Joining PUMC staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tyler has proved himself as a liaison between the pastors, staff, and lay leaders in responding to the congregation’s needs. He communicates on behalf of our lead pastor, prepares for worship, manages the church calendar and contact lists, and puts processes in place to support the Church during this virtual season.
Tyler’s desire to work for organizations emphasizing social justice and finding common cause around helping others helped him embark on a journey to discover the joy of working in a church environment. “I am looking forward to being a part of this vibrant community and getting to know the members of this Church,” Tyler said, talking about how he enjoys connecting with people in his community.
A passionate reader of historical biographies and team leader, Tyler is an alumnus of the Pennington School and The College of New Jersey, who has worked in health care, community development, and the non-profit sector. Right out of college, he had volunteered as a marketing coordinator for the Hopewell Valley YMCA and as a recruiter for political and environmental campaigns. He later moved to DC to work on the presidential election in 2016, both as a door-to-door canvasser for the Public Interest Research Group and as an office coordinator for a center-left lobbying firm, NVG LLC.
Before working for PUMC, Tyler had mastered the coffee brewing technique, which led him to work as a barista at ‘Small World Coffee’ for two and a half years. At this precise time, he fell more in love with Princeton, New Jersey, this bustling university town, with its suburban feel, coffee shops, restaurants, and parks.
Born in Arlington, Virginia, right outside of Washington DC, Tyler grew up in Loudoun County, Virginia. When he was in the 5th grade, his family moved to central New Jersey. His parents still live in New Jersey, the state where his mom grew up. His sister, 28, lives in Bozeman, Montana, and his brother, 23, recently moved to Portland, Oregon. “I feel so lucky to be a part of the Princeton UMC family as the pandemic has reasserted the need, in me, toward actively improving society through the enrichment of people’s spiritual journeys,” Tyler explained. “It is the first time I have worked for a religious organization, but the values of Princeton UMC align quite ideally with my own.”
Tyler has spent time in many different churches throughout his life. While he grew up Catholic, he has always admired his father’s Episcopalian upbringing and the openness and tolerance with which the mainline Protestant tradition tends to operate, relative to Catholicism. Most recently, his family was a member of Saint James Catholic Church in Pennington, New Jersey.
He admits, however, that his approach to his faith and spiritual journey is one of curiosity. He loves learning about the different spiritual movements around the world and how they have shaped society and improved the lives of followers. Tyler has spent time in many other houses of worship, Christian and non-Christian alike. He has come to see religious pluralism as one of the most treasured cornerstones of American society and culture.
My favorite place in the world is the beach,” revealed Tyler, who loves to hike and spend time outdoors. Exploring both New York City and Philadelphia is very close to his heart. When in New York, stand-up comedies and visits to art galleries are his favorites. He enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes. “Right now, I am trying to learn to cook Indian food, and it has been a great challenge thus far,” said Tyler.
Passionate about being a steward of God’s love, Tyler is already helping to coordinate the many different facets of church life, offering a positive and welcoming “home base” for our members and volunteers, thus enhancing the community’s spiritual health. “We are happy to have him on our staff,” said Pastor Jenny, “and we’re excited to see what new ideas he would bring to PUMC.”
Written by Isabella Dougan