I’m a pastor of the United Church of Christ, presently serving a church in Battle Creek, MI, where I live with my wife, Andria, and our newborn daughter, Eleanor. Since graduating from college in 2005, I’ve lived in Las Vegas and Chicago. Andria and I served as Teach For America corps members in Las Vegas, and in 2007, moved to Chicago where I attended Chicago Theological Seminary. I’m originally from California.
Prompted by the living Spirit of God – whose presence in my life has been tangible and unmistakable – I am very committed to aligning my life according to the call of God for me, and for my world. I see no need to separate out faith and activism, nor spiritual practice and social justice. While I am a fierce proponent of the separation of Church and State, I know that the way of living to which I am called by God will have certain social and political implications – if I respond faithfully. Faithful response to God’s call has always had social and political implications – just ask Jesus. I am a Christian, and I am also a pluralist who recognizes that different people are on different paths and journeys from mine. I see things through the lens of my whiteness, maleness, marriage and fatherhood status, and as one who lives comfortably within middle-class norms and means. I am also committed to being and becoming an ally in the work of justice, with particular emphasis on racial healing, queer inclusivity, and economic fairness.
As with every other blog on the web, Reflections of Ryberg is something of a soapbox (or pulpit, if you prefer). When I speak in unqualified, absolutist terms, that’s just how I see it. My words here should not be construed to be representative or endorsed by my church, seminary, denomination, family, or even Jesus, though I will try to write in such a way that He would want to sign up for email notifications or at least friend me on Facebook. As a pastor, I do feel a certain sense of accountability to write on behalf of the will of God that is revealed in my midst, and on behalf of the people of God to whom I am accountable.
So I thank you for visiting. I welcome your comments and feedback. To contact me, please email me at: tom.ryberg(at)gmail(dot)com.
September 13, 2007 at 11:53 pm
Great blog Tom! I saw your work at Streetprophets and followed the link here. I actually commented on your first post over there recently.
I have a blog of my own and what an assortment of friends I have there. I am both very liberal and somewhat “snarky” as they say in blogworld. (I don’t love the term but I am living with it.) I am also deeply faithful.
Many of my readers are (thanks to the debt-praying-on-televangelists and the religious right) are atheists, agnostics and totally anti-theocracy. Which often comes out as anti anything God. They seem to like my work but don’t always know what to do with me.
Then I have another smaller, but equally vocal group of reader commenters who are more spiritual. Episcopalians, Lutherans and the odd Catholic (like myself) are growing in number.
It is fascinating if nothing else!
Anyway all this long winded preface is to say I would like to add you to my blogroll. Feel absolutely NO and I mean that- no obligation to do the same. I do hope you will come on by some time however.
Be warned – catch me on the wrong day and you may get some cussin’ and some anger posted. Other days, most days, more peaceful.
Peace to you,
October 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm
Sounds great Tom! I have really enjoyed reading your blog thus far. I must admit I am fairly new to the blog scene. Incidentally, I am interested in CTS. Right now I am seeking discernment between CTS and Andover-Newton. Perhaps you can enlighten me, concerning your experiences there. Keep blogging my friend and may peace find you.
June 28, 2010 at 10:14 pm
Thank you very much for the thoughtful comment you posted on Hennessy’s blog regarding Parkway UCC’s use of the Koran on its inspirational sign. We appreciate the support.
Dave from Wildwood
February 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm
hello Tom- we loved your blog-just looked at it this am. We also downloaded your multiple music song for our first grade grandson. We hope all is well with you and yours.
Phil and Robin