I am a San Diego native; our first home was at the east end of Miramar Naval Air Station runway. My father was a Navy pilot, but sadly he died during the Korean conflict. We lived in Hawaii a few years, then moved back to San Diego. My parents took me to a Presbyterian church where I was baptized, and I considered myself a Christian from the age of 8. My mother remarried when I was 10 and a few years later we moved to Seattle.
I engaged with Young Life during High School, and worked summers at Malibu Camp in BC Canada. After high school it was Vietnam or college, so I found a scholarship and returned to San Diego for a degree in Speech Communication. After graduate study at USC, I wrote for Youth Specialties, a publisher of magazines and materials for youth workers. I was briefly a youth director in a Lutheran church, where I learned the differences between Swedes and Norwegians. I left that job when my wife Laurie and I were married in 1975 by her uncle who was a bishop in the Episcopal Church. At that point, I had to get a “real job”.
I wrote Sunday school bible lessons for David C. Cook Publishing, including young-adult studies on the Narnia books, and a course called Distinctions (finding the true path in the midst of Heresy and Cults). I met Jack Sparks, heard about Jon Braun, and knew they were searching for an authentic “First Century Church.” But it was early in their quest and we were fully engaged at our big church and with many publishing projects. (I am a book guy)
We bought a house in Pt. Loma and began hosting a young adult Bible Study. I also began to teach adult classes, using materials of my own creation, including:
Foods in the Bible
- Ars Moriendi — the Art of Dying Well
- Screwtape Letters Out Loud (read by John Cleese)
- Icons 101 - An Introduction
My “real job” for three decades was developing automotive repair and parts information. I worked at one job for 20 years, then for large and small companies as a consultant, in the US, UK and Canada. (I’m a car guy)
During a one-year stint in the UK in the Nineties, we found liturgical worship, stained glass, illuminated manuscripts, and icons. I bought paintings, sculptures, and carvings, and became fascinated with icons. I purchased my first one in 2005 and have since acquired over 200 old icons. (I am a collector)
Weary of traveling, I got off the airplanes in 2000 and spent a decade in Poway publishing Excel Math, an elementary / home schooling curriculum. The week after retiring in 2012, I began my first icon workshop, and have completed 20 training sessions since, with teachers in the USA, Greece, Russia and Mexico. I’ve painted more than 40 icons so far, as well as creating another 50-60 for others using mixed media techniques. I firmly believe God called us through these icons towards the Orthodox Church.
For 4 years while on vacations, we visited Orthodox churches in Santa Rosa, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Vermont, Honolulu, London, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest and around Russia. Finally we left our old church and began investigating OCA, ROCOR, Greek and Serbian churches in San Diego. By God’s providence we landed at St Anthony, and were Chrismated and received in 2016. Laurie is the leader of our Welcoming Team, while I worked as an altar server until being tonsured as a SubDeacon during the Consecration Weekend in June 2022.
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