I am honored to be called as Interim Rector of this historic Episcopal Parish in the Diocese of Maryland. The battle that was fought in and around Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862 was historic and significant for several reasons. The Battle of Antietam (Battle of Sharpsburg – as the South knew it) was the bloodiest single day in the Civil War and ever on US soil. It was basically fought to a draw, but stopped the advance of Confederate forces into the North. This gave President Lincoln confidence to issue the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on January 1, 1863. The battle was also significant because St. Paul’s church building was so badly damaged from the battle it could not continue to be used for worship. But this was not the end of St. Paul’s congregation. It continued to meet in other places until the church building was rebuilt in 1974.
This I think is shows some of the resilience of this parish that continues today. Now for a little about me
I grew up in Park Ridge, IL., I am a lifelong Episcopalian, and have been ordained 39 years. I received a B.A. from Miami University, Oxford, OH, in Comparative Religion; a MA from Roosevelt University, Chicago, in Urban Studies; and a M. Div. from General Seminary. I worked as an urban planner for the City of Chicago before going to seminary. After graduation from seminary I served as Associate for Community Ministry, Christ Church, Poughkeepsie, NY (1979-82); Assistant Rector, St. Luke’s, Montclair, NJ (1982-84); Vicar/Rector, Church of the Transfiguration, Braddock Hts., MD (1984-90); Rector, Calvary Church, Cincinnati, OH (1990-97). My family and I moved to Mercersburg, PA in 1997, and I began the work of interim ministry. From 1997 to 2009 I served as an Intentional Interim to congregations in the Dioceses of MD, Central PA, West Virginia, and Lower Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA. I was called as rector of Trinity Church, Chambersburg, in February 2009, and retired from there in April of 2014. After retirement I returned to part time intentional interim ministry in the Diocese of Central PA. And I now I am called to serve as part-time Interim Rector of St. Paul’s
Besides being trained in intentional ministry I am also have training in Congregational Development through Congregational Development Institute. My main passion in ministry is to help the Church be more mission driven at the local level by using its own resources, resources of the staff of diocese, and the Grace of God.
Besides ordained ministry, I mentor PH D students in the Organizational Leadership Program at Shenandoah University. I completed the Leadership Franklin County program, class of 2013, and served on the Economic Development Community, and Design Committee of Downtown Chambersburg, Inc. I am on the Advisory Board of the Chambersburg Elm Street Program. I am also a member of Community Uniting of Chambersburg, which works for interfaith and political understanding in the Chambersburg Area. I am presently working towards a certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University
My greatest joy comes in being the proud father of Grey, 27, who is married to Lauren Nadler MD (Grey is now working on his Ph D at the University of Chicago, and Lauren is a Resident in Family Medicine at the University of Illinois Medical Center); Katherine 24, who graduated in May 2016 from the University of Richmond in Art History, and now work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond; and Gregory 23, who is a senior at Baldwin Wallace University outside Cleveland OH majoring in Sustainability.
I look forward to our ministry together at St. Paul’s, and making it a good transition period to the next settled rector. I hope you come and join us for worship on Sundays at 10 a m, and stay get to know some the congregation afterwards.
The Rev. Patrick A. Pierce+