I have served as St. John’s pastor since 2015. Our family moved here from Ohio (we lived in Arizona before that). This is the third congregation I have served since 2003, when I completed my ministry training with Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. I grew up in a small town, an hour west of St. Louis (no wonder I am an avid Cardinals baseball fan!).
My parents retired, after dad served for 30 years as a Lutheran pastor and mom supported our family and her community with several different jobs. My mom now lives with Jesus and my dad lives with my sister’s family in Nebraska. Jesus called my sister to serve as a music teacher in a Lutheran high school, and her husband to serve as a pastor of a vibrant, rural Lutheran church in Nebraska. Our parents and a great church family provided wonderful examples that contributed to both of us becoming church workers.
My wife, Sarah, also grew up as a pastor’s kid, living several places on the west coast. Her parents live here in Vancouver and we are glad to be this close. Sarah and I met in St. Louis where we studied together at Concordia Seminary. She earned a Masters in Theology, and what she has learned about God drives her devotion to our kids, her friends, and her work as a highly capable administrative professional for Thrivent Financial.
Our family spent 7 years as licensed foster care providers. We aren’t a perfect family, but I believe that God does amazing work in the home (even when we are not completely put together). It’s a great setting to lean into His Word, express His forgiveness, experience His grace, and grow in our faith. We are no longer a fostering family, and we are finding new ways to walk along with Jesus in the mission field of our daily lives.
God called us to this community that He loves and we continue to learn how to move with Him in our little niches here – whether with our church, at our schools, ball fields, or neighborhood. We get to be a small part of Jesus’ big job of redeeming people, restoring lives, and reconciling people to His Father.
I am amazed that Jesus lets me work with Him to serve His Church. I love preaching, teaching, and caring for people because it gives me the opportunity to put the focus on Jesus. I love helping people discover the reconciliation Jesus gives us with the Father. I love helping people understand that Jesus’ Easter resurrection gives us hope for a future with no more dysfunction, disease, or death. The future with Jesus is so good! It makes a big difference to live in light of His presence now and the hope of the future He has earned for us.