About the Misfit Minister

Hello. I am Jon Umbdenstock.

I am the Co-Conspirator, Co-Creator, and Co-Founder for the Woodlawn MIC (Multicultural Impact Center) in conjunction with a yet to be named new faith community project in Portland Oregon, where I am the Instigator and Misfit Minister. The United Methodist Church has licensed me as a local pastor to serve in Portland for this project. I just finished up my M.Div. in Theology at Duke University. I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer. At one point I thought that was something I need to overcome, but I believe I was wired this way for a reason. I am dismayed by the marriage of Christianity with the dominant culture. By dominant culture, I do not mean the culture becoming more tolerant and in many case celebrating differences like sexual orientation. I mean the dominant culture of unbridled consumerism, greed, and the valuing of property, wealth, and profit over that of human beings and the rest of God’s creation. Racism (overt, subtle, and/or systemic), sexism, homophobia, environmental disregard, and greed are all in direct opposition to the will of God. Jesus subverted the Roman imperial rule as well as the self-righteous piety of the religious leaders of his day. I believe we are called to live into this reality. That is what it means for the Kingdom of God to break through in the present world.

A little about me. I was born in a small town in Appalachia (VA) and have lived in Appalachia three other times. However, I grew up near Miami and have also lived in Austin TX, Seattle WA, and more places totaling 12 cities in 9 states. Between the many places I have lived and the fact that I grew up active in the Roman Catholic Church and then spending over 9 years in the nondenominational evangelical world before joining the United Methodist Church, I have a great deal of varied experiences to draw from.

My background is in the arts, specifically music as I was a music production and business major in undergrad at the Florida State University. My fascination with the academy led me to go on to get a masters degree in counseling and higher education administration from Clemson University. After going through quarter-life crisis, I felt these urges pulling me to a life of ministry. These musings will be my candid thoughts regarding Christianity, theology, the arts, culture, and current events. Cheers!