staff & board
Things That Make Me Tick: Searching for the Way of Jesus, recovering in my 12-step recovery program, my incredible wife and marvelous children, trying to solve the puzzle of how to help people who are victims of developmental trauma, cooking for groups of people, watching and waiting for the emergence of the buried artist within me, good movies and theater, doing theater, playing volleyball, solving puzzles, vigorous debate, playful verbal sparring, learning to enjoy rest and serenity
Story: A native of the Pacific Northwest (‘67-‘78) and VA Beach (‘78-’86), and a JMU grad (’90), I bought the Little Grill Restaurant in 1992, and right away started closing on Mondays in order to host a free meal. Twenty-four years old, fresh off the Rainbow (Family of Living Light) Trail and having been raised by an FDR-idolizing mother in a Christian family, I wanted to see if a community could pull off a weekly meal with no money changing hands, no staff, and no expectations from anyone, that also included the very poor, and it worked. That weekly meal led me to help found Our Community Place. I returned to faith in Jesus in 1997, and attended Eastern Mennonite Seminary from ’03 – ’06. I was the first pastor of Early Church (’07-’14), a Mennonite Congregation that currently meets weekly at OCP, and I am the only person to be hired twice as OCP’s executive director (‘06 – ’11, and December 2014 – ?).
Passions: Jesus, Erin Gore, Coffee, Mangos, Enneagram, Biking, Hiking, Photography, Film, Design, Heights, Community, Reading, Journaling, Music, Dancing, Traveling, Space, Reconciliation, Hope, Delight
Story: In 2010, after graduating high school, I flew (from my home in Arizona) to Maine with a backpack and no plans beyond walking out of the airport doors. Through those doors, I began South on what would be a 9 month journey over highways, through cities, in forests, and guided by the kindest strangers and a most comforting God. In the middle of that adventure, I found myself in Harrisonburg, VA. I came into town on Route 11 and walked straight into Our Community Place. In that building, I saw a grace that I had never experienced so clearly. At the end of my backpacking trip, I moved back to Harrisonburg to be a part of the community here and found myself working with this incredible organization.
Passions: Dayna, Noah, running, music, jazz, saxophone, drums, gardening for beauty, growing my own food, fighting for justice and peace, community organizing, loving people.
Story: I am a native of Vermont and a graduate of Williams College (2002) and Duke Divinity School (2008). My wife, Dayna, is an associate pastor at Community Mennonite Church, and we have two children, Ethan, who was born and died in August of 2009, and Noah, who turns four in February of 2015. I believe my journey towards OCP began in Springfield, MA, where I joined a community of Jesus-followers whose presence in the city brought us into deep relationships with marginalized people, including and especially the homeless. During my time there God opened my eyes to see the Gospel as more than just personal transformation, but as the birth and unfolding of a new kingdom of peace and justice birthed from the abandoned places of our society. My family and I continued to live and work among the poor in Durham, NC, where I attended Duke Divinity School from 2005-2008. From my graduation until our move to Harrisonburg I served as Internship and Mentor Coordinator for Year of Opportunity for Durham Teens, an organization that provided job training and mentoring for at-risk youth.
Community Care Coordinator
Things I Love: my husband Scott & my son Josey, the ocean, reading, movies (especially action and westerns), music, knitting and crocheting, hiking, baking, kayaking, and I am a big Professional Bull Riding fan
Story: I am a native of Rockingham County and I have lived here my whole life. Through the years, I have had many types of jobs, the longest was managing several retail stores. I have been searching most of my life for God’s purpose for me and where that will lead. In February of 2015, He led me to OCP and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this community.