young age I’ve been captured by the wonder of Creation. I grew up playing in the woods near my parent’s home in Plymouth, Michigan and wandering the cow pastures of my grandparent’s farm near Coshocton, Ohio. I grew up hearing about God and learning from the Bible in a local church, but it was my many experiences of God’s presence in Creation that directed my curiosity toward the divine. I would walk among the climax forests in Michigan and reflect on my age in relation to the Oaks and Hickory trees, and learn of God’s timeless majesty. I would watch as cattle grew, and were butchered on the farm and experience God’s providence in life and in death. Now I sit on the shores of the ocean and the great expanse reminds me of God’s great love, touched but never fully explored. Creation continues to reveal God to me, and the more I learn of the universe and its complexity the more in awe of its Creator I become.
My favorite subjects in school were science, history and philosophy. When I went away to college at Northern Michigan University it seemed only right that I would study something that had to do with them. I found a perfect union of these subjects in what I eventually received my degree in, Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. I spent summers guiding people in the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, interpreting farm life at Cincinnati Nature Center, doing adventure programming at Presbytery Point Camp, and teaching canoeing. Yet nothing excited me more than sharing about the God I loved, who had captured my curiosity. After college I attended Asbury Theological Seminary with plans to serve in the U.S. Army as a Chaplain. My thirst for knowledge became unquenchable as I learned more about my Creator. Questions led to answers, which prompted more questions.
At seminary I met my wife Amy, with whom I now have three children (Madeleine, Tim, and Abby). I connect to God through them as well. I see God in Amy’s patience with my hobbies, in Madeleine’s love of learning, Tim’s creativity, and Abby’s love of neighbor. I learned a lot in seminary, but nothing prepared me for what God would teach me as a husband and parent.
I am constantly overcome with wonder at my God and the ways in which I encounter the divine presence in my life. I am still on a journey of discovery, still struck by the wonder of Creation, and grateful for the ways God has loved me through my family and the greater community of faith. I am still full of questions. Some of which I may never get answers, and that is okay. I’m on this journey of faith too, and seeking answers to those questions has led me to the one who Created me, called me, and has set me apart for leadership.
At First Bonita, all are invited to come, question, and seek out answers in faith that all who seek will find. You are invited to join us on this journey of faith as we love God and love our neighbors (even the scaly, feathery, and furry ones.)