About Stephen Shaver

I’m an Episcopal priest. I serve as rector at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa, California (but what I write here is just my own personal thoughts). Before coming here I spent several years serving parishes in Texas and Washington State, as well as serving in hospital and hospice chaplaincy, then completed a Ph.D. in liturgical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. I was ordained in 2007.

I believe God is working everywhere and at all times to redeem the world. I believe the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are at the heart of the world’s story. I believe the Holy Spirit is breathing the universe into new life.

I also believe worship that’s faithful to its tradition and context is one of the most powerful forces for transformation in the world. I’m passionate about Christian liturgy, especially Anglican liturgy as a unique and beautiful expression of the catholic Christian tradition today.

Along with liturgy, I’m passionate about congregational development: the ways congregations grow into more faithful, healthy, and effective local expressions of the Body of Christ. For several¬†years I’ve served as a trainer for the College for Congregational Development. In seminary I learned a lot about scripture, the Christian tradition, history, spirituality, liturgy, and preaching. But it was through being part of the College, first as a participant and then on staff, that I learned a vocabulary for the other skills I had been groping towards in parish ministry by trial and error: how to work with people in groups, navigate conflict productively, make decisions collaboratively, manage change.

I love to travel. I grew up overseas, and I haven’t stopped moving about the world since. But I also love having a home, and the Bay Area has been close to my heart for a long time.

I love making music: I’ve been a serious choral singer since back when I was in college and have been fortunate enough to be part of some wonderful¬†ensembles since. Along with those performance groups, I’ve also been part of choirs in several beloved parishes.

I love hiking and being outside, preferably somewhere up high with beautiful views, or else in a forest with water nearby.

I’m married to J. We live a life that is sometimes too scattered but full of many blessings, in a house in Santa Rosa, with our two kids and a cute but ornery cat.

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