Rivers of Life Presbytery sits in the wooded country side of Western Pennsylvania, and is home to a hard working, fun loving group of men and women. It is an area that is filled with congregations that desire the opportunity to grow and teach discipleship. Through this new presbytery, it is my hope that we can create an environment that empowers as well as guides these congregations in the way of the early church, and to a movement of disciple builders.
As a pastor, father, sales manager and now moderator, it is often easy to feel overwhelmed and woefully unprepared for what is ahead. One of my favorite sections of scripture comes from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi when he writes in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” It is in this scripture, that I am comforted, that like Paul, I have not obtained all, but am still striving toward the goal.
It is in this image, that I am excited to be able to help lead and form the new presbytery of the Rivers of Life in Western Pennsylvania. Within ECO, the most exciting part is not building a new group, but in creating a movement that makes disciples of Jesus Christ. We have a rich heritage of faith in Western Pennsylvania, however, we have a tremendous opportunity to share the message of Hope in the amazing grace of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is my hope that through this new presbytery, we would live out the vision of our name, and in fact bring many to the love of God, which is flowing like a river.
I come to the moderator position with an eagerness to build fellowship among the believers in our congregations. I have always been a part of Western PA, from my childhood to my college years, and now as a father, husband, pastor, and salesman. My first priority is to my wife of 15 years and our two kids. I have been blessed to be the pastor at East Brook Presbyterian church for 10 years, and love working with the members as we reach out to our community. I am bi-vocational, and also have been given the opportunity to be the National Sales Manager for Bauer Springs, Inc. which gives me the blessed opportunity to travel all over the United States and the occasional trip to Europe.
In my life, I am regularly reminded of how great our God is. Whether through my daughter’s smile while riding her horse, or my son’s latest belt in Tae Kwon Do, or the smell of a fresh baked pie when I get home at night, my life is blessed as a father and husband. It is my goal as a pastor and moderator to be able to communicate and share the grace and love that God has shown me in my life. In the end, like Paul, we are charged to press on toward the goal; Making Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Whether already a part of the ECO community, or a new group looking for a place to call home, I would like to be the first to welcome you to the Rivers of Life, and look forward to running the race, sharing the message of hope in Jesus Christ.