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Meet Rev. Carlton E. Smith

Try My Jesus Author, Ordained Minister & Consultant

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I’m mostly about enjoying life while contributing to the lives of others. 


As a child, I wanted to grow up to be a superhero. What would have been better than going on adventures, saving the day, and being celebrated?


With early adult jobs in marketing, communications, and journalism, my quest for truth and meaning took me from my centrist mainline United Methodist roots, all the way over to the right and deep into Pentecostalism, then back past the middle and all the way to the theological left, where I found my spiritual base and my career in Unitarian Universalist ministry.


Ordained in 1995, I served as a pastor in congregations for many years, in Metro New York, Oakland California, Greater Boston, and Northern Virginia. About a decade ago, I became part of the Congregational Life staff for the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. That just means that I worked with local ministers and local lay leaders supporting them with the kinds of challenges and opportunities that presented themselves when I was a pastor. More recently, I was hired to be the Lead (i.e., “Executive Director”) for the Pacific Western Region of the UUA, so now I guide and resource the team that does the same work I had done in the Southern Region.


I had always had aspirations of becoming an author. While I’d written many articles, opinion pieces, blogs, sermons, and fiction and nonfiction book chapters, I’d never made the passage all the way from book concept to published book until 2022.


The book Try My Jesus is my humble sharing of my own journey toward a workable relationship to the visionary leader, truth-teller and activist described in the Gospels. It is foremost a collection of my personal reflections on Jesus’ sayings, with the hope that it encourages people to go on their own adventures in spirituality and faith.


In many ways, Jesus lives as the ultimate superhero in my imagination and my heart. That I would still be following and learning from him all these many years later is indeed a gift that continues to give.


I’m excited for the conversations and connections that might emerge from this project.

Thank you so much for your interest!

More About Try My Jesus

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