Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Myself…

Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Myself…

Settling into my new role as acting senior pastor and designated-term pastor, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to “re-introduce” myself to you, the friends and members of Winnetka Congregational Church.

You know some things about me in my role as associate pastor, but you might appreciate a fuller picture of what I bring to this new role.

Here we go!

  • I go by Jeffrey because that’s what I’ve always gone by. Blame my mom.
  • I’m from Decatur, Illinois. I grew up United Methodist. My dad was born in 1894, was a veteran of WWI, and was 65 when I was born. My mom was quite a bit younger!
  • In 1976 I was an exchange student to Thailand where I was introduced to Buddhism. Thus began a life-long interest in cross-cultural living, international relations, and interfaith spirituality.
  • I went to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington where I studied international relations, focusing on U.S.-Asia foreign policy.
  • I came out when I was nineteen. This helped me experience and know that God’s love is unconditional and real – for me and for all.
  • In 1981 I started at Harvard Divinity School, finishing with an M.Div. in 1984, and ordained that year in the United Church of Christ.
  • I am partner to Vince (25 years), a father of two, grandfather of four, and great-grandfather of two. They’re all exceptionally perfect.
  • In 39 years of ordained ministry, I have served thirteen churches – more churches than Jesus had apostles! I have worked as a senior pastor twice before.
  • I have a global view of Christianity and world religions due to service as a mission worker with the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (1988-94) and extensive travel in Thailand, India, Europe, and Southern Africa.
  • I love children’s and youth ministry, serving as a high school chaplain in Zimbabwe, teaching many confirmation classes, and going on a zillion mission trips.
  • I have nine years’ experience as an interim pastor during which I served eight churches (1994-2003), and four years’ experience (2019-present) as a trained coach to congregations that are seeking to revitalize.
  • This is my third role at WCC (a total of almost seven years).
  • In 2017, I enrolled in an interfaith and interspiritual spiritual guidance training program. I am now a certified spiritual companion. I also have my own spiritual director and a daily spiritual practice. My website,, has two videos about my spiritual journey and my work as a spiritual companion – and about a thousand one-minute daily videos about the spiritual life. Enjoy!
  • I consider myself “a Christian practitioner of interfaith and interspiritual spirituality.” My spiritual view is broad and inclusive: everything is connected in one divine reality. Thus, everything (and everyone) matters. All human beings (and all things) are spiritual. All human beings (and all things) are divine. I love life, people, and the Earth itself.
  • I have a passion for building relationships with people who consider themselves to be “spiritual but not religious” and who have little (or no) interest in “organized religion.”
  • I love this congregation and see tremendous potential in our future.
  • Vince and I are staff to a ten-year-old redbone coonhound mix named Storm. Woof.
  • I play the tuba. Really.

Now that you know me better, can I get to know you?, office (847) 999-9401, cell (847) 636-6111.