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.