Who am I?

I was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The theology was, in a word, CONSERVATIVE.

During my first religion class at St. Olaf College, a class called "The Breakfast Club," which met at 7:45 AM, our professor, Charlie Wilson, walked us through a coherent proof that God doesn't exist. My theological awakening had begun.

I earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance, which ultimately brought me to the Twin Cities, where I was blessed to spend a dozen years singing professionally with Minnesota Opera and The Minnesota Chorale. These experiences have had a profound impact on my spirituality and in broadening my understanding of God's presence in this world. During those same dozen years, I worked for the Corporate Legal Department of UnitedHealth Group, where I met and worked with people from many faith backgrounds, seeking to live out their faiths in a frenetic business environment.

Throughout my years in the Twin Cities, Bethlehem Lutheran Church has been my church home. What was begun at St. Olaf has continued in this loving, open, embracing community. Today, I find my theological views continuing to shift beyond the left end of the ELCA spectrum. God is so much bigger than any of us can begin to understand, big enough for all of us and our flawed understandings of God, each other, and all of creation.

Thanks to a mission trip to Palestine and Israel I co-led with one of our pastors in 2010, I am an area representative for Bright Stars of Bethlehem, an organization that tells the stories of, and raises funding for, the Diyar Consortium in Bethlehem, Palestine. The organization is led by Reverend Mitri Raheb (pictured center); its various ministries grew out of the tiny Christmas Lutheran Church and serve Palestinians "from cradle to grave."

At the beginning of August I completed my internship at Trinity Lutheran Congregation and Augsburg College, in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. It was a great joy to experience ministry in a culturally, religiously, and ethnically diverse context. God is at work in so many ways in that place, and it was a privilege to be a part of that work for a while. The context offered opportunities to practice interfaith dialogue and work and to explore the needs of young adults and how they envision the church going forward.

This is the beginning of my final year in Luther's M.Div. program. I look forward to the journey of full-time ministry.

I live in Minnetonka, MN, with my best friend, and wife of 11 years, Regina. Together, we enjoy gardening, cooking, traveling, riding our tandem bike (the Hellbetty - http://schellers.com/images/library/Zoom/electra_168240_09_z.jpg), and ballroom dancing.

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