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Our Clergy

 The Rev. Joan M. Pettit Mason, Rector

     I love Christ Church. I thank the Lord daily for the opportunity He has given me to do this ministry. As an example, the Parish and I completed a 4-month sabbatical in 2016. During this time, I traveled the United States (and Toronto) visiting multi-cultural, multi-lingual parishes in underserved areas, while parishioners visited ones located a little closer to home. We gathered information to learn how to make a difference in Toms River (and beyond) and are now working together to implement what we learned. It is an exciting time in the life of the Parish.
     I have been in leadership roles for over 30 years. I lead through example, encouragement and trust, and by empowering people to do the ministry God calls them to do. I love to preach God's word and attempt to make the Gospel relevant to the lives we lead today. I am so excited by the Vision God has laid before us for this Parish, and it energizes me to walk together with people on this path. I consider it a privilege to serve here as Rector. Come and join us!

Personal Information:
     I am married to Jeffrey H Mason, a self employed computer software designer. I am mother to two sons and grandmother of four. Yes, I’m a grandmother and loving it!! Chris (Anders) is married to Tracey and they have three children, Merriana, Francesca and Christopher, Jr. Chris owns his own mortgage company and Tracey is a High School art teacher. Clay (Anders) is married to Jen and they have a daughter, Ella. Clay is a shipping manager for a nursery that has the flower contract for Home Depot. He is also a trained auto mechanic. Jen is an elementary school teacher. Such blessings to me!

Education:
The General Theological Seminary, NYC, Masters of Divinity, 1998.
Rutgers University, Douglass College, BA, 1975.
Crossroads Anti-Racism Training 2½ day Course, Spring 2012.
EfM (Education for Ministry) 1995.
Last Position: Associate Rector, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Medford, NJ 8/98-12/02.

 

The Reverend Petrina M. Pyatt

     I was born in NYC and have been a cradle Episcopalian ever since. I am the eldest of two sisters and a brother, am widowed with two daughters and two granddaughters. I worked on Wall Street with a Securities Exchange Department. I then attended and graduated General Theological Seminary with a M. Div. degree. Following this I was ordained and became a hospice chaplain for several years in New Jersey. At this same time, I served as Assistant Rector at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, NYC. Next, I was Rector of Our Merciful Savior Church in Penns Grove, NJ, from which I retired in January 2017.

     I have had a love affair with God and the Episcopal Church since I can remember, and have been involved in many church ministries: Altar Guild, Vestry member and warden, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Chalice Bearer, Lector, Sunday School teacher, home-bound visitor, and an outreach coordinator. And now, I am happily serving as Assisting Rector here at Christ Church and as a Supply priest where needed. I am still in love with God and the Church and pray this affair remains alive, well with me until God says otherwise. Hopefully, this affair will continue for a very long time.

 

The Reverend John Steed, Chaplain

      I retired in 2004, after 33-1/2 years in the ministry. I was raised in Dayton, Ohio, and somehow picked up five college degrees along the way (none of them doctorates). When football season comes around, you might just discern that two of those degrees are from The Ohio State University. I also served in the USMCR in the 1960's.

     I was baptized Methodist and confirmed Presbyterian. As newly weds, my wife, Mary Lou, and I found the Episcopal Church and I became an Episcopal priest. I began my ministry in Virginia, then spent 27 years in North Carolina, before finally coming to New Jersey. The fact that our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson live in the Philadelphia area is not insignificant! It is a joy to be on Mother Joan's staff, not just to serve, but also to be a part of parish life.

Education:

Ohio State University, BA, MA,1964, 1965
North Carolina Wesleyan College, BA, 1987
General Theological Seminary, MDiv, 1971
North Carolina Central University, MA, 1993
Last Position: Rector, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Whiting, NJ.

Mary Lou Steed, PhD, Chaplain

     I grew up in rural Ohio, raised two steers with my father's help, helped in the field and barn, but not much in the house.  For ten years after high school I did secretarial work. As we were looking forward to John's first placement after seminary, he asked me where I would like to live. I said "anyplace with a college so I could audit a few courses." He said "I'm not going to let you do that!" He laughed and explained that he meant I was to go for a degree, assuring me that 29 was not too old to start.
     For twenty years I held a faculty position at a liberal arts college in North Carolina. Since our arrival in New Jersey and until my retirement from the classroom in 2007, I have taught at Temple University, Rider University, and Thomas Edison State College.
     I have always been active in the life of the church. I am glad to be here at Christ Church and to be involved in several ministries.

