The Ordinations of Joseph Pierjok and James Yazell to the Diaconate

Photographs: Donna Field and Chris Morrison five-minute read.   Resources
The ordinations into the Diaconate of James Yazell and Joseph Pierjok at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral on March 24, 2019. Image credit: Chris Morrison

On the afternoon of Sunday March 24, 2018, Joseph Pierjok and James Yazell were ordained into the Diaconate at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, Missouri.

The ordinations of into the Diaconate of James Yazell and Joseph Pierjok at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral on March 24, 2019. Image credit: Chris Morrison

The Rev. Joe Pierjok

The ordinations into the Transitional Diaconate of James Yazell and Joseph Pierjok at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral on March 24, 2019. Image credit: Donna Field

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. My family would tell you that I have always had a calling to the priesthood since a very young age. Perhaps it was because all my sister wanted was for me to be a puppy or a baby Jesus while my mother was pregnant with me, or how I used to play priest in my bedroom forcing my sister and pets to attend daily mass. I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and was very active until after my confirmation when I felt that the Roman Church was no longer my home. It was my senior year of High School when my best friend invited me to Sunday school at Good Shepard to meet a girl, that I was first introduced to the Episcopal Church. I quickly felt the Holy Ghost calling me home, and I’ve been an Episcopalian ever since.

I attended Rockhurst University in downtown Kansas City where I obtained my bachelors in Education, History, and Theology. Following my college years, I ran two restaurants in Parkville, Missouri and was hired as the Youth Pastor at Redeemer Episcopal Church. It was during my years as a Youth Pastor that the youth of this diocese and the wonderful adult volunteers solidified my calling to serve as a priest. The thanks and love that I have for the youth program of this diocese is boundless. I also owe a huge amount of gratitude to Fr. Joe Behen and the wonderful people of Redeemer Episcopal Church who discerned deeply with me, loved and prayed with me every step of the way on this journey that God has called me on. I love you all so very deeply!

I attended, what I believe to be, the greatest seminary in our Episcopal Church, Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. This was my first experience of living outside of Kansas City, and I never thought I would live in Texas, but I am so glad that God called me there. I completed my Master’s of Divinity in May of 2019 and have been called to serve at Grace Episcopal Church in Carthage, Missouri. I started my work there on June 1st. The people of Grace Church have been nothing short of incredible. I am humbled and grateful to have been called to such a wonderful place! I look forward to growing, learning, and serving alongside them for many years to come! Fr. Steve Wilson is a beloved rector and I thank God everyday for Fr. Steve’s ministry and mentorship that he provides to not only me, but to an entire city!

God willing and the people consenting my ordination to the priesthood is scheduled for October 12th, 2019 at 2p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Carthage, Missouri.

It’s good to be back in the greatest diocese in the Episcopal Church and I look forward to what God has in store for all of us!

The Rev. James Yazell

About to deliver the dismissal — The Rev. James Yazell (left) and The Rev. Joseph Pierjok. Image credit: Donna Field

Ever since discovering the Episcopal Church in High School there was something about the priest’s work at the altar that I found immensely compelling. As someone who was not raised in a sacramental tradition, I was really drawn to that close proximity to the sacraments. Yet, even with that vision it was difficult for me to settle on pursuing that call. Throughout college I found myself constantly grasping at other vocations and careers, everything from Geology to Urban Planning. While there was something within all those fields I found interesting and fulfilling I always found this itch in the back of my mind drawing me back to the priesthood. Finally, I realized that God was not going to stop nudging me in that direction and so I declared a Philosophy major at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and began the official discernment process after graduating.

The first seminary my wife, Kelsey, and I visited was the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and we knew right away that God was calling us there. The residential seminary model was made all the more powerful on the top of that “holy mountain,” the Cumberland Plateau. From that mountain top we were able to dedicate the next three years of our life to living in a close knit community guided by the monastic model of daily prayer, study, and work.

That experience was incredibly formative and was truly confirming in my sense of call to the vocation of the priesthood. As I look forward to beginning my ministry as the Cleric-in-Charge at St. James Episcopal Church in Shreveport, Louisiana I am grateful that God has entrusted me with the cure of souls and that I had the opportunity to prepare for that privilege and responsibility on the holy mountain.

Resources

Back to Contents

Ordinations to the Priesthood at Christ Church, Springfield

Gary Allman Two-minute read.   Resources

On Saturday, May 18, 2019, Christ Episcopal Church Springfield hosted the Ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests of the Rev. Bradley A. Heuett and the Rev. Chandler C. Jackson III.

