Tuesday, September 21, 2021
A Message from the Rector: New Associate Rector Called to GSL
Dear Grace-St. Luke’s Church and School Community:
I am pleased to announce that the Reverend Jesse W. Abell, DMin, has been called to GSL to serve as Associate Rector for Pastoral Care and Adult Formation beginning Monday, October 18. This exciting call is the result of our community’s need for an additional full-time priest to assist me with increasing pastoral care needs, Sunday and weekday formation and liturgical duties, and congregational life programming to meet the growing needs of individuals and households, and his “dream job” to share his gifts on our Clergy-Staff Team. Father Jesse Abell will partner with the Rev. Laura F. Gettys (Associate Rector for Community Engagement and Congregational Development), the Rev. Anne S. Carriere (Priest Associate, retired), the Rev. Jessica T. Abell (Deacon, no relation), and me in the shared ministry of our vows to serve with you and the Staff.
Father Jesse relocated from Massachusetts to Tennessee in Summer 2020 with his wife, Allison and their young sons, Aidan and Nate, to be near Allison’s parents in Germantown. Currently, he serves as part-time Priest-in-Charge at All Saints Episcopal Church in Memphis following almost nine years as Rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Westborough (MA). Jesse grew up in Indiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Indiana Wesleyan University and master’s degree in Psychology and Religion at the University of Cambridge in England. Subsequently, he attended the School of Theology of the University of the South (Sewanee) and was ordained to the priesthood (2007) in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana. After seminary, he served as Associate Rector of St. Francis In-The-Fields Episcopal Church in Zionsville (IN) where he also served as Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer for the Diocese of Indianapolis and with The Episcopal Church’s Network for Animal Welfare and the Episcopal Network for Science, Technology, and Faith. Before Massachusetts, Father Jesse lived in Omaha, Nebraska, where he served as Hospital Chaplain at Bellevue Medical Center. A trained spiritual director, faithful pastor, and gifted preacher and teacher, he is a founding member of the North American province of the Society of Catholic Priests, which offers collegiality and mutual support among clergy of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.
I am grateful for the ministry that Jesse will share among us at GSL. Please join me in thanking Senior Warden Charlie Pazar, Junior Warden Anna Robbins, Bishop Phoebe Roaf, Canon Sharon Alexander, and a host of professional and personal references for input during my recruitment process.
Thanks to your financial support of life at GSL (pledges, alms, one-time contributions) and a few unrestricted gifts designated for church operations, we can fulfill the need for additional clergy. GSL thrives, thanks to you! Together, we are stronger and ever faithful as the Church.
Stay tuned for news about welcoming the Rev. Dr. Jesse W. Abell and his family to GSL in October.
Faithfully and gratefully,
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
901.252.6320 | orencher [at] gracestlukes [dot] org