Randy smith


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I’m married to Debbie Clark, and we’re two long-time St. Mark’s parishioners living as empty nesters just up Cowper Street from the church. I work at Oracle Labs as a mathematician and software researcher. I have a PhD in theoretical physics and have taught physics at several California universities –but I’ve spent most of my career in Silicon Valley corporate research labs, including those of Atari, Sun, and Xerox PARC. Among my contributions to modern technology are software objects called “prototypes,” hundreds or maybe thousands of which currently inhabit your smart phone and laptop.

I have a second life as a musician, playing lead trumpet in three jazz bands. You may have heard me on occasion, honking out a hymn’s descant line on some festive Sunday morning, or seen me banging on a keyboard along side Matt and his guitar during St Francis day or at the parish retreat. I enjoy composing and arranging pieces for my bands, and hope to do more of that in my proximate but seemingly perpetually postponed retirement.

My father was an American Baptist pastor, and founder of the Central Contra Costa County Council of Churches. Before St Mark’s, I’ve been part of American Baptist, Lutheran, and even (briefly) Roman Catholic communities. While at St. Mark’s I’ve been actively involved in the Liturgical Arts Guild and numerous musical moments.

On the vestry, I would bring an interest in how the visual and musical environment might further enhance our worship experience. I’m also interested in the philosophy of science, of how we think we know what is true, and how that informs our spiritual practice. I would like to write a book someday entitled “Ever Noticed That You Exist?” Not sure how to move that into our community life, but the book is aimed at the many fine friends I’ve known over the years whose existence doesn’t seem to perplex them in the least. You read all that! Well bless your fine soul.