Hi. I’ve been the Parish Associate of KPC since 2006. I came to this congregation because of its longstanding reputation of being such an active and compassionate place.
I’m originally from Detroit, but did most of my growing up in New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. I’ve lived in New York over half my life. I have an older brother and two younger sisters, so I’m a classic “Middle Child!”
I grew up in the church, but never really came to faith until I realized it was all I had left. Before that, I wasn’t really sure whether or not God existed, but in case S/he did, I wanted my attendance in church noted! I found faith when most of the other things in my life that offered meaning and structure simply crumbled. I didn’t find God. God found me.
These early crises prepared me for ministry. My undergraduate degree was in Sociology and History (Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA.). I graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1981 and began a 22 year career in parish ministry. I have served churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and New York.
While in parish work, one of my favorite things was visiting people in homes and hospitals. I segued into hospital Chaplaincy in 1999. I began originally in the Transplant units. But Chaplaincy also helped me come to terms with one of my early formative experiences. I was badly burned as a child. I feared revisiting those memories until a colleague forced me to visit the Burn Unit.
Once there, I realized I was home again. And I made my peace. That began my transition to Trauma Chaplaincy. I have been the Chaplain to the Emergency Room, Trauma ICU and Burn Unit since then. In recent years, I have branched out into Palliative Care, where I visit pediatric and adult patients who are dying.
At Westchester Medical Center, we are a Level 1 Trauma Center with the highest patient acuity rate in the nation. As the Trauma Chaplain, I’m on the front lines, so the work is grueling. I work hard, but I play hard, too. For fun, I swim and play league softball. Every year I join a group that swims across the Hudson from Newburgh to Beacon. I like refinishing furniture and going to yard sales, as well as reading and going to the movies.
I am grateful to be married to my wife Kate Johnson, who is a Poet, university professor and Jungian analyst. We have two children, Peter and Elizabeth (Piper) who grew up in this church and who are currently finishing up their college careers. At KPC, I have helped coordinate the Stephen Ministry program, as well as preach and assist in worship when needed. KPC has been a source and comfort for my family and me during the years we have been among you.