Reverend Dr. William A. Albright
Park Avenue Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Arlington Heights, Massachusetts, called me as its current settled pastor in August of 1996. I am the Rev. Dr. William A. Albright.I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Since my father was a career Army surgeon, I grew up an “Army brat,” living in five states, Alaska (before it was a state), and Germany. I graduated from high school in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, as well as a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Guidance from Indiana University Southeast. In the late 1970s, I worked as a probation officer in southern Indiana, then attended the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where I earned the Master of Divinity degree. I also hold a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.Before coming to Massachusetts, I served churches in Louisville, Kentucky; Daytona Beach, Florida; and St. Louis, Missouri.I have two grown sons, Nicholas and Jeremy, who are currently living in Daytona Beach. My brother is a Presbyterian minister in Pennsylvania and my two sisters live in Florida.I like to be called Bill, although some people prefer to call me Pastor Bill or Dr. Albright.I enjoy “the great outdoors” (whenever I can get there), traveling to exotic places (most recently to Honduras, Central America, on a mission trip), and writing poetry and fiction. I am a voracious reader, mostly non-fiction these days. Currently, I am reading widely in the areas of world religions, the historical Jesus, and the diversity of early Christian faith and practice. I also enjoy a wide range of visual art, music (especially jazz, classic rock, and world music), and film.
I encourage others to be creative and expressive in their personal spiritual growth. I work to make the church a more inclusive and welcoming community where the compassionate love of God is honored in word and deed. My vision of the local church is that it may become a holistic healing center where peace and justice flow “like an everflowing stream,” while the beauty and mystery of God are celebrated in a variety of artistic expressions.
I have a passion for life with all its beauty, energy, and goodness. I invite honest dialogue about the many ways our Creator God is manifested in the world and in our everyday lives. And I encourage people to stretch their imaginations when they pray, think about God, or want a deeper experience of God’s presence.
Personally, I am awed by the realization that, as Thoreau put it, “the universe is wider than our views of it.” I am also profoundly certain, with the apostle Paul, “that neither death, nor life … nor things present, nor things to come … nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” [Romans 8:38-39]. That belief has changed my life.
I am persuaded that the highest expressions of humanity come from seeking to love God and neighbor with as much of our being as possible. It simply doesn’t get any better than that!
I try to relate to others with the awareness that the spirit of God dwells at the center of every human soul. I believe that we encounter that divine spirit, not so much through institutional connections as through relationships. So, from that perspective, I am currently challenging the people of Park Avenue Church “go deeper” in their experience of God-in-Christ.
For more information, see Bill’s minister’s message.