Grace to you and peace to all the saints of Good Shepherd. We are blessed and so grateful that we will soon be joining you. I know that you have received some information about me and my family from the Discernment Committee, yet I hope that all of you will spend some time with us as we get to know each other over the coming months. One helpful way of starting this conversation is to look for what we have in common. Toward that, here is some of who we are that may connect with you.
I was born in Heidelberg, Germany and grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Yes, a military family. I am a former Roman Catholic who was introduced to the Episcopal Church by my wife, Susan. Our first date was actually to church at her home parish, St. John’s in Tallahassee, Florida. The Baptist church was an important part of my life when I was a preteen. I am a fan of Jesus and the church, and college sports, especially SEC football and ACC basketball. I enjoy music and movies, hope to get back into golf and playing guitar, and have friends and family of all kinds from super‐conservative to ultra‐liberal, gay and straight, white and Hispanic, Asian and African‐American.
Susan is a Florida native and cradle Episcopalian. She is an avid reader, enjoys her many craft, and loves to play games and solve puzzles. Susan is Dr. Doolittle, Donna Reed and Mary Poppins in one person. Animals love her and she makes life magical around our home. She is an awesome host and enjoys cooking and throwing parties. Susan is the math genius of the family and uses her statistics training in her work in fraud detection for Peoples Bank. If she decides to finish her dissertation, Susan would have her PhD in sociology.
Talley will be a freshman this fall at Appalachian State University. She has been active in church, regularly attending camp and serving on the staff at Happening and the Diocese of Kansas convention, participating in several mission trips, leading an annual Parent’s Day Out event, and working in the church nursery. Talley sings in a couple of her high school’s choirs and also enjoys music and reading. She speaks Chinese and German, has been to China once and Germany three times, and has recently returned from a three-month stay in southern France where she worked as an au pair. Talley will be going to Honduras this summer.
Mary will be a sophomore at Hayesville High School. Over the past years, Mary has played piano and flute, and now enjoys photography and writing. Mary loves literature and has become a fan of some of the classic works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Expectations, and Pride and Prejudice. She is a fan of music and is looking forward a trip to St. Louis to see Pierce the Veil and All Time Low, and also to one last Warped Tour date before moving to Hayesville. Mary speaks French, enjoys playing board games, baking cookies, and spending time with her friends.
Adrian Gonzalez is our unofficial adopted son. He came to live with us when things did not work out in his family. Adrian is completing high school a year early and intends to enroll in a nearby college this fall. His interests are in engineering, video games and basketball, movies and music, and shares with me an interest in all things zombie. Adrian is bi‐lingual and has also taken courses in French. He has a great sense of humor and has brought much life and laughter to our family. He is also an excellent cook but watch out for those hot peppers!
Our other family members are our dogs Cookie and Piper, and our cats Duchess and Dexter. They seem to say that they too are excited about the move to Hayesville. Well, maybe not Duchess. But that is part of our story. So, where do we connect with you? I am looking forward to meeting all of you, hearing your stories, and working with everyone to share the good news of what God is doing in Western North Carolina and Northern Georgia.
Peace and love to all,