Our Pastor

Interests

Having fun with my family, reading, outsmarting tech, playing the guitar,
go Red Sox!

Best Thing I Do for God All Year

Vacation Bible School and Camp

Why Did I Come to First Church?

When I came to First Church in 2013, I could have gone lots of places. What I found at the First Church of Squantum is a group of people trying to live faithful lives, trying to love well, and in just the right place at the right time for great things to happen! What makes First Squantum great, is that we get what it means to be church—loving Jesus Christ and loving each other. We understand loving each other means more than money or talk—it’s something we do with our lives. We think of ourselves as family for each other and try to show it. God's grace is what powers us to be compassionate with all kinds of people, and to be God’s hands and feet carrying Good News to the world.

As if having a great church isn’t enough, I have wonderful family. My wife, Cynthia, is incredibly beautiful, smart and funny—I’m not biased! We have three terrific children— Morgan (22 and away at college), Hannah (11th grade) and Caleb (7th grade)—who help keep us on our toes. My dad, David, lives with us now too, when he’s not gallivanting around the country. I believe my most important ministry is to my family.

I have a lot of interests—volleyball, cooking, movies, science and religion, current affairs, playing guitar, playing with my kids.

This is an exciting time to be alive, and to be following Jesus Christ together.

That’s some of my story. I’d love to hear about yours.

Here is a taste of what I have been thinking, writing and presenting:

Sermon Series/Bible Study

  • Knowing God 101 (Winter 2016)
  • Resilient:  Developing Faith That Can Bounce Back (Fall 2015)
  • Acts:  Why the Church Changes Everything (Spring-Summer 2015)
  • The Wilderness:  Forge of Spiritual Formation (Spring 2015)
  • Into the Wilderness with Jesus (Spring 2015)
  • The Prophet and the Kings:  Lessons in Leadership (Winter 2015)
  • Revelation:  Lifting Hope's Veil (Spring-Summer 2014)
  • The Unexpected Jesus (Fall 2014)
  • John:  Gospel of Intimacy (Winter-Spring 2014)
  • Living the Questions (Fall 2013)
  • Bible for Beginners (Fall 2013)

Books:

  • Building Confirmation the Congregational Way: A Tool for Preparing Young People for Faith, Freedom and Fellowship in Congregational Churches. 2001. A great collection of resources for planning and designing a confirmation class for your fellowship. No experience necessary! Also available on a CD as a bookmarked PDF! To order: Go to the bookstore at this site. Proceeds benefit the National Association for Congregational Christian Churches.

Publications

  • Congregationalism as Conversation. Congregationalist Magazine. September 2014
  • Where three stories meet:  The hero’s journey, the Bible and our lives.
    Wisconsin Congregational Theological Society, May 2010.
  • Another step toward a theology of chaos: What butterflies and tipping points can teach churches and pastors. Wisconsin Congregational Theological Society. November 2007.
  • What it means to be a member of a Congregational church. With Rev. Dr. David L. Gray (my Dad!) 2006. Total reworking of Rev. Dr. Henry David Gray’s classic by the same name.
  • The last information revolution: What it was and what we can learn from the responses. Wisconsin Congregational Theological Society. Sept 2004.
  • Congregationalism and the world wide web: A metaphor for changing times. New Hampshire Symposium, “Are We Who We Say We Are?” November 2000.
  • Confirmation reconsidered: Orphan rite or integral discipling?
    Wisconsin Congregational Theological Society. November 1998.
  • Toward a theology of chaos: The new scientific paradigm and some implications for ministry. Wisconsin Congregational Theological Society. September 1997.

Presentations and Programs:

  • Technology and Worship. Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies (CFTS) Fall Seminar. 2011.
  • Our Lives Can Be Epic! Wisconsin Congregational Association Senior High Camp. July 2010.
  • Getting Real with God. WCA Junior High Camp. July 2008.
  • Visually enhancing worship: Getting our bearings. Wisconsin Congregational Ministerial Association (WCMA). November 2006.
  • The Roadway of HOPE. Heritage Of Pilgrim Endeavor (HOPE) Conference. June 2005.
  • Small Seeds...Great Deeds. HOPE Conference. June 2004.
  • Humor in the Bible. National Youth Leader Retreat (YLR). February–March 2004.
  • Coaching Change. WCMA Fall Retreat 2003.
  • Spiritual Gifts Retreat. Second Congregational Church. Fall 2003.
  • A Real Life for a Real-Life World. WCA Jr High Spring Rally. April 2003.
  • Leading Meaningful Worship. NACCC Annual Meeting 2002. Plenary Session.
  • Planning and Carrying Off Confirmation. YLR. February–March 2002.
  • Being an Effective Part of a Multi-staff Church. Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies (CFTS) Fall Seminar. 1998.
  • Magnificat. WCMA Quiet Day Retreat. Christ’s Pond, WI. 1999. 
  • The Song of Hannah. WCMA Quiet Day Retreat. Christ’s Pond, WI. 1998.
  • Modern Christian Devotions and Music. Radio Show. WTMJ. Milwaukee, WI. December 1996.
  • The Gospel of John. Four-part seminar. Ecumenical Lay Institute. Quincy, IL. 1995.
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen? Regional Inter-Varsity Youth Rally. April 1992.