The Latin root convivia is associated with feasting and literally means “living with.” I think it’s a good descriptor for the church we are building together. In a world where it’s easy to isolate and be isolated, we are invited into a safe place of communion with God and one another. Jesus is like a great party host, welcoming even those of us who don’t think we belong at the table, or aren’t sure we want to belong. The great nourishment at the table is surprising, to say the least, and we share it in ways that produce peace and restoration in our city, even in our struggles.
My journey to pastoring has been surprising, too. I’ve been part of Circle of Hope since 2001, serving and leading in various ways. With a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Philosophy from Messiah College and a Masters of Social Work from Temple University, I worked in the HIV/AIDS community as a counselor for several years before being called to pastor. My home base is at 1125 S. Broad Street, but our people live all over the city. It’s been an honor to co-create with God and experience the generosity among his people, and I’m always looking forward to what’s next for us.
I write this blog mainly for those who are part of our mission here in Philly, but I welcome anyone who is wondering about Jesus or the church. My reflections are those of a disciple who is learning and leading from the heart.