I am passionate about spiritual direction. One reason is that I have benefited by being directed in a variety of ways. Initially, without being aware of it, I received direction as a young adult from the family that led me to faith in Jesus. Throughout my Christian experience I’ve had friends, mentors, pastors and teachers who have spoken into my life in very significant ways. I first met with a spiritual director in a formal way more than thirty years ago after going through a traumatic season of life and ministry in Springfield, IL. The experience impacted me so much that I concluded seeing a spiritual director is a critical component in doing life and ministry and necessary for my walk with the Lord.
I received spiritual direction during the seventeen years I served as senior pastor of First Evangelical Free Church in Chicago. During that time I had the privilege of having Father Bill Creed, a Jesuit priest and co-founder of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, as my director (Click here for his biography). From him I learned principles from a 500-year old tradition that draws upon the wisdom of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In 2005 I completed an internship in spiritual direction in the tradition of the Ignatian tradition at Loyola University in Chicago and received certification. I continue to receive spiritual direction and am currently directing several others. In addition, I actively participate in a spiritual direction peer supervision group.
My educational preparation for pastoral ministry is from Trinity International University, in Deerfield, IL. where I received a B.A. in Philosophy, 1973; a Master of Divinity, 1977; and a Doctor of Ministry in 1988. My ministry has also been informed by study at the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center in Lombard, IL. where I studied principles of peace making, family systems and healthy congregational life. Currently, I am pursuing a certificate in spiritual transformation with the Transforming Center in Wheaton, IL. This organization was founded by Ruth Haley Barton and I am participating in the 17th series of nine retreats over two years.
I am ordained in the Evangelical Free Church of America and have served as senior pastor at Jefferson Park Evangelical Free Church in Chicago (1977 -1986); Hope Evangelical Free Church in Springfield, IL. (1986-1999) and First Evangelical Free Church in Chicago (1999-2017). Since retiring from full-time pastoral ministry at First Free, my wife, Wenda and I moved to Williams Bay, WI. Here I do spiritual direction from my home office and am a servant pastor at my church home, Lakeland Community Church in Lake Geneva, WI. In addition, I served as a Home Hospice Chaplain with Advocate Aurora from July of 2018 through January of 2020.
I enjoy playing guitar, working on old cars, home remodeling, learning modern Greek and paddle boarding / kayaking in the lakes of Southeast Wisconsin.
I have been married to my wife, Wenda for 46-years. Together we have a daughter, Jenine, who is an artist in Massachusetts, (http://jenineshereos.com) and a son who owns a construction company in Williams Bay, Wisconsin (see http://newleaf.us.com) . We also have three beautiful grandchildren, Lincoln, Lucy and Isla. Oh, yes and our home is graced with Gracie, our toy poodle.