It is my pleasure to share the message below from our Rector-Elect The Rev. Allison English who will begin her service at Calvary on Sunday, July 1, 2018.
Eric Landen, Search Committee Chair
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
What a joy it is to celebrate the Easter season and finally be able to share with you all my excitement and anticipation at joining you in just weeks as your rector. You and I both have been in a season to this point of deep discernment and prayer as we each listened to where the Spirit might be leading us – you as a congregation and I as a priest.
For my part, a friend and colleague introduced me to Calvary Clifton via text message late last summer. He simply said, “You need to look at this parish profile.” I ignored his message for over a week, and finally opened up the profile one Saturday afternoon while my children were taking a nap. It was a Holy Spirit moment. Upon the reading, I called my husband into the room, and had him take a look. He simply said, “Well, this reads like it was written for you. You have to put your name in at this parish.”
Who you are as a parish – your exceptional music program, your variety of worship opportunities, your dedicated, “boots-on-the-ground” approach to outreach and justice, your commitment to children, youth, and families, and so much more – resonated with my passions as a parish priest. As I met with members of the Search Committee and Vestry, those who you chose to represent you in this search, I encountered people with a generous, thoughtful, and inclusive spirit primed for creativity and possibility. You are already living into what it means to be a vital and vibrant church in the 21st century.
My leadership is about blessing your strengths, imagining and creating with you a vision of what is possible, and together living into that vision. I am thrilled that you have called me to walk with you and lead you into what’s next for the life of this parish.
I do wish to extend heartfelt gratitude and thanksgiving to both the Search Committee and Vestry for your strong leadership, thoughtful questions, consideration, and gracious hospitality through the entire process of mutual discernment. You made it easy to say, yes!
Integral to beginning our ministry together as Calvary Church will be getting to know one another and growing in relationship. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet you next Saturday afternoon, April 14. My husband, Robert, and children Olivia (3) and Amelia (1) look forward to our move to Cincinnati this summer. My extended family lives in Central Indiana, and my Midwestern roots run deep. It will be good to be home.
In the meantime, let’s pray for one another. You can count on my prayers for you, and I greatly appreciate the gift of your response to God on my behalf.
Reverend Allison English
Allison English grew up in central Indiana, graduated with a BA degree from Hanover College in Philosophy in 2004, spent a year following undergraduate studies living in intentional community and serving at-risk children in the inner city, and then attended Claremont School of Theology, graduating in 2008 with an M.Div. degree.
Allison has served churches in Southern California- as Associate Priest at St. Wilfrid of York in Huntington Beach; and most recently as Senior Associate Rector at All Saints’ in Beverly Hills. At All Saints’ she has overseen pastoral care, adult formation, and worship in this large Episcopal parish that serves people who live in 96 zip codes in the greater Los Angeles area. At St. Wilfrid’s, Allison was involved in developing youth ministry on both a parish and national church level and was highly involved in the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council.
Allison is married to Robert and they have two daughters, Olivia and Amelia, ages 3 & 1. Robert is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. They love the life of local congregations, and enthusiastically endorse the potential move toward full communion between the Episcopal and Methodist churches. They enjoy cooking, exercise, reading, and sneaking in Netflix after their kids go to bed, and Allison especially likes listening to a variety of music and singing for fun.