STUDENTS & JUSTICE PASTOR
Resident Nerd (Ravenclaw, if anyone’s asking) | Snowboarding Enthusiast (read: powder snob) | New Charlottean (by way of the wild west) | Eclectic Sports Loyalist (Utah Jazz, Arizona Cardinals, New York Excelsior…that last one is worth a Google)
WHAT DOES A STUDENTS PASTOR DO AT WATERSHED?
I strive to foster a welcoming, safe, and fun environment that empowers Watershed’s youth to take ownership of their faith journey, navigating the tension between doubt and discovery, risk and responsibility, loss and love.
My wife Amy and I have three girls: Marina, Clara, and Leia. Marina – Mae for short – is our conscientious feeler. Before having her I didn’t know such empathy was possible in someone so small. Clara is our passionate rebel. She didn’t make a peep when she was born but she hasn’t stopped expressing her wonderful opinions ever since. Leia is new, but she already has her sisters working for her. We expect big things. Amy is an artist and photographer, manages a photography studio in the Charlotte area, and instills in our girls a drive for authenticity, joy, and grace.
I ended up in Charlotte by way of Arizona (with extended prior stops in Utah, Texas, and my birthplace, Florida). Local church ministry is the only calling I’ve ever known, though I didn’t know it until after sampling a few other paths up through college. None of them stuck. I graduated from the University of Utah with a double major in English and Communications and I am currently pursuing my Masters degree at Fuller Theological Seminary.
While the pursuit of God has long been – to use the language of Paul Tillich – my ultimate concern, I must admit that my journey has taken some unexpected twists and turns over the last number of years. But I relish the opportunity to continue that journey here at Watershed.
HOW I COLLIDED WITH WATERSHED
As my spiritual journey began to spin out in unexpected directions, we knew it was time to seek a fresh start away from our church in Arizona where I had been a youth pastor for the previous five years. We had friends in Charlotte who brought us out for a visit and, in a few short days, we fell in love with the city. As we debated whether or not it was crazy to up and move across the country, we discovered Watershed by way of Google. We scoped out the website, listened to a few sermons, and before even putting our house in the market in Arizona, we knew we were home.
I was once, briefly, the top-ranked player in the world for a Star Wars themed computer game; I’ve seen every Godzilla movie ever made; my spirit animal would be a Pokémon; I can bring myself to tears describing certain scenes in Lord of the Rings; and while I reserve the right to change my mind if presented with a compelling argument, telekinesis is currently my super-power of choice.
THINGS I'VE READ RECENTLY THAT YOU SHOULD READ TOO
My Bright Abyss by Christian Wiman
The God Who Saves by David Congdon
Our God Loves Justice by W. Travis McMaken
Night Comes by Dale Allison
Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
THINGS I'M READING NOW
Faith Formation in a Secular Age by Andrew Root
Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker by Andrew Root
A Black Theology of Liberation by James Cone
FAVORITE QC SPOTS
Temple Mojo Growler Shop, any Sabor Latin Grill, and all the places my kids love (ImaginOn, Discovery Place, that tiny aquarium in Concord)
FAVORITE QUOTE (MORE OF AN EXCHANGE, REALLY)
Harry Potter: “Is this all real? Or is it just happening inside my head?
Professor Dumbledore: “Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry. Why should that mean it’s not real?”
Be present. I have more than enough time to dream and reflect. But the present is only here for a moment.