In December of 1988, I married my sweetheart Kelly, and two weeks later we moved into a community to serve and live alongside people struggling with chronic addictions and lifelong homelessness.
Each day, I spent time with the guys, studying Scripture together, eating, telling stories, and simply sitting out on the porch with them. In the mystery of God’s grace, I learned far more from these men than they learned from me. Together we encountered the life of Christ in the midst of his people. We experienced a vital church life that I didn’t even know was possible. This initial step toward intentional community came to characterize our life in and out of ministry.
My time there created a longing for cultivating community among God’s people. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of serving and learning from Baptists, Charismatics, Roman Catholics, Quakers, house churches, Presbyterians, and finally Anglicans. In the Anglican Communion, I found a home that embraced a love for the rich tapestry of God’s people from these various traditions: a community extending in space and time. With the blessing of Apostles Anglican, St. Brendan’s Church has been sent out to serve in Maryville. We are returning to serve in the place where we started.
Inspired by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, I sometimes think of our journey with God’s people as a “circle of friends on pilgrimage for the love of God.” We walk through life on our way to the holy city. Along the way, we live out and tell our stories: these stories are sometimes sad, funny, irreverent, and poignant. Ultimately they are doxological taken up into worship of God the Father, through Son, by the Spirit.