Organizational Development & Community Relations
During my time as the Minister for Community and Campus Relations at UniPlace Christian Church, I formed over 20 relationships between Uniplace and student, civic, and businesses organizations. I also oversaw our community dinner program which feeds approximately 150 people weekly and supervised over 300 university students each year from the University of Illinois who volunteered to operate the program. I also created a service-learning field study program at UniPlace. The purpose of this program seeks to provide students a field study location where they can take what they learned in the classroom and apply it in their own community. Working specifically with the UniPlace community dinner and food pantry program, students interacted with guests of the food pantry and community dinner while also learning about the social injustices of hunger and housing insecurities facing Champaign-Urbana and our nation. Additionally, during my time at UniPlace, I build connections with the community and created education programs which allowed community members as well as students from the University of Illinois the opportunity to learn about community organizing, leadership development, and social outreach.
Prior to working with UniPlace, I served District Executive for the Boy Scouts of America with Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, I worked first hand with community members, business leaders, and local civic organizations to create new opportunities for youth in the Salinas and Santa Cruz communities. Serving as manager and chief operating officer of my districts, I oversaw 50 operating organizations, 800 youth, and over 300 adult volunteers. Additionally, I oversaw a volunteer board of directors and other community and business leaders to identify, recruit, train, guide, and inspire them to become involved in Monterey/ Santa Cruz County Scouting programs.
Preaching, Teaching & Congregational Ministry
I believe the church is a sacred place where individuals not only experience the spiritual divine, but also a place which reflects inclusivity, openness, and compassion. I believe the church is a place where one feels part of a beloved community of brothers and sisters in Christ.
At UniPlace Christian Church, I created a successful ministry called “Beer and Theology” which consists of a bi-weekly pub style ministry that covered theological conversations in a casual setting in Champaign-Urbana. With a variety of diverse speakers and attendees, Beer and Theology allowed individuals to talk about theological issues in a safe and comfortable environment. I also started an ecumenical Taize worship service in Champaign between UniPlace and several other local churches. The aim of the worship was to introduce the Taize tradition to students of the University of Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana community. Additionally, I performed weddings, provided pastoral care, and preached on an occasional basis at UniPlace Christian Church.
Prior to my time at UniPlace, I spent a year as a seminary intern at First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, California. At First Presbyterian, I was involved in worship planning, older adult ministries, and led bible studies. After my internship and graduating from SFTS, I worked as a temporary minister at Park View Christian Church in Chesapeake, Virginia in 2014. Prior to being ordained to my position at UniPlace Christian Church, I was a member of Christian Church of Pacific Grove where I was involved in the church ministry while also serving as a deacon.
Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy
As a chaplain, I see spiritual care those in need is a shared sacrament. Being able to listen and help others discern their calling while also process things happening in their life is an element of ministry which I feel called to do.
In December of 2016, I decided to pursue a lifelong call and became a chaplain in the United States Air Force Reserve. And after graduating from Commissioned Officer Training with the United States Air Force in June of 2017, I began working first hand with members of our military and their family members to provide them with spiritual care regardless of their faith beliefs or religious traditions. Serving at my local base, I am attending to the morale of my unit; helping individuals process loss, regret, and stress. I am also helping individuals explore questions related to spirituality, religion, vocation and life purpose. This includes leading services to promote and encourage spiritual growth and exploration while providing counseling and care after significant life events. I am also referring individuals to social workers, psychologists, or medical personnel as required. For me, wearing the uniform is a privilege and a blessing.
Prior to beginning chaplaincy in the Air Force Reserve, I served as a resident hospital chaplain at Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA through the Clinical Pastoral Education program. This program which allowed me to earn 4 units of CPE, gave me the experience serving as a chaplain in the emergency, hospital, nursing, and psychiatric units. During this time, I gained Level I and Level II experiences totaling 2,000 hours of clinical pastoral education and patient spiritual care. Recently, I began the process of becoming a certified board chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains Inc.