Chaplain Mike works as a chaplain with Community Home Health Hospice. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving in churches in Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, and Indiana before moving into chaplaincy work.
He is married to his wonderful, gifted wife Gail, and they have four adult children — two daughters and two sons — and five grandchildren, with another on the way.
He thinks baseball is the greatest game ever invented, has suffered annually as a Chicago Cubs fan until this year, and spent a great deal of his adult life coaching Little League teams and following his daughters and sons in their sports careers. He loves a wide variety of music, spends way too much money on books, is happy to live in a place where there are four seasons, and is a “true believer” in Apple computers, having used them since 1988.
Luther is his favorite historical theologian, N.T. Wright his favorite current theologian, Bach his favorite composer. James Taylor is his favorite singer-songwriter, Chicago his favorite city, and hiking his favorite exercise, though he would like to say he was a better golfer. He has developed a love for photography and dreams of having a place in the mountains of Arizona or maybe on a quiet ocean beach some day.
In 2010, his friend Michael Spencer honored him by asking him to carry on the legacy of Internet Monk as its lead writer, a privilege he never expected and does not take for granted. He has published three books about the final season of life for Twenty-Third Publishing.
His spiritual roots are in his baptism and early experiences of mainline churches in the Midwest and a spiritual awakening during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970’s. He attended a dispensationalist Bible College and an evangelical seminary, where he studied under some of the best teachers the evangelical world has to offer. His journey ultimately led him into the post-evangelical wilderness, where he has found a few oases (including this blog) but wonders if he will ever find a true ecclesiastical “home” in this world. Whenever he gets the opportunity, he travels south and soaks in the silence at Gethsemani Abbey, where Thomas Merton once served.
Chaplain Mike’s heart has been captured by the grace of God in Jesus Christ and has been practicing his faith in the Lutheran tradition for about a decade now. The world that now shapes him most, spiritually and religiously, is his vocation as a chaplain — a thoroughly ecumenical, missional, community-based ministry. That’s where he feels most comfortable: with his neighbors, listening, conversing, and trying to encourage.