If you want to know more about our new priests, they all wrote about themselves when they were ordained into the diaconate.

L-R. The Rev. Bradley Heuett, Bishop Marty, and The Rev. Chandler Jackson. Image credit: Gary Allman
The Rev. Brad Heuett (Left) and the Rev. Chandler Jackson (right) with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Allman
Fr. Brad Heuett and family. Image credit: Gary Allman

Resources

Back to Contents

General Convention is Coming!

How General Convention works, and some idea of what to expect from the 79th Convention of The Episcopal Church

Curtis Hamilton Ten-minute read.   Resources

Deputies and Bishops from 17 countries will soon meet in Austin, Texas for the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. The General Convention is composed of over 800 deputies from the 109 dioceses and (potentially) 300 or more active and retired bishops of the Church. They will deliberate for nine legislative days from July 5-13, with some committees meeting as early as July 3.

How General Convention Works

Below is a brief summary of how General Convention makes its decisions.

  • The General Convention is a bicameral legislative body (that is to say that it is managed by two separate bodies). The House of Deputies and the House of Bishops meet separately.
  • Resolutions for discussion may be submitted from various groups throughout the Church (certain interim bodies, Bishops, Dioceses and Provinces, and Deputies).
  • Each resolution is assigned to a committee of the Convention. In committee hearings, testimony is heard, the resolution is debated and perfected, and a recommendation from the committee is forwarded to one of the houses (house of initial action).
  • In order for the resolution to become an Act of Convention, it must be approved by both houses in the exact same language before the General Convention adjourns.

Items to Come Before the Convention

The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church. As such, it takes action on numerous topics.

  • Legislation of concern to the Church — This is a broad category. It encompasses policy issues such as human trafficking, care of creation, and many more. It also includes issues in our church life such as gender equity, sexual misconduct in the church, and more.
  • Amending the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), the Constitution, and the Canons of the Church.

These above, along with Acts of Convention, describe both how the Church works and what it believes. Convention also deals with the following:

  • Adopting a triennial budget for The Episcopal Church — A budget for the Church for the next three years will be adopted. There are lots of clichés that could be used here (things about rubber and roads or treasure and heart come to mind), but this document does show what our missional priorities are for the next three years.
  • Electing candidates to offices, boards and other committees — These offices include President and Vice President of the House of Deputies, members of the Executive Committee of the Church, board of directors of the Church Pension Fund, and other groups.

In my opinion, the following are issues of high importance that will come before the General Convention. (These are in no particular order.)

  • Editing/Revising of the BCP — This includes the possibility of including liturgies for marriage for same-sex couples in the current BCP and the possible adoption of a plan for a revision of the entire BCP.
  • A proposal to provide a salary for the President of the House of Deputies.
  • Updates to the Canons regarding sexual misconduct by clergy and lay employees and leaders.

West Missouri Deputation Members

These are the members of the deputation:
Lay Delegates — Mr. Curtis Hamilton (Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City), Dr. Linda Robertson (St. John’s, Springfield), Ms. Amanda Perschall (Trinity, Lebanon), and Ms. Liz Trader (St. John’s, Springfield).

Clergy Delegates — Fr. Marshall Scott (St. Luke’s Health System, Deputation Chair), Mtr. Anne Meredith Kyle (Calvary, Sedalia), Fr. Tim Coppinger (EChO Regional Ministry), and Fr. Jonathan Frazier (St. Peter & All Saints, Kansas City).

Alternate Deputies attending — Mr. Channing Horner (St. Paul’s, Maryville), Ms. Christine Morrison (Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City), Fr. Stan Runnels (St. Paul’s, Kansas City), and Mtr. Megan Castellan (canonically resident in West Missouri).

Deputies and Alternates not attending — Ms. Carole Pryor (St. Philip’s, Joplin), Mr. Grafton Cook (St. Mary’s, Fayette), Fr. David Kendrick (St. John’s, Springfield), and Fr. Jose Palma (St. Nicholas’, Noel).

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to speak with any member of the deputation. You can email me (see below) and I will be glad to forward your question or comment (with your permission) to the rest of the deputation.

Ways to Follow General Convention

There are several ways you can follow General Convention here in West Missouri.

