Creating a safe, sacred space.
I am an educator, musician, speaker, writer, and spiritual director living and working in San Francisco’s North Bay Area. I am founder and president of Common Sanctuary, and co-pastor (along with my long-time best friend, Tony Gapastione) of The Quest.
I am also a spiritual director and support group facilitator with The Christian Closet, which offers web-based counseling, coaching, and spiritual direction for LGBTQ Christians.
My musical/creative exploits have included performing a solo show at the Tulsa Jazz Hall of Fame, singing the national anthem at two 49ers games and a stint with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. My song, “Always Entertaining Me” was featured in the hit Korean drama IRIS, and my song, “Going Home” was recorded by Broadway star and Emmy winner Loretta Devine and is featured on the soundtrack of the short film “Neighbor.”
For seventeen years, I worked as a worship pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church, serving churches in Redwood City, CA; Houston, TX; Tulsa, OK; Seattle, WA; and Santa Rosa, CA. I am a graduate of the Spiritual Director Formation Program at The Journey Center in Santa Rosa and currently serve on its board of directors.
As a gay Christian, I am passionate about the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, and I work to create safe, sacred spaces for people exploring these identities. My TEDx talk, “Choosing Gratitude and Hope,” with my former wife, Luanne Nightingale, tells our story of mixed-orientation marriage, an evolving understanding of faith and sexuality, and the choice to end it with gratitude and hope.
I am the proud father of four adult children: Joshua, Jacob, Emily and Zachary.
For seventeen years, I worked as a worship pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church. I currently serve as the co-pastor of The Quest, a progressive Christian church in Novato, California.
On July 15, 2018, I was the guest preacher. I spoke on a text from the gospel of Matthew and shared my story of finding freedom and new life as an openly gay Christian man.
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv, former Executive Director, Spiritual Directors International
Bruce, Spiritual Direction Client