The vestry of St. Christopher Fort Worth has announced that they have called the Rev. Paula K. Jefferson to be their Priest-in-Charge, She will begin August 1, 2022. St. Christopher is worshiping at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 5709 Wedgwood, Fort Worth, TX 76133, since they lost their building in 2021.
Jefferson was ordained on December 15, 2020, by Bishop Scott Mayer. She has been a 24-year member of St. Martin’s in the Fields, Keller. Since her ordination she has been serving as associate rector there and also serves once a month at St. Mary’s, Hillsboro.
St. Christopher Senior Warden Jeanneane Keene wrote, “The Vestry and I are grateful for the advice and leadership of Bishop Mayer as he helped us reach this agreement . . . The next week the Vestry met with his proposed candidate, Paula, to begin the interview process. We were so impressed with her that a second interview was not needed.”
The Rev. Alan Bentrup, rector at St. Martin’s, said in a letter to his congregation, “I know you will join me in rejoicing with Paula and St. Christopher, even as we know we will miss her thoughtful preaching, wise leadership, and patient presence here at St. Martin’s.
“Paula’s last Sunday with us will be July 10, and we will celebrate her with a special reception between the services that day. Please make plans to join us!”
Bentrup is in conversation with the leadership of St. Mary’s, Hillsboro, to determine how St Martin’s might continue and deepen their partnership. with St. Mary’s.
Jefferson wrote in a letter to St. Martin’s, “My heart is full with thanksgiving for the ministry of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. For the past 24 years, you have guided and nurtured my journey in Christian faith. And I am grateful for every step we have walked together.
“Now, God is calling me to a new ministry. I have accepted the call to be the Priest-in-Charge at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Fort Worth. Our ministry together will begin in August.
“It is uncommon for a priest to be a curate in the community where she has been an active member for many years. The culture of St. Martin’s is to radically welcome—and you have demonstrated that welcome with me. You welcomed me as a lay person, a deacon, and a priest.
“I give thanks for your faithful stewardship. Because of your generosity, I was able to also serve in St. Mary’s-Hillsboro. As a curate, both congregations contributed to my formation. And, speaking of formation, a hearty “thank you” to both the Very Rev. Ron Pogue and the Rev. Alan Bentrup; they challenged me to grow and offered support when I skinned a knee (of course, none of my injuries required stitches).”
Please hold these congregations in your prayers during this time of transistion.