  • The General Convention website has a veritable treasure trove of information available. This includes the “Blue Book” reports from interim bodies that give background on some of the resolutions submitted. You can also find links to documents that explain how General Convention works.
  • You can find the resolutions submitted to the General Convention at vbinder.net. This site will also give you status updates of resolutions throughout the convention.
  • There will be choice of Livestreaming channels available including daily summaries and press conferences. Many will be in both English and Spanish. Check the various websites for details.

The members of the deputation look forward to serving you and the Church as a whole in this important work. We ask for your prayers as we prepare for and attend the General Convention in July.

Curtis Hamilton is a two-time deputy to the General Convention (2015, 2018). He has attended two other General Conventions (2003, 2012) as a visitor. He also serves as Secretary of the Diocese.

Resources

Back to Contents

We are the Brotherhood of St. Andrew

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is a 133-year-old ministry to men in Episcopal and Anglican churches. Currently, the Brotherhood has over 4,000 members in more than 500 chapters.

Jim Goodson Five-minute read.   Resources


The purpose of the Brotherhood is to bring men and youth to Jesus Christ. The men in this ministry have a rule of life that includes the disciplines of prayer, study, and service. Sharing these disciplines creates a sense of purpose in men’s lives, bonds them together and provides opportunities for men to share their faith journey questions and to learn from each other how to follow Christ and bring others into his kingdom.

Men, by nature, keep their problems to themselves. The Brotherhood offers an avenue where men can allow themselves to share concerns about their spiritual and personal lives.

… as Christians, we are called by God to feed the poor, visit those who are sick or in prison, comfort the afflicted, and as Brothers in Christ our daily prayers and regular studies challenge us to encourage and support others in their walk with Christ.

Clergy often turn to the men in the Brotherhood to provide leadership roles in the Church. The Rev. Jim Nelson, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Friendswood, Texas says, “For me as the rector of a church, the Brotherhood is a group of men who take their faith seriously, who I can count on to put Scripture into service both within the parish and in the community.”

Brotherhood chapters and organized men’s ministries perform hundreds of local, community and worldwide outreach ministries. These ministries include everything from painting the church buildings to driving people to church, building Faith Chests for the newly baptized to raising funds to support ministries in Honduras, Peru, and Uganda.

Brotherhood chapters are quick to respond to crises in their local communities. Brotherhood chapters and men’s ministry groups hold fund-raising events to support homeless veterans, abused women, build Habitat for Humanity Homes and provide food, clothing and shelter to people in need.

One Oregon chapter built a ship to deliver a medical mission team throughout the Micronesian islands.

All Brotherhood chapters perform some form of ministry in their parishes, towns and cities.

All Brotherhood chapters perform some form of ministry in their parishes, towns and cities. Brotherhood chapters are quick to respond to crises in their local communities. When a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma in 2013, hundreds of Brothers from Texas and Oklahoma responded almost immediately, helping families recover and rebuild their homes. The same thing happened in 2012 when the hurricane Sandy struck New York and New Jersey. A team of Brothers was on the scene before the National Guard.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is a member of the Brotherhood
Image: Gary Allman

When an explosion rocked the hamlet of West Texas in 2013, hundreds of Brothers contributed thousands of dollars even as Brothers from nearby Waco were on the scene helping clean up the mess. Most recently, the flooding in Houston, Mississippi, and the mud-slides in California brought Brothers from our churches out to help.

On a national level, the Brotherhood leadership provides speakers to regional meetings throughout the nation, to educate and inform men and women in our churches and communities about the racial reconciliation, recovery from addictions, and provide prison ministries both inside and outside state and federal prisons.

Brothers are involved in many ministries both in their local parishes and worldwide.
Image: Brotherhood of St. Andrew

“We help churches develop Veteran Friendly Congregations,” President Jeffrey Butcher says. “It’s a proven program that offers support to veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts.” We work with congregations to assist them in developing and supporting Scout troops, we offer discipleship and mentor training programs and we work with congregations to help combat sex trafficking.

So why do we do these things? Because as Christians, we are called by God to feed the poor, visit those who are sick or in prison, comfort the afflicted, and as Brothers in Christ our daily prayers and regular studies challenge us to encourage and support others in their walk with Christ.

If your church does not have a Brotherhood of St. Andrew chapter and you would like to get information about starting one, contact President Jeff Butcher or Executive Director Tom Welch (contact details below).

May the power of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. 

Jim Goodson is editor of the St. Andrew’s Cross, the monthly publication of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.


Resources

Back to Contents

Introducing The Rev. Mark Ohlemeier

Mark Ohlemeier was ordained into the Sacred Order of Presbyters at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield on Saturday, January 13, 2018.

