“Almost a Conversation” is the title of a poem by Mary Oliver, found in her 2009 book “Evidence.” In it, she images having “almost a conversation” with a river otter. I chose it as the name of this blog not only because I love river otters and Mary Oliver’s poetry, but because I feel like writing is always an attempt at communication, or, almost a conversation.

I’m Benjamin Broadbent. I live in Santa Rosa, California with my life partner, Brooke Bell, and our two kiddos, Marin (b. 2005) and Sophia (b. 2008). Oh yeah, and we also have two miniature wiener dogs, Slinky and Miss Piggy.

My vocation is Christian ministry. I have served two local congregations, the First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs and the Community Church of Sebastopol. Both are United Church of Christ congregations. I come by the ministry “honestly,” as they say. My grandfather was a minister, and so were my dad and my uncle.

After graduating from Santa Cruz High School in 1990, I attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where I received my B.A. in 1994, majoring in Spanish and Humanities. After taking a year off from school, I went to Harvard Divinity School to study World Religions and to earn a High School teaching credential to teach English. After my first year at HDS, I switched into the Master of Divinity program and graduated with that degree in 1998. I went back to school in 2009 for a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching, which I received in 2012.

There’s much more to say, but I’ll close by sharing a few things I love: time with Brooke, time with Marin and Sophia, visiting Santa Cruz, going to the beach, beach cruisers, river otters, The Cure, harmonicas, singing, mint chocolate ice cream on a hot day, dense theological tomes, a good poem, craft beer, redwood trees, the smell of bay leaves, snowboarding, and traveling, especially when I get to hear and speak Spanish.

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