Michael was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, PA as a member of First Evangelical United Brethren (United Methodist) Church where he was active throughout childhood and as a young adult. He came to the Episcopal Church when he was studying at the University of Pennsylvania. The pioneering women of the “Philadelphia Eleven” had just been irregularly ordained and the church was struggling with the role of women in leadership.
Michael was drawn to a church that was willing to deal with – sometimes successfully, sometimes not – the important social justice issues of the day. Agreeing to disagree but still staying in communion around the Holy Table appealed to this English teacher, debate coach, and school librarian throughout his 41-year career in public education. At Shikellamy High School, the Central Susuquehanna Intermediate Unit, Danville High School and Susquehanna University he found students who were eager to think about social issues and incorporate them into teaching and learning.
Through a discernment process at St. Matthew’s Church in Sunbury and with the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, Michael heard God calling him to the iconic role of a deacon in today’s church. Teachers and mentors at the Stevenson School for Ministry, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and Jefferson Hospital contributed to his mission to encourage the church to consider the ways that it communicates God’s message of loving-kindness to all. He was ordained as a deacon in 2018.
A fieldwork placement at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral provided him not only a spiritual home for the last few years, but a testing ground for many ideas about our church, its mission and its communications. Michael is currently serving Bishop Audrey Scanlan on assignment to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. He currently serves on the Standing Committee of our diocese and the Advisory Board of the Stevenson School for Ministry. He is currently the interim Associate Dean of the Stevenson School.