Rev Michael Mcnamara

I am originally from Rochester, NY. My mother was a nurse and my father worked in Landscaping. When I was about 6 we moved into the suburbs because the school I was attending was substandard. Although I was young, the differences were stark, and I still often identify with my original city roots. Moving to the suburbs certainly afforded me a much better education, were I grew to love Science and Music the most. In High School I discovered television and radio and decided that I wanted to make nature documentaries more than anything else. I got into Ithaca College which had a strong film school and a strong Science program. After being accepted though I decided that I wanted to instead pursue pastoral ministry.

Even though I knew I wanted to become a pastor, I still ended up earning my degree in Environmental Studies, a subject I am still passionate about. When I graduated, I decided that I probably wasn’t ready yet for the ministry, and worked in a number of different fields, first in a hotel in Ireland, then a kitchen in Rochester. During this time I also started to work in education, and got a job as a paraprofessional in the school district where I first attended school before moving to the suburbs. There I started to develop a passion for urban education, a passion I continued when I moved to Brooklyn a little over a year later. Once in Brooklyn I worked as an environmental educator and as a science teacher.

Also while in Brooklyn, I decided to finally attend seminary, and went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City. My time there was wonderful, and I was able to connect my environmental work into a thesis. Yet it was my classmates which were the most impressive thing about Union. I made great friends and had great conversations about theology, the church being a pastor and everything in between. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do not cherish the time I spent there.

Following Union I struggled to find a church, but was more than willing to go back to the world of Environmental Education. I was back in the classroom, and enjoying it when the organization I was working for ran out of money, ending up with me being out of a job. Because of the high cost of living in New York, and poor job prospects as a result of the brand new recession, I moved to New Orleans and got involved with the on-going rebuilding effort following Hurricane Katrina. I quickly landed a job as an electrician for a rebuilding non-profit and helped get more than 50 families back into their homes. I went from that job to managing a Tool Lending Library.

Just when I thought I was now being called to work in non-profits, a small church outside of New Orleans called. What started a pulpit supply work eventually led to a full time job. Once there in a full time capacity, I discovered that the church could not truly afford a full-time pastor and we started to look at other models of ministry for the congregation. When I finished that call I left a church that was far more confident in who they were and who had a much stronger sense of purpose.

Adelphi offers me the next chapter in my journey and I am looking forward to it expectantly. Not only is does moving to Adelphi mean a new city, but I am also getting ready to be married in June and hopefully start a family in the not too distant future. I look forward to working and growing with the congregation of Adelphi Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community. Together we can listen to where God is calling us to be.