Iain was born in San Rafael, Ca into a Roman Catholic family on the cusp of two worlds. In the immediate aftermath of Vatican II, he learned to embrace the future, but also to respect the past. It was great in the great aggiornamento. Ancient words and practices were given new more accessible forms; old ways were coming down and new ones emerging. Harvey Cox, in The Future of Faith, argues that the various reform movements—liturgical renewal, ecumenical dialogues, liberation theologies, emerging church and new monasticism—combine to form what Cox calls “the age of the Spirit,” where Christianity is moving towards an emphasis on spiritual practice and social justice. This spirit of transformation continues to shape the 21st-century church and also Iain’s own spirituality.
From family, Iain learned to appreciate that each of us comes to God in their own way. His house had a “settlement” of sorts between my father’s pre-Vatican II Catholicism and my mother’s Presbyterian soul. My father had the heart of a mystic. He prayed to the saints and told their stories. I learned to love the saints and to see in their lives the gift of God’s love for humanity across time and space. Figures like Dorothy Day, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King stood as modern-day saints. From my mother, I gained an appreciation for the concrete, practical side of faith. It was enough for her to get up, say her prayers, and get to work. Taken together, I embraced contemplative practices in a way that feeds everyday action.
Iain studied Industrial Engineering at Oregon State, and his first professional job was as a consultant at Arthur Anderson & Co. After three years of working 80 hour weeks, Iain went searching for the next thing. Through discernment and random acts of exploration, Iain ended up in the study of theology and ministry.
Iain received his Master of Divinity from University of Notre Dame. He went on to receive a Theological Masters and do doctoral work at Harvard Divinity School in the Religion, Gender and Culture program. In 2003, just after the election of V. Gene Robinson to be the ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, Iain began exploring the Episcopal Church, and was received in May 2004.
For many years, Iain was an active lay leader in liturgy and education at Church of Good Shepard, Watertown. He left CGS in 2011 to join the Crossing@St. Paul’s Cathedral, “an emerging church community that seeks to walk in the life-changing, world-changing Way of Jesus, sharing the love, hope, beauty and justice of God in the city of Boston.” (http://www.stpaulboston.org/index.php/community/thecrossing) Iain also worked on staff at Episcopal Divinity School, where he managed a grant funded project to teach various commissions of the Episcopal Church how to use web conferencing to facilitate their work.
Iain began exploring his call to ordination and moved back to Oregon in 2013, He joined the Church of the Resurrection, Eugene, and the Holy Spirit opened a pathway. Iain did a Certificate of Anglican Studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and was ordained to the priesthood on January 28, 2017.
Before arriving at Christ Church on July 1, 2017, Iain spent a year as Associate for Liturgy at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Where among other things, he learned how to line up his 50 favorite people for the opening processionals.
Iain lives in Portland with his two Maine Coon kittens, Bailey and McKenzie. Occasionally, they let him sleep to 8 am. Mostly, he simply indulgences in his favorite hot beverage, café mochas. For more information about Iain, see iainstanford.com