The Rev. Mark Ohlemeier Two-minute read.   Resources

The ordination of Mark Ohlemeier into the Sacred Order of Presbyters at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield
Image: Gary Allman

As the grandson of an Episcopal priest, I was raised with a healthy faith in the risen Christ. I regularly attended church with my family, went to Sunday school, served as an acolyte, and my parents instilled within me a strong belief in the love of God and of my role as a servant to the Lord. Throughout my childhood, however, there was a small, quiet voice in the back of my mind calling me to something even greater, but that voice gradually faded as I replaced it with other interests during my adolescence and college years.

I stopped attending church while I was in college, enjoying a new found freedom to make my own choices, but a few years after my graduation I felt as though something was missing in my life. I returned to regular Sunday worship and was instantly reminded of God’s unfailing love for me, even during those times when I was distant. Furthermore, the soft voice I had heard as a child returned, but I quickly dismissed it as simply a fanciful notion from my past. I eventually married a wonderful woman, and a couple years later we were blessed with a beautiful daughter. My new family became faithful and devoted members of the church, and as far as I was concerned, that was enough — more than I deserved — and each day I thanked the Lord for everything I had been given in my life.

The quiet and small voice, however, continued unabated. I tried to satisfy it by getting more involved in various lay ministries — lector, vestry member, ceremonial verger, etc. — but the urge for more would not cease. I also began to perceive similar suggestions from family members and friends, people who saw some sort of pastoral quality within me that I could not see and had been denying for years. The heavens then converged when I was facing a decision in my employment and a crossroads in my life. I was having a very difficult time ignoring the voice this time. After countless hours of consultation with family and clergy, and even more time spent in deep personal prayer, I entered the discernment process to convince myself whether or not ordained ministry was the path where God was leading me to.

I emerged from discernment with a confidence that the priesthood was, indeed, what God was calling me to pursue. My three years of seminary at the School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee, were some of the most joyous in my life, even with all the struggles and heartbreak and challenges that I faced during this time. I was ordained to the diaconate on June 17, 2017, in Grace Cathedral in Topeka, Kansas — coincidentally, my sending parish — and was ordained to the priesthood on January 13, 2018, at Christ Church in Springfield in the warm embrace of the congregation where I have been serving as curate. And through it all, I have continued to be surrounded by a loving and supportive group of family and friends, a body of Christ that, as I look back, has been with me on every step of my journey. I can only hope and pray that this new chapter in my life is devoted to reflecting on all of the blessings I have been given throughout the years, and that I may be strengthened to spread the joy of God’s love and mercy to others.

The Rev. Mark Mark Ohlemeier is Assistant Rector at Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield.


Resources

Back to Contents

Ordinations at the Diocesan Convention Eucharist

Photographs: Gary Zumwalt Ten-minute read.   Resources

L-R The Rev. Larry Ehren, Bishop Marty, Fr. Jonathan Callison and The Rev. Kary Mann Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

On the Evening of November 3, 2017, during the diocesan convention opening Eucharist, Fr. Jonathan Callison was received into The Episcopal Church, and Larry Ehren and Kary (Karen) Mann were ordained into the diaconate.

Below you can read a little bit about each of them written in their own words.

Fr. Jonathan Callison

Fr. Jonathan Callison with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

My call to priesthood in the Episcopal Church is the story of seeds planted; some bore fruit, others may have gone awry, but God will get some harvest from me I pray! Very early in my life, I remember attending Mass with my Grandmother and praying the Rosary with her. She was a farmer and rancher from Western Kansas and a faithful communicant of St. Joseph’s Church in Ashland. She was a patient woman of prayer, compassion, and endurance. I remember, too, my experience attending Mass with my mother and siblings. We were a handful but she persevered! She took our formation in the faith seriously but also taught us to think about what we were asked to believe.

I attended Catholic schools and couldn’t wait for the day to serve Mass as an acolyte. The dedication and compassion of the priests and sisters that I came to know informed my life in ways that will be with me always. I remember asking – 2nd grade, I think- if dolphins were aware enough to be baptized. I don’t remember my pastor’s answer, but I still wonder at the incredible mercy of God, redeeming all creation. It was that sense of compassion and nurture, so strong in my rather matriarchal family that inclined my heart toward service. Others in my parish as a young man noticed my sensitivity and asked me to consider a call to the priesthood.

