I grew up in the city of Chicago, in Hyde Park, and always considered myself a city girl. I’ve had some romance with rural living, too.
I moved to the suburb of Bolingbrook in 2007, to become the vicar (priest/pastor) at The Church of St. Benedict, a fantastic church with gifts for hospitality, worship, and prayer.
I was ordained in 2007, after finishing my M.Div. at The University of Chicago Divinity School and a certificate in Anglican studies from what is now the Seabury Institute in Evanston. Before all that, I spent a year as a licensed lay pastor at the Monterey United Church of Christ, in western Massachusetts, and attended seminary at Andover Newton for a semester.
My adventures have also included working as a legal assistant at a corporate law firm, a cook, a mental health worker, and a crew member at Trader Joe’s. Now, I work full-time as an Episcopal priest. My other major pastimes are writing, photography, trying to grow flowers and vegetables in my yard, and keeping up with friends and family.
What’s a vicar? (See here.)
About this Blog
I have a lot of questions about how where we live affects how we live. Are suburbs really the opposite of healthy human community? What sort of culture and landscape exists there, even in a suburb like mine, which was built by housing and commercial developers on the cornfields of northern Illinois?
Living in community has been a spiritual practice in the Christian tradition since the very beginning (see Acts 2). It’s taken many forms since: monastic communities, the Amish way of life, Catholic Worker houses, hippie communes, and in the past ten years, in what has come to be called the New Monastic movement.
I’ve been fascinated by the practice of community since the late 1990s. In my seeking years, I looked for ways to understand it better:
- I spent two years living and working at a place called Gould Farm in New England;
- I’ve visited a lot of monasteries, and seriously considered joining one;
- I obsessively researched dozens of intentional communities all over the world and tried to get grants, with varying levels of success, to study them more closely.
For many years, I had a romantic sense of what community could be, but now, I find myself drawn more to understand community as it already exists. What better place to explore that than the place where I live now?