Education:
Atlantic Christian College, BA, 1975
North Carolina Central University, MA, 1977
Duke University, PhD, 1983


The Rev. Ramon Ubiera Torres, Regional Hispanic Missioner 

  Santa Eucaristia los domingos a las 12:30 pm
Catecismo domingo a las 12:30 pm en la capilla.
-- Julio y Agosto --
Santa Eucaristia los domingos a las 1​1​:30 ​a​m​ durante el Verano
​No hay Catecismo durante el Verano.

      Hola, mi nombre es Ramón ubiera, estudié teología en el Seminario Episcopal Dominicana y fui ordenado diácono en 1999 y sacerdote en 2000. Estoy casado con Fedia ubiera y tenemos tres hijos; Fendi, Sharima y Jordy.

     Doy gracias a Dios por la oportunidad de poder servir en la parroquia de la iglesia de Cristo. Es un gran privilegio para mí. Veo el Ministerio Hispano en esta iglesia como un árbol donde es necesario añadir agua (el amor y la paciencia) hasta que se convierte en un árbol lo suficientemente fuerte.

     Considero que mis puntos fuertes y áreas de atención primaria son el trabajo en equipo, la evangelización y la predicación.

     Mi objetivo es trabajar con la comunidad hispana para desarrollar ministerios fuertes y prósperos de toda la Iglesia de Cristo. Busco promover la oración en familia, horario y realizar la formación continua para ayudar a la gente a hacer conexiones entre el Evangelio y sus propias vidas, y crear conciencia sobre los problemas sociales de nuestro tiempo. También estoy pensando en ofrecer a otros recursos de la comunidad, tales como consejería espiritual, e información sobre temas de inmigración.

     Tengo la intención de promover la educación y la instrucción y difundir la palabra de Dios, y para permitir Anglo y las comunidades latinas de caminar juntos en la realización de la misión de la iglesia.      

* * *

     Hi, my name is Ramon Ubiera. I studied theology at the Dominican Episcopal Seminary and was ordained deacon in 1999 and then Priest in 2000.  I am married to Fedia Ubiera and we have three children; Fendi, Sharima and Jordy. 

     I thank God for the opportunity to be able to serve in the Parish of Christ Church. It is a great privilege for me. I see the Hispanic Ministry in this church as a tree where it is necessary to add water (love and patience) until it becomes a sufficiently strong tree. 

     I consider that my primary strengths and areas of focus are teamwork, evangelism and preaching. 

     My goal is to work with the Hispanic community to develop strong and thriving ministries throughout Christ Church.  I seek to promote family prayer, schedule and conduct ongoing training to help people make connections between the Gospel and their own lives, and create awareness about the social concerns of our time.  I also plan to offer other resources to the community, such as spiritual counseling, and information on immigration issues.  

     I plan to promote education and instruction and spread the word of God, and to enable Anglo and Latino communities to walk together in carrying out the mission of the church.

 

The Reverend Walter Hartt, Rector Emeritus

     I  am retired and currently supplying at parishes across the state.  Our home parish is Holy Spirit in Tuckerton.  The privilege that was mine in being parish priest for some 16 years at Christ Church was the opportunity to see God's hand show itself repeatedly in the life we shared. Much, of course, was hidden. But in a moment our common enterprise would show itself and be a holy one, filled with Godly surprises and rich opportunity to serve our Lord Jesus. The Church was shown not to be mine but the living Lord's and my best days were those in which I managed not to be in the way. The privilege of witnessing the Spirit's work was second only to the opportunity of preaching the Gospel of God's love for all.

 

 The Reverend Ted Foley, Deacon

 

 

      I was ordained Deacon in the Diocese of New Jersey on May 5, 2012 and began serving at Christ Church about one month later.  I've had prior experience in a number of different ministries. One of my main interests has been in adult formation which has lead to ministries such as preaching the Good News, facilitating book discussions, Bible studies, and retreat experiences. I have also been active in various outreach ministries to the poor including leading Community of Hope Ministries, a church related non-profit. Finally, I continue to be active in justice ministries to gays and lesbians, particularly in the Oasis Ministry of the Diocese of NJ.

      After spending 37 years in Research and Development in the Medical Device industry, I retired in 2010. I am married to Kathy Megroz-Foley, a licensed clinical social worker.  We have two adult daughters. During the good weather you can usually find me on my bicycle, being frustrated on the golf course, or spending time at the ocean. I look forward to continuing my faith journey here at Christ Church - particularly with the many good people that I've met since I've arrived.

 

About Mercedes and Rev. José Cantos

I am pleased to announce that the Bishop has assigned the Rev. José Cantos to Christ Church. Deacon José began ministry with us on Sunday November 5th.  He is a deacon to all of the parish, not just to our 12:30 parishioners.  I am excited for him to get to know all of you, and you him.  Following is an introduction written by Deacon José and his wife Mercedes. Please join me in welcoming them to Christ Church.

