Bio & Contact

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This will feel better if I write as myself, so here goes:

I began my cure as rector of Grace in early January 2014, after serving as Senior Associate at St. Benedict’s in Smyrna, Georgia, for over five years. Working with the entire leadership team at Grace, I have a particular passion for the intersection of contemplative practices and congregational development. Grace is an extraordinary community of nearly one thousand souls, and I feel blessed to live and pray among them as we prepare to celebrate our Bicentennial in 2028. I also serve as Assistant Professor in the Practice of Spiritual Formation and Ministry at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. At Candler, I focus on the contextual education of the Episcopal and Anglican seminarians, exploring the dynamics of congregational life in a “laboratory of spiritual imagination.”

My broader work as a priest, teacher, retreat leader, and author is grounded in the Christian contemplative tradition. I continue to share in ongoing conversations with friends from the New Contemplative Exchange, a fellowship first gathered by Thomas Keating, Richard Rohr, Tilden Edwards, and Laurence Freeman at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado in August 2017. Since that time, I contributed to and co-edited the volume Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition (Crossroad, 2019) and am the author of The Heart of a Calling: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness in Congregational Ministry (Crossroad, 2021).

Before “church life,” I studied in the pre-med program at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas (B.S. in Biology, summa cum laude), and I did my initial theological studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia (M.Div, honors in spiritual formation). I also completed a certificate in Anglican Studies and the Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee Tennessee.

With the global contemplative community, I have worked with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, the World Community for Christian Meditation, Contemplative Outreach, the Candler School of Theology, Mepkin Abbey, and others. As well, I continue my practice and research into the connections between the Christian contemplative tradition and the Tibetan/Himalayan Buddhism, and I have a deep appreciation for the intersection of poetry and contemplative practice.

My wife, Lisa, and I have one daughter, Evelyn. We both grew up in Southeastern Arkansas, in the Mississippi Delta, with fried catfish, sweet tea, and mosquitoes the size of small birds.

You can contact me at, if you’d ever like to reach out. Or come by for chocolate sometime.

With Fr. Thomas Keating at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.
With Richard Rohr and Tilden Edwards, at the New Contemplatives Exchange in Snowmass.
With Barbara Brown Taylor and River Guerguerian…magical friends.
With Barbara Taylor, Bobbi Patterson, Rebecca Parker, Lerita Coleman Brown, and River Guerguerian…

With the amazing Bobbi Patterson…
Family photo at the Van Gogh Exhibit
On a walk at Mepkin Abbey, South Carolina
Working at home with Chester’s supervision…

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