My years in the seminary were some of the most amazing of my life. I grew as a person and, eventually, after ordination, as a deacon and then priest. The people I ministered to formed me, and I will never forget those early lessons as a young priest. One of the lessons I learned was transparency and openness. I eventually had to come out to my bishop and share the growing concerns that I had about my sexual orientation and call to celibacy. Bishop Stanley was a loving, pastoral bishop, and he made sure I got the counseling I needed and the leave of absence to explore this new awareness of myself. I did not return to ordained ministry as he had hoped, but the seeds so many planted were not in vain. They just took a while to grow and mature.

Some years later, my partner and I were looking for a spiritual home and my sister, Heather — Yes! I notice the pattern of female evangelists in my life! — suggested the Anglican way. I have found it to be the way that I can most closely follow Jesus as a member of the Body of Christ. I will be forever grateful to the openness and love of reason, as well as Scripture and Tradition that inform our Anglican way. Chris and I were received into the Episcopal Church and have received so many blessings, especially the blessing of our marriage, surrounded by our parish family. In 2016, after much prayerful reflection with my family, my husband, and my parish family, I entered a process of discernment that culminated at the last diocesan convention.

I rejoice to serve this diocese as a presbyter of the Church, and I pray that all those seeds of mercy and compassion, planted by so many at so many times in my life, may finally bear fruit. Please pray for me as I preach, bless and preside at the Holy Sacraments.

May God be blessed Who is Compassionate and Merciful!

The Rev. Larry Ehren

The Rev. Larry Ehren with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

My first introduction to the Commission on Ministry was: “His is a unique situation.” To be honest, I was unsure how to understand that. Was I a stranger from a strange land, a variation of an adult mutant ninja turtle, or some other version of a church oddity? I chose to understand this as having a unique history and background in approaching ordination in The Episcopal Church.

The reality is that I was approved for ordination in the Roman Catholic Church exactly forty years ago. After ten years of education and formation in the Jesuit order, it was normal to be ordained a priest. I found myself struggling at that moment of my journey with a continued commitment to celibacy while being drawn to marriage and family life. All the while, I sensed a desire to serve in ministry. I completed my M.Div. at Boston College, and sought helpful guidance. This was a delicate moment of discernment in my life, and clearly a turning point.

Many years have passed since that time. For over ten years, I was a lay professional minister in Catholic parishes and on the Bishop’s staff here in Kansas City. I completed my MBA at Rockhurst University during that time in organizational development. My aim was to learn how the church could be more effective in its mission. I then served one year in Missouri State government, a time that clarified my call to return to formal ministry. I followed good advice to pursue a year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency, which I did in a large medical center in San Francisco. It was there that I met fellow resident chaplain Christy Dorn, now my wife. We have been married over twenty years, roughly the same time she has been an Episcopal Priest. Our marriage has included the adoption of two daughters from China. Family life and ministry seem to be my rightful path in life.

After my clinical training, I served for over twenty five years as a board certified chaplain, Vice President of Mission or Director of Chaplaincy in several medical centers. My last position was Director of Spiritual Care at Truman Medical Center, Hospital Hill in Kansas City.

On my return to Kansas City, I experienced a renewal in my own spiritual journey. Although I was involved in the Episcopal Church for many years due to Christy’s ministry, I finally sought to be formally received at Easter Vigil in our own cathedral five years ago. Dean Peter DeVeau and I facilitated the Adult Catechumenate, called ‘The Way’, for a number of years together. I pursued Anglican Studies at Bishop Kemper School for Ministry and began the ordination process. I am currently half way through my Doctor of Ministry studies in Christian Spirituality at Virginia Theological Seminary. I look forward to many years ahead as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church.

And yes — what a unique but meaningful journey it has been — and it will continue to be!

The Rev. Kary Mann

The Rev. Kary Mann with Bishop Marty Image credit: Gary Zumwalt

I was born and raised in Olathe, Kansas. I remember feeling called to ministry at a very young age but I was not closely affiliated with any church at that time. After graduating from high school, I left Kansas City for about 10 years. Initially, I attended Fort Hayes State University and completed my general studies requirements. While attending college I was deeply involved in youth ministry. Eventually, I returned to Kansas City and earned a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from the Cleveland University, Kansas City. I had my own practice for six years. During that time I began teaching biology at Colorado Technical University. This opportunity allowed me to discover that teaching was my passion. Healing and teaching, hmmm, not an accident I would say. I’m currently working as an adjunct professor of biology at Metropolitan Community College, Penn Valley.

