Author | Pastor | Presenter | Church Futurist
Founder of the Paradoxy Center & St. Nicholas Church
Click here to view Ken’s LinkedIn Profile
Perhaps it was inevitable that I would author both a theology and a book named Paradoxy, since I carry quite a collection of paradoxes in my own person. I am a Jew by birth, and a Christ-follower. I made my commitment to Christ as the result from a year-long study of the Scriptures with the intention refuting a college friend’s claim that Jesus was the Messiah. I made the Episcopal Church my home because it was the most “Jewish” denomination I could find. I am the great-grandson of Orthodox Jewish Rabbi from Belarus, and a priest in a Christian denomination descended from the Church of England. I am a minister ordained by the organized church, and a person who considers himself “not very religious.” I am the ultimate religious “insider,” who cannot shake the feeling of “outside-ness.” I am devoted to a Church which I have frequently called “a mistake made holy.”
The vision and calling I believe God has given me is nothing less than the transformation of the Church in preparation for its future: to prepare the Beloved Community to effectively engage the future which has God prepared for us to walk in by rediscovering the love that lies at the heart of the faith; to midwife the body of Christ into new life by helping it to recognize and shed the dead layers of doctrines and practices that have accreted to it over the centuries; to call the Church to re-paradigm itself by reminding it of the profoundly paradoxical realities of incarnation and resurrection that empower its very existence.
This transformational sense of call has been a driving force in my life. It’s why I studied and worked in the areas of team development, community organization, and conflict transformation while still a lay person. It’s what led me, while in seminary, to do extensive research on early Church Jesus movements and author my thesis on the Jewish-Christian movement in the early Church. It’s why I volunteered to take on the task of planting my diocese’s first startup congregation in decades and helped shape into an emergent learning laboratory for incarnational Christian community. It’s why my congregation and I decided to share our hard-won insights by writing a book on the subject which came to be titled Paradoxy. And it is why I began accepting conference, consulting, and coaching requests to help clergy and lay leaders explore the principles and practices of Incarnational Christianity.
He has that rare gift of making very complex matters understandable quite quickly.
— Amy Moffitt, editor and blogger
Ken has some of the highest relational skills I have ever met. In our dealings together he has always displayed the highest levels of integrity, initiative, and industry. I can’t imagine a better consultant to move entrenched institutions into the future.
— Leonard Sweet, author, speaker, professor of evangelism
Ken has demonstrated to the most talented theologians among us that his work is an original synthesis spanning many disciplines – he is offering a new and clear lens through which to view our unique gifts as followers of Jesus in the 21st century. He has mastered not only the content, but also the process by which we are transformed as leaders, especially in this arena.
— Tom Brackett, church leader, coach, blogger, midwife to the Church
What impresses most in working with Ken is his ability to plan everything to the Nth degree, yet also to listen deeply and remain flexible in the moment. His ability to hear where the people actually are in relation to the material presented is uncanny, and his knowledge of both resources and people allow him to hear the necessary next steps, and attend to them. This makes working with him a genuine pleasure and enables the people present to connect to the material from where they are, feeling affirmed in the knowledge they bring to the table. Lovely to see.
— Ana Hernandez, composer, arranger, and performer of sacred music
Ken is the quintessential transformational community builder. He understands where congregations get stuck, and he really gets how to get them unstuck. I have experienced Ken firsthand in the act of coaching over one hundred church folk into a clearer and more fruitful understanding of their incarnate identity and mission. His zeal for building “incarnational Christian community” is contagious. Ken has the ability to meet and engage – with sincere respect – people of all paradigm persuasions, and to lead them into a place that transcends ideological differences.
— Ed Leidel, congregational coach, retired bishop
Ken’s natural gifts enable him to be a highly effective agent of transformational change. His mind is keen and agile and his manner is warm, genuine and amiable. He thoroughly understands very different points of view and can relate well to individuals who fervently hold contrasting positions. His combined intellectual and relational abilities enable him to facilitate positive change among individuals in situations where there has been intractable conflict.
— Paul Cooney, canon to the ordinary/chief operating officer
Ken’s unique personal history gives him a perspective that most of us who were raised in the church and in the Episcopal Church in particular, do not have. It is this gift of personal history and experience that makes him an excellent communicator and guide on this exploration of faith and church.
— Robert Cornner, pastor and regional dean