As you have already discerned I am a priest, specifically one of the Episcopal (Church of England in the USA) varieties. I also happen to love good beer and all kinds of music, including some loud and scary genres.
Some might feel these parts of my life are in conflict. After all priests aren’t supposed to have long hair and wear leather jackets. They aren’t supposed to be in mosh pits. They aren’t supposed to be leading a beer tasting in the church basement or creating beer festivals.
Yet despite appearances, these rather diverse aspects aren’t contradictory. Rather the interplay between them has become a source of profound meaning. In fact, my time spent at bars and concerts has often provided some of the most unique and satisfying experiences of ministry that I have ever encountered.
Professionally, I am the Rector (head priest) of Saint Timothy’s Episcopal Church in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. I am also active in the larger Episcopal Church at both the diocesan and denominational level.
In terms of beer, I helped found our parish beer club, named The Franklin Society, in 2007. My parish has since gone on to sponsor the Opening Tap event for Philly Beer Week in 2010. Later that year, along with the good people of West Laurel Hill Cemetery we also created the Beer Barons to Homebrewers tour and homebrew competition.
Together with Rev. Bryan Berghoef and Rabbi Eli Freedman we have taken the good news about God and beer on the road for part of Philly and DC Beer Weeks as “A Rabbi, Priest and a Minister walk into a bar…” Staying with that theme I worked with Rabbi Eli and his congregation to brew some interfaith beer. Our collaboration became a friendly competition that resulted in the Biblical Brew-Off. Most recently I got to work with the pros at Barren Hill to help brew a beer that went into production.
In terms of personal life, I am happily married with two children. In addition to my work as a parish priest I have worked as a hospice and hospital chaplain and as a psychiatric social worker. In the little free time I have left I also enjoy studying Aikido, playing the guitar, gardening and reading.