The year was 2008 and as I was driving past St. Mary Magdalene every day to go to work I felt God nudging me toward the church and possible ministry. I began attending worship. It was the ancient liturgy that spoke to my heart. After about a year, I talked to Fr. Jason Lewis about my feeling of a call to ministry. I began an informal discernment process with Fr. Jason and Deacon Peisha, and a year later, I started the process in earnest. At that time Fr. Jason accepted a call with the Diocese of Kentucky – and I was without a sponsor and Mary Mag was without a priest. My forward progress was stalled for about six months. Finally, I asked Fr. Marshall Scott if he would be my presenting priest, and he agreed. So with support from Mtr. Virginia Brown, as my spiritual director, and Fr. Marshall as my presenting priest, I began the multiple twists and turns that would lead to ordination.

I thought I would attend Sewanee: University of the South, but God had another plan, as He called me to Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM). I was drawn to this new and potentially powerful idea of priestly formation that would allow postulants to keep their jobs while preparing to serve as bi-vocational priests that would then meet a great need in the church. I started BKSM and became a postulant. At the end of my first year I was clear as to my call, that of becoming a bi-vocational priest. I completed my studies on May 13, 2017 and was ordained a deacon on November 3, 2017. I am currently completing my transitional deaconate at St. Paul’s in Lee’s Summit. I am grateful for all the positive and powerful mentors in The Diocese of West Missouri. I feel I am in good hands. God willing, I hope to be ordained into the Sacred Order of Presbyters mid-year, 2018.

Gary Zumwalt is a member of the Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs. He volunteers his time and talents to document diocesan events in pictures.

Resources

Back to Contents

Installation of Fr. Jos Tharakan at St. James’, Springfield

Fr. Jos Tharakan Five-minute read.   Resources


Fr. Jos Tharakan was installed as the new rector at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield, Missouri on December 1, 2017 Image credit: Gary Allman

Fr. Jos Tharakan was installed as the new rector at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield, Missouri on December 1, 2017.

 
 

About Fr. Jos Tharakan

Fr. Jos Tharakan Image credit: Gary Allman

I was born in Kerala, India into a Roman Catholic Family. I went to a Capuchin Seminary at the age of 15 and was ordained a priest at 30. I then served in many congregations in Kerala and northern India before being called to serve in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas in 1997. I served in Fort Smith until 2001.

I came into the Episcopal Church in 2004 after completing two years of Clinical Pastoral Education in San Antonio, Texas and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. After being received into the Episcopal Church, Bishop Larry Maze appointed me as Missionary Chaplain to Christ Church, Mena. Later on, I was called as the rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Russellville, Arkansas. Where I served for ten years. 

While I was at All Saints’, I founded the House Of Blessings Foundation, a retreat and renewal center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I also founded a Clergy Vacation Home, for pastors in active ministry so that they can take a few days of rest and renew themselves and their families. It is free for any priest/pastor in active ministry.

I love art, music, and design. I’ve developed several educational programs, composed music, and designed websites. My educational program called, CAMPaM: A Complimentary Alternative Method for Pastoral Ministry is approved for continuing education for chaplains, pastors and other healthcare professionals through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. I presented this innovative program to the National Conference of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in Kansas City, Kansas. 

I also produce Episcopal Daily, an aggregation of news, articles, stories and videos suggested by Episcopal bishops, clergy, and laity from across the world. It is available by email and online for anyone interested in knowing what Episcopalians are doing around the world.

I have two children. Asha (a girl, Hope, 13), Amrit (a boy, Divine Nectar, 9). They attend school in Springfield and are involved in youth programs in the Southern Deanery and children’s ministries at St. James. 

I believe in ‘God in all things, and people of all kinds,’ a Thomistic Theological conviction I coined as a slogan for the Episcopal Church’s attitude towards the world when the Rt. Rev. Katherine Schori visited Little Rock after she was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. My motto in ministry is “Passionate personal Love for Jesus and His people.” I’m excited to be the rector of St. James, a community that lives the gospel and loves the people. 

Fr. Jos is rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield.

Installation of Fr. Jim Lile at All saints’, Nevada

Gary Allman One-minute read.   Resources

The Installation of the Rev. Dr. James Lile, Jr. as Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Nevada, Missouri Image credit: Gary Allman

The Installation of the Rev. Dr. James Lile, Jr. as Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Nevada, Missouri took place on Sunday December 3, 2017.

 
 

Gary Allman is Director of Communications with The Diocese of West Missouri.