Christopher Harper Martin
Christopher is an Episcopal Priest currently serving St. Paul’s parish in San Rafael, California, just fifteen minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. He has served there since 2004, which is when he began developing the Basic A, B, C, Ds and the Rhythm of Life. These two structures were based on his experiences and those of his colleagues at the previous churches where he served including All Saints’, Beverly Hills; Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford; and St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle.
The spark that led Christopher to develop The Restoration Project occurred in 2002 when he visited the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington DC. It was a visit that changed his life. For the first time, he saw what it looked like when a community of highly devoted Christians worked together to encourage each other in Discipleship and to serve the needs of the poor. The founder, Gordon Cosby, said something that cut him to the quick. He said ‘If men and women today began by the thousands experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ in a transforming way, there would simply be no place for their expression of experience to fit into the present-day straightjackets of Christianity. Protestant or Catholic, neither one is structured to contain a mass of devoted people who long for spiritual depth. Our churches are structured towards infancy.’
Since then, his passion has been to develop the structures to help people in ordinary parishes satisfy their longing for spiritual depth. It has been said by frustrated Christians that parish churches only help them get to the spiritual equivalent of fifth grade. In The Restoration Project, Christopher hopes to provide a loving structure for parishes and their seekers to move beyond spiritual infancy and discover the spiritual depths in Jesus available to all.
Christopher graduated from Yale University in 1990 where he studied Philosophy and Theater Studies. Much more importantly, he met Chloe Drake whom he married and with whom he has two boys, Harper and Simon. In 1996, he graduated cum laude from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.
In 1997 he founded Gathering the NeXt Generation (GTNG), a network of GenX clergy that led the church to end its bias against young clergy. GTNG also created a community of friendships that continue to this day. He has led a variety of workshops and gatherings focused on giving the post-Baby Boomer generations a meaningful and transformative voice in the church.
He loves to hike, read, feast and sing.He can be reached at Christopher@TheRestorationProject.net.