Meet Our Staff
Danny Phelps, Pastor
A note from Pastor Danny – pronouns: he/him/his.
It is truly an honor that you have come to our website; exploring a community of faith, where God might be calling you.
We live in a world that is filled with uncertainty, doubts, questions... we see bigotry and hatred against anyone different... we hear about wars and unrest in the world... It would seem that there is no hope. Yet, there is still much hope to be found.
I have struggled in my life to find meaning and purpose. I have doubted God, questioned the institutional church and sought ways to remove faith from my life all together. I spent some years, simply done with God/church and the prison it represented to me. Maybe you have felt this way too.
My journey has been formed through my Catholic upbringing, a foundation taught by my mom and my dad – and within my family of origin: 8 kids total—who put up with me. I am guided by the Holy Spirit and was enriched through the Pentecostal tradition of the faith in my young adult years. Then, finding my spiritual home in the Lutheran Church and seeing Jesus more fully in the writings of Luther and the Word and Sacraments at All Saints Lutheran Church, Tampa FL. Gradually I recognized that God was walking along side of me, throughout my self-discovery process. Finally believing God was loving me for who I was, period. Dragging me at times; carrying me much of the time.
I am informed through my education at St. Petersburg College FL (Associates), Southern New Hampshire University NH (Bachelor), and at United Lutheran Seminary, Philadelphia Campus (Seminary)—through which I completed first year field education at Saints United Church, and then Vicar at Bethany for the final two. Receiving a Master of Divinity, with a concentration in Multicultural Studies May 2018; empowered to be a listening presence; to recognize meaningful work with God, in community and the church for justice; and a heart for ecumenical and inter-faith engagement.
My attitude of gratitude is beyond words, when I think about the love, support and nudging I receive(d) over these many years, from: my husband Patrick, our daughter Carissa and son-in-law Joey. Not forgetting my close friends, pastors, family, professors and all who have played an important role in my life.
Today, I continue discerning God’s leading through the power of the Spirit. Together with the faith community here at Bethany, we are living the resurrection of Christ, as the hands and feet of God in this surrounding community. We strive to live as disciples of Jesus, not members of a church.
I am reminded of the call and response, “God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!” This phrasing empowers my attitude of gratitude, for how God has truly blessed me. Freely gifting me and all peoples within God’s living grace and love. We are all God’s people! As siblings, it is within our differences that we are made strong together. We yearn to live within community, not isolation; where our time, our talents and our treasures our very selves, are valued and affirmed by all. A community where God is honored as gatherer of all nations and inclusive of …all peoples… no exceptions. May God abundantly bless you and may God keep you always in grace and love.
Peace be with you always!