November 20, 2013

Dear Fellow Calvary Parishioners,

It gives me great pleasure to share with you the news that the Vestry has called the Very Reverend Jonathon Wesley Jensen to be the Sixteenth Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church and that Jonathon has accepted the call, effective February 1, 2014.

Jonathon has been Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas, since 2009 and was previously Rector at Trinity Church in Lawrence, Kansas. A more detailed biography, along with a letter from him, is enclosed.

Since his ordination 17 years ago, Jonathon has been a pastor, a rector of a large parish and a dean of a cathedral, a minister to youth and young families, an author and editor, an innovative creator and implementer of new missions, a faithful minister of the Gospel, a successful financial manager, a meaningful preacher, and a trusted priest to a multitude of parishioners. He listens inordinately well.

Jonathon is energized by solving problems, by bringing people together, and by identifying needs for new programs. Parishioners praised his gift of identifying the right person for specific ministries, often someone quite unexpected. He is also praised as a mentor by his current and former assistants. One of his own mentors has been The Very Rev. David Bird, whom some of you may remember from his time in Pittsburgh as rector of St. Andrew’s, New Kensington and who is a close friend and colleague of Leslie Reimer. David Bird first worked with Jonathon when Jonathon was a seminary student, and Jonathon later preached at David’s installation at Trinity Cathedral, San Jose, California.

Jonathon brings to us experience, thoughtfulness, and demonstrated competence set in the context of a broad, mainstream theology and use of liturgy. And yet, he is progressive in ways that matter to Calvary. He will listen to us, challenge us when we need it, walk forward with us as we seek to spread the Gospel in our community, and guide us through whatever difficulties we encounter along the way.

The Parish Profile, prepared by the Calling Committee as a result of discussions with members of our congregation, discussion by the committee, and prayer, describes the characteristics of the next rector of Calvary. We believe that in Jonathon we found those characteristics to a greater extent than we had any right to expect, and we credit our time of prayer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and your prayers for reaching that result. We hoped and prayed for someone who had demonstrated the ability to do everything needed at Calvary, yet who was energetic enough to have his and our future in front of him. Jonathon, at age 42, meets those criteria.

Jonathon and Natalie hope to find a house that is walking distance from the universities and from Calvary. They are looking forward to being part of Calvary, the East End, and the Diocese of Pittsburgh as much as we are looking forward to having them. Jonathon has asked if he may participate in the services on December 22 (the day of the Christmas pageant) and Christmas Eve. Bishop McConnell, Leslie, and I have enthusiastically agreed. It will be a joy to have Jonathon with us for those services, and particularly to have him join the Bishop and Leslie at 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve at Calvary. Having them together at the altar will be a wonderful witness to our community and will mark the beginning of what we believe will be extremely effective working relationships.

All of us owe thanks and gratitude to the members of the Calling Committee and especially to the committee chair, Russ Ayres. The committee has worked energetically, faithfully, and diligently for the past year, in reading, telephoning, writing, visiting and being visited, but mostly in praying, talking, and listening. The committee unanimously presented the name of Jonathon Jensen to the Vestry and the Vestry enthusiastically and unanimously issued the call. To have done this work and to have achieved this result within this short period of time is wondrous. Certainly, the Holy Spirit was at work.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph D. C. Wilson III
Senior Warden

Click here to read the letter from Jonathon to the Parish. (PDF)

Click here to read Jonathon's bio. (PDF)

Click here to read Joe Wilson's letter (above) in the original format. (PDF)