When I was asked to write this bio it took me awhile to figure out what to say. How can I introduce myself to the diocese that knows me well? For me, it must always begin with the most important aspects of who I am. I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my savior, my Lord, my hope, my peace and the center of everything I do and say and want to be. I am a husband to Sarah (20 years in May), and the father of Josiah (with the Lord), Samuel (17), Maria (14), and Tobias (8). I have been a priest in the Diocese of Albany for almost 17 years and currently serve as the Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Delmar. Prior to St. Stephen’s I served 11 years as the Rector of St. Matthew’s, Unadilla, and, for the last six of those years, as priest-in-charge of St. Paul’s, Franklin. Other than being a follower of Christ, a husband, and a father, being a priest in Christ’s church is the highest honor of my life.
Just over two years after we were married, Sarah and I faced a challenge that in many ways has defined our lives and ministries ever since. During my second year of seminary Sarah became pregnant with our first child. About 12 weeks into the pregnancy, we were informed that our baby had a condition called anencephaly (similar to spina bifida but affecting the skull and brain). Our son, Josiah Donald, was born in the early morning hours of February 3, 2005, and lived 16 minutes – moments we still cherish to this day. At the memorial for Josiah, one of my seminary professors shared with Sarah and me the hope that we as Christians have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He said, “One day, many years from now, after you have lived a full life, you will pass from this world to join your Savior. On that day I believe the first person you will meet will be your son – whole, complete, and radiant as light. He will take you by the hand and will lead you to the Lamb.” That is the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the hope we as Christians have been given. It is the hope we have been charged to share. Throughout my 17 years of ministry, I have striven to provide that sense of hope, peace and comfort to the people to whom I have ministered, through biblical preaching, inspiring teaching, and spirit-led pastoral care.
Beyond the parish, I have served the diocese and the wider church with this same passion and conviction. I have represented the diocese at General Convention six times, including twice as chair of our deputation, numerous times as a legislative committee member, vice chair of a committee, and as a member of The Episcopal Church Taskforce on Communion Across Difference. In the diocese, I have, among many other things, served 6 years on the Standing Committee. I served the final two years of my terms as President of the Standing Committee, including the first full year following Bp. Love’s resignation. I have always found it a great honor to serve the people and parishes of this diocese, and I look forward to continuing to do that in whatever capacity the Lord has in store.
As a priest and a son of the Diocese, I am diligently praying for the person whom God has already chosen to be our next bishop. While the next Bishop of Albany will have many challenges to address, they will also be blessed by a Diocese full of incredible natural beauty, Godly clergy, and inspiring laypeople. I have no doubt whatsoever that God continues to have plans for us and for his kingdom here in these 19 counties of upstate New York.