Blessings,
Mother Joan

    We have been together for 21 years! For José it is his second marriage.  In the first he had three children: Laura, Cristina and Alberto.

    We met in Argentina where José worked as lay minister in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista of the Anglican Diocese of Argentina and which belongs to the Province of the Southern Cone of the Anglican Communion. José had already finished his theology studies in the Faculty of Theology of the ISEDET (Higher Evangelical Institute of Theological Studies), an alliance of eight historical churches: Methodist, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, among others, and this institution was a training center for throughout Latin America and through it received a full five-year scholarship awarded by the World Council of Churches and the Gustav Adolf Foundation for young Latin American leaders. In 1991, José was received as a member of the Anglican communion, carrying out pastoral work in Trelew, Argentine Patagonia, and in the city of Buenos Aires.

    Mercedes had emigrated to Argentina in search of a job using her training as a Social Worker, recently graduated from the University of Ecuador, and also seeking a specialization in her university career.  She started working as a domestic employee to be able to support herself, but she also worked as a Social Worker in a foundation that rescued, through art, children who lived on the street. José worked as a project manager for this organization.

    The Argentine economic crisis of the year 2001 forced us to return to Ecuador that same year, where we worked managing a new restaurant in a State Hospital in Manta. We were actively participating in the Episcopal parish of Saint Paul in Manta and holding formative workshops for young people and adults, as well as giving training at the Saint Patrick Seminary of the Diocese of the Littoral, which is part of the ninth province of the Episcopal Church.

    In April 2003, a relative proposed to us to move to Barcelona, Spain to work and raise funds to finish building our current home. On Holy Friday of that year we were already participating in our first religious service in the Church of Christ, a Spanish Episcopal Church and part of the Anglican communion, in Sabadell, a city about 30 minutes from the center of Barcelona. José was in charge of this congregation since in Salamanca, a lay minister can be in charge of congregations. José was also director of an ecumenical center of the IERE (Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church-Anglican Communion) in Barcelona. In addition to the voluntary and paid work by the church, we work together as caretakers of a rural farm, janitors of a building, cleaners of homes and churches, caregivers of elderly people, driver, maintenance and small arrangements in homes, jobs in cafeterias, in a center of migrants of African origin, etc. In Spain we obtained the Spanish nationality and the European passport and with that we visited the United States several times, of course also Ecuador(!), where our house is almost finished.

    In 2014, animated by the proposal to exercise an ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church, we returned to Ecuador in a definitive way. José was in charge of two missions in Manta; San Esteban Church and San José Obrero Church.  He took over the latter completely once he was ordained deacon in transition in 2016 until his departure for the United States. Working in formation, counseling and pastoral care, the church had an important growth, and programs were created to help the poorest people affected by the earthquake that caused almost 700 victims.

    After almost 14 years, and as a big surprise, we learned that the American government had positively accepted my brother Oscar's 2003 request to give permanent residence to my wife, my unmarried son and me to live in the United States. We received this news in April of this year 2017 and with consultation with the Bishop of the Diocese of Litoral, in May we had the visa to travel. We received great support from the Diocese and especially from Bishop Alfredo Morante who gave me a letter of transition to the Diocese of New Jersey and gave his written support to continue my process toward the ordained ministry as a priest in the Diocese of New Jersey.

    We have been very well received by the Diocese of New Jersey, by Bishop William Stokes, by Father Ramón Ubiera and now by the community of Christ Episcopal Church of Toms River and its rector Mother Joan Mason. We are very happy and blessed by the generosity, love and kindness of this community and we believe that God is acting through this church and is showing us a way to serve Him and all our brothers and sisters.

 

The Reverend Lew McCrum, Deacon (Retired)

     I accepted my calling to the diaconate from Christ Church and was ordained in 1990. I retired in 2008. I had been involved in particular in the coordination and training of chalice bearers and lay eucharistic ministers. I also shared in the visitation of the sick, shut-ins and hospitalized parishioners. Since retirement I still participate in services when needed.

 

 

Suzanne Schleck, Resident Iconographer

     Suzanne S.In 1989 Suzanne experienced a call to paint icons, and began studying with the Rev. John Walsted, an Episcopal priest and master iconographer.  Her work has been published in Episcopal Life, online with the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts (ECVA), as well as at the 2006 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. 

     Her icons have also been displayed at Princeton Theological Seminary and at Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ. Her icons hang in numerous churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as private homes.  Since 2005 Suzanne has taught a yearly icon-painting workshop at Kanuga Conferences, and has taught workshops at Trinity Wall Street in NYC, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA, and here at Christ Episcopal Church in Toms River.