If you are ‘church surfing’, I’m sure you would like to know something about the pastor of the church. So, the first thing you can know about me is that it has taken me a couple of years to write this bio for the church website. In part, it’s because I believe a church shouldn’t center on the personality of the pastor. I like it when ideas and visions for ministry bubble up in the congregation. It is the spirit of the community that is important, and I see my role as a means to help facilitate and encourage our collective participation.
That is why I accepted the call to be the pastor here, beginning in September 2016. At this church, I found a group of very down-to-earth people who were committed to deepening their spirituality, developing the bonds of community, and engaging in social justice issues as a means of expressing God’s compassion for all people.
I’ve been engaged in full-time ministry for over 30 years, working in a variety of roles. I enjoy preaching and teaching, and helping people develop a faith that is thoughtful, engaged, and relevant to our modern age. Claremont School of Theology was a great fit for my seminary training.
My own faith is highly influenced by: Historical Jesus Research (Marcus Borg, J.D. Crossan), Process Theology (John Cobb), Contemplative Practices (Frank Rogers), Anthropology of Religion (René Girard), Internal Family Systems (Richard Schwartz, Tom Holmes), and the Circles of Trust ® approach to group practices (Parker Palmer). These terms and authors may not mean much to you, but happy Googling if you want to learn more, or come to church.
I taught a few college courses in public speaking, interpersonal communication and inter-cultural communication. I am a Circle of Trust® Facilitator, prepared for facilitation by The Center for Courage and Renewal (Parker Palmer). I have begun a facilitator training with The Center for Engaged Compassion.
My wife Terri is a public school administrator and we have two adult children.
For fun, I enjoy reading Kurt Vonnegut novels, watching MLB games (Cardinals and A’s) playing guitar and harmonica, hiking, biking, and just being in nature.
Well, enough about me: come and visit and let me get to know a bit about you.
Rita Lilly is a professional classical singer and teacher who moved to California from NYC in 2000. Specializing in the performance of early music, she sang and toured with the renowned Waverly Consort from 1988-1997. Since coming to the Bay Area, she has been a featured soloist with numerous ensembles and orchestras in the bay area and throughout the country. Previously, she earned her BA/BS in voice with K-12 music certification from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. She was the Music Director of St. Jerome Catholic Church from 2004-2009, is the voice teacher of the SFEMS baroque workshop, is on the faculty of the Pacific Boy Choir Academy as their private voice teacher, maintains her own voice studio in her home and thoroughly enjoys being director of the LCC Choir.
She enjoys her family time with Nitash Balsara, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley and founder of SEEO and her two lovely children, Sonya and Matthew.
Diana Silva is our bookkeeper. She has been a part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) all her life, growing up in the San Jose church and later attending Disciple churches in Kansas and Virginia. Diana and her family joined Lafayette Christian Church in 1984, with Diana becoming the Treasurer two years later and by 1993 was taking care of all the bookkeeping for our church. In 1987, Diana became our organist with four years of previous experience in Alexandria, Virginia and for 32 years, her gift for music enriched our weekly worship. Diana retired as the LCC organist in 2019. She is married and has two grown children who consider this church part of their family.
Kelley Lawton has been our "church secretary" and Office Manager at LCC for over 14 years. Kelley is the cheerful voice you'll hear on our church phone line and she enjoys creating our weekly newsletter, Grace Notes, as well as wrangling our busy church calendar. She loves coming to work in this warm and loving, close-knit community and walking about our beautiful campus, filled with lush old trees.