About

I’m in my early forties, a second-career pastor, who is married to my college sweetheart.  I’m dad to four wonderful and adaptable children.  And we love to travel and explore cultures and places.

I am the pastor at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in New Kingstown, Pennsylvania, USA.  You can check out the congregation and listen to sermons at our website – www.ststephenlc.org.

I love to write about theology (I’m a pastor after all, you know), politics (I have an extensive background in politics), and travel.

When it comes to God, theology, religion, etc.  I think it’s important to talk about how God is approachable, relevant, and enjoyable – and so is the church.  We have the best news in the history of news, yet I think often we forget this.  Too often church is too busy judging people.  I’m doing my part to change that narrative.

I graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in May, 2017.  During my time in seminary, our family took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study in Finland.  I took classes at the University of Helsinki.  And more importantly, I did my own research on the church in Finland.  I’m very interested in what the church and the laypeople think about the decline in membership of the Lutheran church in Finland.  What are they doing about?  Anything?  What’s working?  What’s not?  Is there some kind of universal principle that works?  What is the role of the church in society?  Etc.  Lots of questions. During my time there, I asked anyone and everyone about these things and now I have a ton of notes which I’m sorting through.

This blog gives me an outlet to get out what goes on in my head without driving my wife nuts hearing about what’s going on inside my head all the time.

Before seminary I worked at a food pantry, was an entrepreneurial coach and had an extensive career in politics and campaigning in DC and in PA.  (Long enough to know what politics is really about.)

That’s pretty much it for now.  Thanks for reading my posts, I look forward to hearing from you, my dear reader.  God Bless!

10 thoughts on “About”

  1. You wrote: “I’m looking forward to studying the church in Finland, how it is handling a decline in membership, and what it is doing about it.”

    Sounds interesting, because I wonder if ordinary people are consulted in this matter! My personal opinion is that generally speaking “wise men” know everything without asking the people. Maybe I am wrong, but who knows.

    I have photographed in Finland about 480 churches, mainly on countryside, which mean that I have visited them also outside the worship. Of course I have my own opinion concerning the decline, but I am not going to tell it here in public.

    I guess / hope that You have some interest about our churches’ architecture, design, history, art, pulpits, altars, chandeliers, Votive ships, not forgetting our Pro Patria statues on cemeteries etc. In Finland we have “nearly” unique paupers or poor man statues in the world. In my blog I have presented 57 pauper statues and their churches.

    Link to the first post:

    Poor-man statues in Finland.

    Happy stay in Finland! I wish all the good You and Your family.

    P.S. More info about ecclesial and other topics found under Categories.

    Like

    • Thanks for the information. I’ll check out your blog. And no, I’m not just asking the “wise men” about the decline. I believe the answer will come from a variety of sources. I’m also curious to know how the church is responding as well. Are they listening to people and in what way?

      Like

  2. Thank you for liking ‘Paper Bag Treasure’ on A Holistic Journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey there Matthew! I’m doing a project where I’m following ten exciting, fresh, and interesting bloggers each day for the month of March 2015, and you’re today’s #6! Feel free to come visit me when you can at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com, and follow if you like what you read. Have a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some people actually read about pages. You never really know. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A blessing to find this! I look forward to reading on!

    Liked by 1 person

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