Rev. Joshua Ellis - Biography
I became an Interfaith minister in response to the world-changing events of September 11, 2001. I saw my beloved New York City reeling from an unimaginable event, and wanted to be part of its healing. At the time I didn't know what that meant or what my calling would be.
Although I was raised in a traditional Jewish family, I have always felt myself more spiritual and spirited than religious. I began to find my answers in Rev. Wayne Teasdale's landmark work, The Mystic Heart. He describes "Interfaith," what he also calls "Interspirituality," as "a radically fresh approach to our life as the human family in a fragile world." His book invites us to acknowledge and celebrate our diversity, while we simultaneously honor our interconnectedness.
The day I performed my first wedding I knew my life was changed forever. On that day I saw the great cycle of life with which a minister becomes intimately involved. Spiritual leaders of all faiths are called to share the most joyous and most challenging events in peoples' lives. My greatest reward, and the one that surprised me most, is how much love I get to witness, and how much love I get to share.
My friends sometimes say the arc of my professional career has gone "from Manilow to ministry" Before being ordained as an Interfaith minister and certified as a marriage officiant, I did entertainment public relations. My clients ranged from over 100 Broadway and off-Broadway shows to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. My life has been blessed working with Lena Horne, Yul Brynner, Stephen Sondheim, Carol Channing, Arthur Miller, Angela Lansbury, Richard Gere in his early 20s, and a very young Denzel Washington, among many others.
Now, my joyous responsibility as a minister is to ask, "How may I help?" and to listen with an open heart. I am here to serve you with love.