About Pastor Doug
A Place to Be Heard and Understood…
Doug Slagle came to the Gathering in January 2007 after serving for five years as an Associate Pastor responsible for Pastoral Care at a large church located in the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati. He was appointed Pastor at the Gathering by a unanimous vote of the congregation in October of 2009 and assumed his duties on November 2, 2009.
Doug attended Seminary in 1999 and 2000 with a focus onBible studies and Pastoral Care. His time as an Associate Pastor, prior to coming to the Gathering, was spent in helping to create, lead and foster home groups and book clubs, building volunteer opportunities and providing primary Pastoral care for the needs of the congregation. He also performed numerous weddings and funeral services.
As a Pastor, Doug believes in empowering people to think for themselves, seek their own spiritual truth and feel a part of a larger, loving community. He promotes and encourages diversity and his desire for the Gathering is that it be a place where individuals of all genders, races, sexual orientations and religious backgrounds feel welcome and celebrated. He tries to practice “empathetic listening” where the needs and opinions of each person are understood and valued.
Doug’s messages are thought provoking without endorsing one particular brand of faith. In Doug’s mind, there are many pathways to truth and, while the Gathering uses Christianity and the Bible as important sources for wisdom, they are not exclusive for insight and inspiration. The Veda, Torah or Koran may all be used as well as the writings and teachings of other great prophets and persons from history. In each one of us, Doug believes, lies the moral imagination that allows us to seek cooperation with others in building a more just and compassionate world. As he says, “God is not an outside force influencing our lives. She or he is us and it is we who are to work in creating a better world.”
The Gathering is a place where people can connect at a number of social events – congregation potlucks, Pub Nights, monthly movie nights, quarterly book clubs, regular field trips and other outings. In addition, the Gathering will be a place committed not only to speaking in behalf of justice for the poor, homeless and hurting members of the community, it will actively work to give its time and resources in “hands on” assistance. Regular outreach and community serving opportunities are available through the Gathering with organizations like the Freestore local food bank, InterFaith Hospitality Network serving homeless families, Lighthouse on Highland shelter for homeless young adults and “Faces Without Places” organization dedicated to helping homeless school age children.
Doug lives near downtown Cincinnati. He is active in the GLBT community and enjoys outdoor activities, time with friends and family, yoga, exercise and travel. Doug is also the proud dad of two daughters, Sara, age 28 and Amy, age 23. Both are pursuing nursing careers and frequently attend the church.