I am excited to introduce our readers to amazing and caring people who live, work, play and do business in our community and city. Learning about people of all lifestyles, talents, and personalities who I think would be interesting for our readers to enjoy. San Diego has a wonderful diversity of individuals that make our slice of paradise the greatest place to live and enjoy each other’s uniqueness.
I grew up in the church, but I stopped going on a regular basis when I graduated from High School. I just got tired of the church I grew up in continuously telling the congregation that being Gay was a sin and that I was going to hell. Please do not think I turned my back on my beliefs in God; that never happened. I met Pastor Dan many years ago and discovered a person like me living the same truth about being Gay but as a man of God and that has been so comforting. Pastor Dan is an amazing human being full of kindness, compassion, and most of all love. So, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you my dear friend and teacher of Christ, Pastor Dan.
How did you end up in San Diego and what do you love about it?
Thanks for the opportunity to share, Big Mike. I arrived in Southern California during a balmy Santa Ana late December of 1984 from cold and snowy Madison, WI, and fell in love with the area immediately. After attending Seminary in Pasadena, I accepted a position in Escondido. I loved it. It was there where I came out and was without a church. I heard about MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) and when I visited for the first time in 1997, I knew I was home. I have been blessed to serve as Choir Director, Associate Pastor, and then as Senior Pastor. I love the San Diego Community – it is beautiful on so many levels.
What gets you most excited about life?
I love to see people reaching their potential, fulfilling their dreams. I get excited to travel to new places as well and meeting fascinating people.
In your professional life, what makes your business stand out and how has it changed your life?
I think you can’t go wrong with a mission statement of “Bringing people closer to God and one another”. We affirm each individual as a unique and gifted creation of God. Jesus is our model for care, compassion, and community. We also recognize and respect those who find their connection to God through other spiritual paths. God’s umbrella of love and acceptance is for everyone – no exceptions. That’s good news.
In one or two sentences, how would friends describe you?
Well, I asked a couple of friends and here were their unedited responses, Ha! “Faithful, optimistic, outgoing, effervescent, dependable, caring, spiritual, genuine and authentic.” “Has a smile and a kind word for everyone.”
What or who really makes you laugh and why?
For some strange reason, whenever I ride a scary roller coaster – it’s a combination of screaming while laughing uncontrollably! I’m sure there’s therapy for this!
Who inspires you in life to do your very best and why?
Hmmm…I would say my mom. She didn’t plan on raising three boys by herself on very little income. She raised me to think for myself and be independent. She was a conservative Christian, so it was quite a journey accepting me being Gay, but we got there. She was strong, fought cancer bravely and was loving, giving and sweet to the very end.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be and why?
November 8, 2008, Grant Park in Chicago, IL to have a front row seat for then President-elect Barack Obama giving his victory speech! There was such a feeling of hope in our country – there were many happy tears that night!
If you could give someone advice about your art, hobby, or business, what would you tell them?
Always do your best and be your authentic self.
What are your top five valves you live by?
Love God, Love others, Love myself, Honesty, Kindness.
Gratitude is so important in each of our lives, what are you most grateful for, and how do you pay it forward?
I am grateful for so many daily blessings. I pay it forward by giving out Good into the world – a smile, encouragement, listening.