Rev Michael McNamara
I was born and raised in the snow bound winters and beautiful summers of Rochester New York. As an only child I spent a great part of my early childhood building snow forts, exploring nature (whether insects in the backyard or wooded ravines of nearby parks) and pouring over atlases and maps, wondering at the enormity of the world.
I have embraced this internal sense of playfulness and curiosity and have managed to travel and live in some diverse places.
Following College in Ithaca New York, I decided to move to Ireland on a 4 month work permit, where again, I found myself wandering — this time among ancient ruins and verdant rolling hills. I ended up in Kenmare, County Kerry as a hotel bartender, returning stateside once my work permit expired.
Not too long after that I moved to New York City where I taught environmental education and loved that there was always something new to discover. While in New York, I also attended Union Theological Seminary where I discovered a wonderful community grounded in a deep faith. Eventually, after graduation, the great recession forced me to move on and set out for new shores.
My frist night at Union was the same day that Hurricane Katrina landed on the Gulf Coast. That evening a group of us gathered in the chapel and prayed for the people there. God has an interesting way of working in the world, and i believe that those prayers were eventually answered. When I left New York, I found myself in New Orleans Louisiana, just about three years after Katrina devastated the city and the region. Once there I spent a year helping rebuild homes as an electrician, and spent another year managing a Tool Lending Library.
When funding for the Tool Lending Library started to falter, a small church in Amite Louisiana reached out. I was sure I was moving back to New York City to work in non-profits, but instead started preaching at Amite-Arcola Presbyterian Church. After a few months of pulpit supply, they extended a call. I spent a year with that wonderful community, and felt the call to move on.
High Peaks, Adirondacks
Tate Modern; London
From Louisiana I moved to the Washington, DC region, where I was called to serve the congregation of Adelphi Presbyterian, where I still serve today. After a few years there, I had the opportunity to also serve the National Capital Presbytery as their Mission Specialist. For a little over two years I worked for both. Also during the time I got married and had two beautiful boys.
When the funding for the Mission Specialist position dissipated, I was given the opportunity to start a new worshipping community in Downtown Silver Spring Maryland. I am just starting in on this new adventure, but we a getting a launch team together and focusing on ways holy conversations (even on “unholy” books) can build community and strengthen trust. To learn a little bit more about this effort, check out our Irreverent Reverence page.