Our Pastor, Stan, grew up in Illinois and Michigan (Plymouth), and attended Oberlin College, graduating with a B.A. in Religion in 1985. Having felt the call to ministry from his teen years and through college, he immediately went on to seminary and earned his Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Stan was ordained promptly after graduating from Union in 1988 and accepted the solo pastorate of First Presbyterian Church of Waterloo, NY, which he served for three years before beginning doctoral studies in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. During that time, Stan came to realize that parish ministry was his true calling, and that is what he has pursued faithfully since 1995.
Stan’s stepson, Elias Moose, recently graduated from Bard College, in New York State’s Hudson Valley.
Stan served the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown in New York City for 15 years. He became pastor there at a moment of transition following the 30-year tenure of the previous pastor and faced many challenges: a declining membership, strained financial circumstances, and spiritual and mission malaise. Stan was able to revitalize the congregation, find new leadership, harness new talents, introduce new worship practices, and make the church an active presence in the surrounding community. Acting on an idea of his wife Mary, for example, the church created the “Greens for Queens” urban farm on church property to raise organically grown vegetables for donation to local food banks. During Stan’s time at Newtown, he served the wider church by holding several positions in the Presbytery of New York. He chaired their search committee for an Executive Presbyter and served as chair of the Committee on Ministry. Stan served the First Presbyterian Church of Dutch Neck in Central New Jersey from 2011 to 2013.
In Stan’s own words: “We find our effective unity in the fact that each one of us is in need of God’s mercy and healed in His love. What binds us together is the Grace of God and not our outward conformity or homogeneity. In my own ministry, I strive to maintain focus on this Grace,…while at the same time striving to remain open to the movement of the Spirit of the Living God in each moment. I strive to reflect this dual focus in worship and in fellowship, in mission and in stewardship.”