I have always loved the church. My grandfather was a Methodist minister and my earliest memories are of joining him as he greeted parishioners on Sunday morning. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio where I attended First Community Church which had ministers from five different denominations. Being a part of that community, which celebrated differences and encouraged people to question, had a big impact on me. I knew by the age of twelve that I wanted to be a minister.
I graduated from Miami University (Ohio) and began working in the church before going to seminary. I served as a Director of Children’s Ministries with 350 children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. After graduating from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, I served rural, urban, and suburban churches before coming to Rock Spring in 2010.
Serving an urban congregation introduced me to living with and celebrating a new set of differences than I had previously experienced. I gained a whole new perspective on what it meant to be in communion with others that has profoundly shaped my ministry and my understanding of the sacrament of communion. This led me to the Chicago Theological Seminary for my doctoral work. The title of my thesis was The Largest Table Effect: Preaching to Cultivate Compassion, Justice, and Inclusion in the Urban Church.
I look for nearly any opportunity to gather people together around a table as the Rock Spring staff, the congregation, and my family will tell you. I am married to Dale Dwyer and have two adult children, Courtney and Drew. I love to visit farmers’ markets and art festivals, plan parties, have morning coffee with Dale, and grab any time I can with my children.