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  • Apr 21, 2017
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St. John’s Calls Its Next Rector!

The Wardens and Vestry are pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Clark R. West has been called as the next rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ithaca. Fr. West has 19 years of experience as an Episcopal priest – nine years as a parish priest, and most recently, eight years as the chaplain for the Episcopal Church at Cornell. He has a deep love for Ithaca and the Finger Lakes where he and his wife Sarah have lived for the past seventeen years. They have three school aged children, Cecilia, Annie, and Amos.

Fr. West is a graduate of Williams College (B.A. in religion ’89) and the University of Chicago Divinity School (M. Div ’97), and completed his Ph.D dissertation at Syracuse University in 2013 in philosophy of religion and spirituality. He has over ten years of training in spiritual direction and has a keen interest in the principles and practices of Ignatian spirituality and contemplative prayer. Fr. West is an active supporter of Loaves and Fishes, a community kitchen and Christian hospitality ministry hosted by St. John’s. He has served Loaves and Fishes  both as a volunteer and, most recently, as the president of the board. His personal website, including sermons and blog is at:

Fr. Clark will begin his ministry at St. John’s on July 1, 2017. Please join us in welcoming our Rector-elect.

A note from Fr. Clark to St. John’s parishioners:

Dear disciples of St. John’s Church,

Easter greetings of joy and peace to all of you! My wife Sarah and I and our three children, Cecilia, Annie, and Amos greeted with great excitement and celebration the news of your call for me to be the next rector of St. John’s parish. For many years I have admired deeply the many gifts and talents of the people of St. John’s and can’t imagine a more exciting time and place to be engaged in mutual ministry than at St. John’s in this community of Ithaca that we all love so much.

When I preached a series of sermons for you in the late summer of 2015 exploring the heart of the baptismal covenant, I felt my heart open more and more deeply in joyful hope for the possibility of serving as your pastor, priest, and spiritual friend and companion. To have this hope become a reality is something for which I give God great thanks and praise. It is a great honor to be called to serve you and our community together and I have great hope that together we will grow in love, compassion, and commitment in bringing Jesus’ passionate presence of love and justice to the Ithaca community in its need. Thank you especially to the search committee and vestry for all the hard work you have done in these past number of months. You have been wonderful! My family and I can’t wait to be with you all very soon and in the meantime know that we hold you all in our heart of prayer.

In Christ’s love and peace,

Author: comm-mr