Growing up in the small town of Delmont, PA, I always felt like our community there straddled an interesting line geographically: travel west and you quickly encounter the suburbs of Pittsburgh and eventually the city itself, but travel east and you are just as quickly surrounded by rural open country and mountains. Having the option to go either direction was something I’ve always appreciated about our region, and it has shaped who I am. I consider myself a Pittsburgher and love the city and everything it has to offer, but I’m a country boy at heart.
It was in high school that I first started really thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. From very early on, I had a holistic view of vocation; I didn’t just want a job, I wanted to do something that would make use of my gifts and passions to meet the needs of the world. It was the summer after my sophomore year when things started to click as I was offered a summer job at the Lutheran church camp I had attended since I was a child. I had no idea that my first summer working in the kitchen would turn into seven summers in a variety of positions, including three as a head counselor.
With an eye toward making a lifelong career out of working at summer camp, I began college at West Virginia University as a “Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources” major. As my interests shifted, I changed my major to Geography with a concentration in urban planning. Throughout my time in college though, I was involved with Lutheran campus ministry, and it was my campus pastor who first suggested that maybe my gifts would be best suited for ministry.
After seminary, my first call was to a rural two-point parish in northern Somerset County. I still serve one of those congregations, Benscreek Lutheran in Thomas Mills, part-time in addition to my part-time responsibilities at Mount Calvary.
My wife Bekah and I live outside Davidsville with our daughter Annabelle and black lab Tebow. We’re big fans of the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates, but especially the WVU Mountaineers. During our free time, you’re likely to bump into us at a variety of community fairs, sporting events, concerts, and festivals because we love supporting our community and exploring all that our area has to offer. And since I never grew out of my childhood fascination with fire trucks and ambulances, you may see me hanging around those, too; I’m currently the fire police captain and an EMT with the Boswell Volunteer Fire Department.
Pastor Jono’s office hours at Mount Calvary are Monday and Wednesday, 10am-3pm. Tuesday and Thursday are generally set aside for his ministry with Benscreek Lutheran Church, and Friday is his scheduled day off. The nature of ministry in general, and in particular the nature of ministry serving two separate congregations means that these days and times are subject to change.