Fr. Nathan Ritter
Fr. Nathan Ritter was born in St. Louis, Missouri and was lucky to grow up close to all four of his grandparents. From his paternal grandfather who lived across the street, he learned how to love ‘good clean dirt’ hard word and the plants growing in it. His maternal grandfather passed on his love of the written word and Nathan has fond memories of waking up and finding him seated at the table and surrounded with three or four papers. After high school Nathan briefly considered becoming an engineer because it ran in the family and he enjoyed math and science. After one year though he changed his major and graduated from Truman State University with a B.A. in Classical Languages and a minor in Religious Studies. From there he moved to New Haven and earned a masters degree from Yale Divinity School, where he focused on the Old Testament and Semitic Languages. While there, he studied Aramaic, (Syriac), Ethiopic, Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Sumerian and Greek. When he was not studying, Nathan worked at the Yale University Development Office, The Yale Babylonian Collection and played soccer and squash. During his time in New Haven he also met his future wife, Jessica and officially became an Episcopalian when he was confirmed at Christ Church.
From there, Nathan entered the graduate program in Assyriology at the University of Michigan to study the languages and cultures of ancient Iraq and Syria. In Ann Arbor he was active at Canterbury House, the Episcopal Student Center. Once in Michigan, Nathan also started going to St. Gregory’s Abbey, an Episcopal monastery in Three Rivers. While serving on a discernment committee for another student, he discerned a call to the priesthood. In 2006 Nathan married Jessica and soon realized that he could not stay married, finish his degree and be ordained. The turning point was a conversation he had with the Chaplain of Canterbury House, Reid Hamilton, who said, “Just so you know Nathan, God’s calling is irrevocable.” While it was not an easy decision to make, he feels fortunate to be ordained and married.
Nathan and Jess moved to Jersey City, NJ in 2007. There, Jess was ordained in the Lutheran Church and serves as pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. They have two children, Theodore and Esther, who happily consume most of their time. When the weather is decent he can be found on his bike with his children riding around Liberty State Park. Nathan holds a M. Div. from The General Theological Seminary and since graduation and ordination in 2010 he has served Grace Church in Newark, St. Paul’s Westfield and Saint Thomas Church in New York City. Nathan grew up with his younger sister, Megan who lives in the D.C. area with her husband and two children. She works for the refugee resettlement program at the State Department. When there is free time, Nathan can be found roasting coffee and making soap with his children. He loves to hike with his large format camera and has an insatiable appetite for books.
Karen SammerJunior Warden
Fred GalanoSenior Warden
Denise HolzliWelcome & Fellowship