B'ville: Hayes new Chaplain at Syracuse Home

What is your present position?

I am the pastor/head of the staff of the First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville.

I guess that we pastors or ministers are among the few remaining generalists in a culture of ever increasing specialization. I like that, too, because I am deeply curious about such a wide range of things and love the freedom to learn and explore. Also, I think there is something profoundly humanizing about having to admit to being less than expert. It allows for a kind of healthy humility.

What do you hope to bring to the residents of Syracuse Home Association?

I hope to bring to the residents, staff and volunteers, a willingness to listen, an effort to understand, and an eagerness to grow spiritually together.

What do you like about Syracuse Home?

I love the sense of community, of belonging to and caring for one another. I also have been impressed with the way people here -- and that includes residents, staff and volunteers -- are able to laugh and cry together, to really share and celebrate life.

Where are you from?

I'm from a small village just north of Amsterdam called Broadalbin. Many people from this part of New York State pass through it, or skirt the edge of it, on their way to Saratoga or Vermont. When I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's there were no more than 1,200 people in the village. When I graduated from high school in 1969, there were only 81 people in my class.

What is your background?

I've lived almost all of my life in New York. Except for three years of Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, an intern year in Philipsburg, New Jersey and a summer of pulpit supply in Houston, Texas, it's been all New York. I went to Hamilton College in Clinton; I went to Yale University Divinity School in New Haven. I began ministry at New Hartford Presbyterian Church. I was at the Irondequoit Presbyterian Church for a little over 13 years. Then I came to Baldwinsville. I majored in religion at Hamilton, so I take a pretty broad view of religion and enjoy it when people from different faiths and traditions can learn from each other, enrich and expand each other's perspectives.

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