Pipes Up

  Public Speaking

No, I don't picture them naked. Ever.

A professional public speaker since 1995, my talks are noted for their unexpected references, candid engagement with those present, ease with taboo subjects, and gentle humor.


I have spoken to groups throughout the country on a wide variety of topics. Specialties include: civic responsibility, death and dying, grief, aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, modern spiritual practices, funeral practices, and the tension between religion and sexuality. My favorite speaking requests are from groups seeking to delve into a very deep topic in a fearless and open-minded way because I find they get my jokes.


Protestant congregations throughout Virginia and North Carolina invite me primarily to speak on grief, sexuality, ethics, and spiritual disciplines for faith development. With the provision of traveling expenses in addition to my speaking fee, I speak outside of the Mid-Atlantic region. (Still waiting for the call to speak in Borneo but bag is packed.) In general, I do not repeat sermons unless by special request. Interspersing improvisation and story-telling in services means that although I am willing to provide them, a sermon manuscript is never exactly what was delivered.


Continuing education providers, conferences, conventions, university classes, seminaries, and religious institutions are my usual teaching settings. In recent years I have narrowed my class offerings to those related to dying or sexuality. But if you offer good food, I can be coaxed back into some of my other areas like: biomedical ethics, burnout in helping professions, family systems, and conflict resolution.

Fees are determined by preparation and performance time. Travel fees are separate. Supplies fees for classes are separate. Food is always encouraged.