Our Redeemer's Blog

Pastor’s Message – March 2024

Hello! I am Pastor Thomas!

What a time to begin a new call, made even more remarkable by the fact that we are in the middle of Lent, and well on the way to a very early Easter. I am very excited to be here, and I am beyond grateful for your overwhelming generosity with me, and helping me in my move to Seattle! It has been a whirlwind after a long year of discernment, growth, and rest after my previous term call was complete. It moves me deeply that you have called me, and I hope and trust our ministry will deepen, strengthen, and grow as we work in faith to heal, inspire, and form our community through the love of Christ.

As much as I am excited to get to know you all, I am sure you are a little curious about me. I’ve spent most of my life in or around San Diego, California, with my home in Temecula. I’ve been up and down the coast too many times to count, and went first to PLU and then PLTS. Western Washington has always felt like home, though, and I am simply stunned at this opportunity, and that I get to make my home here, now!

That said, I have always had a sense of calling and direction, even since childhood. My experiences have always led me towards self growth and exploration outside of my comfort zones. I have had opportunities to do ministry with communities accompanying and advocating for those living with mental illness as well as dealing with homelessness in San Francisco and San Diego, and I have worked in ministry towards those seeking refuge and asylum. Strangely, most of my friends are either a-religious or agnostic, although I am very comforted coming home to our Lutheran community. (To be fair, it’s Lutheran theology with a good helping of English hymnody, and a few garnishes of Episcopal practices that are my personal genre.)

I am a big believer in sarcasm and dark humor, and usually these illustrate the deeper truths which I hold dear. I am a feeler instinctively, and I think to seek to understand those feelings. And often, thought and feeling are tied together for me; I feel deeply committed to what I think and therefore value.

I am definitely an historian. It is not just facts and figures, and dates and events, but how the coincidence of those things imply and implore us to understand the why of our being, and the purpose and meaning encompassing the stories we tell of our past and our sense of the present. Going to London and Dublin last month was almost like a pilgrimage for a history nerd such as myself! I love to travel, and I would love to do more!

I am a lover of music. I can go from metal to folk to polyphony to classical to bluegrass and beyond in one hour. I can listen to one song for days on end, as if in meditation. And I reflect often on the sequence of sound, as well as any lyrics that might resonate within the tapestry of pieces. My original entry into college was based on Music Composition and Psychology, and the call to ministry made these things part of the whole. In fact, I am very much a big-picture person, and this affects my ministry and approach.

Lastly, I enjoy entertaining at home and trying new restaurants. I am a dog and rabbit person, and although cats are cool, I am deathly allergic to them! My favorite drink depends on the day, but every day requires an acrid and dense espresso, and I am always down for seafood. Going to concerts, ballet, being on the water, hiking in the woods, walking in the cities, kayaking…these are luxuries I often take for granted. I have golf clubs, and I promise I can use them, though not well. I take a lot of comfort singing to myself and organizing my home. You can find me happiest when I am cooking, doing laundry, and washing my dishes – I know that’s weird! Your new pastor is weird.

Dear Our Redeemer’s, thank you again for calling me to lead and accompany you in this exciting new thing God is doing!

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