Welcome, Father John!

July 14, 2008

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

   We wanted to write to inform you that the Rev. John P. Thompson has accepted Vestry’s
call to be the new rector of the Church of St. John in the Wilderness.  In addition, we are pleased
that there were several very talented and well qualified candidates who were part of the
discernment process for rector at St. John’s.

  Early in June, four members of the search committee traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to
visit Father John in Fayette, where he is currently a supply priest at St. Michael’s Episcopal
Church.  We then, in turn, invited him to come to Copake Falls to visit with members of the
search committee and the Vestry and to be interviewed by Bishop William Love.  During these
visits, we were impressed with many of his fine qualities, including his sermon at St. Michael’s
Episcopal in Fayette, his quiet and focused demeanor, his listening abilities, his prayerful and
playful presence with all of us, and his generosity of spirit which is accompanied by a keen sense
of humor.

   Father John grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is the eldest of five.  He was born with
a short left arm and leg; his spiritual autobiography says that “in spite of this, I attended regular
schools, had many friends, and was very active - even in sports - while growing up.” Before
becoming a priest, Father John’s career included working as an Employment Specialist, a
Substance Abuse Counselor, Behavior Specialist Consultant/Mobile Therapist, and Supported
Housing Counselor, from 1988 to 2002.  He then received the call to become a priest and, in
2005, he received a Master of Divinity from the University of the South, School of Theology.
Previously he received a Masters in Theology from the University of Steubenville in 1987, and a
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Religious Studies from Cardinal Stritch College
(1982).  In 2005 he began his ministry by serving as Rector at Christ the Redeemer Episcopal
Church in Montgomery and then as interim Rector at St. Matthias in Tuscaloosa.
One of his e-mails after he had accepted the call to St. John’s included the remark that “I
am very happy and excited about coming!”  We share in that happiness and excitement and hope
that all of you do as well.

In peace,
Karen Flynn
Senior Warden of the Vestry