Tuckerton’s Church of the Holy Spirit Gets a Couple of Priests

MARRIED IN Religion: The Reverends Chip and Lisa Graves are the incredibly to start with married few to carry out expert services at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. (Photo by Rick Mellerup)
Tuckerton’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit has not a single but two new priests, the Reverends Chip and Lisa Graves.
Holy Spirit has had feminine priests in the past considering that the Episcopal Church formally started ordaining gals on Jan. 1, 1977. But this is the initially time Holy Spirit has experienced a married pair conducting providers.
Actually, only one particular will serve at the Holy Spirit altar just about every Sunday. As a value-saving evaluate, Holy Spirit joined with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Waretown to indication a agreement with the couple. They will alternate in between the churches every week. For instance, Mom Lisa carried out the Palm Sunday services in Tuckerton though Father Chip did the similar in Waretown their roles were being reversed on Easter Sunday.
Back again, though, to the notion of ordaining ladies, which turns out to be central to this story.
Lisa’s very first career was in advertising and marketing. She acquired her bachelor’s diploma in communications from Stephen’s Higher education in Columbia, Mo., and then worked as a copywriter and sooner or later creative director in San Francisco and Kansas Metropolis.
It was in K.C. that she satisfied Chip. He experienced gained his M.B.A. in worldwide company from the American Graduate School of International Management (also proudly recognized as the Thunderbird College of Global Administration because it is located at a decommissioned Planet War II-era U.S. Military Air Forces foundation in Phoenix). Chip then went on to get the job done as a fiscal adviser at American Categorical ahead of likely again to be a part of his family’s food items distribution small business.
So why did the couple come to a decision to modify careers in midstream?
Blame it on really like and the Episcopal Church’s determination to ordain women of all ages as perfectly as its very long tradition of making it possible for clergymen to marry.
“I had determined not to date anyone, but then I satisfied Chip,” mentioned Lisa, who experienced been arranging on concentrating on her occupation.
“Oh, yeah, it was instant,” explained Chip.
They before long acquired married and ended up residing in a farm town, Chillicothe, Mo.
“We were incredibly invested in the community Episcopal church,” explained Lisa. “I went to the diocesan conference as a lay delegate, and I observed a female priest for the initially time. That was back again in 1999, 2000.”
That spurred her desire in turning into a cleric. At first she considered becoming a deacon (“you can preserve your working day job”), but as she went by way of discernment she uncovered her call was to the priesthood. And currently being as spouses are also heavily included in the long and exacting discernment procedure, the diocesan leaders, noticing his desire, questioned Chip to also contemplate a call. “And he did,” explained Lisa.
This from a person who had developed up Presbyterian, thanks to his Scottish heritage – “My mother was from the Campbell Clan” – and Methodist – “Because of all the factors they did for little ones.”
Off they went to the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., the place Lisa attained her master’s in divinity though Chip did likewise and then went on to a doctorate in ministry.
They’ve served church buildings in Roanoke, Va., wherever they have been each assistants in a “big, huge church,” Chicago and the suburb of Crystal Lake, Huntington, W.Va., and Westchester County, N.Y., in White Plains and Yonkers to be exact. “We want to live everywhere,” quipped Lisa.
Their time in West Virginia, from 2012 to 2019, was particularly tough. “It’s a wonderful condition,” explained Lisa while Chip outlined it was a point out that was suffering from a substantial opioid problem all through their remain there. And their time in Westchester County was somewhat demanding. Do not ignore, Westchester County was an early hotbed of the COVID-19 pandemic. And lifestyle in the commuter towns was just much too weird for the pair a perception of local community appeared to be lacking.
So when they read of the openings in Tuckerton and Waretown, they made a decision to examine it out. They right away felt that sense of neighborhood they experienced been missing.
“We loved it,” claimed Chip. “The rate, the community … the ocean.”
“The persons,” included Lisa.
“I want to be very concerned in the neighborhood,” stated Chip.
“We want to arrive at out to folks,” said Lisa. “The Episcopal Church is a put to be supported.”
They procured a dwelling in Manahawkin, halfway involving their two parishes, but they did not shut until soon after Easter, with them hoping and most likely praying somebody didn’t make a larger give. Involving going, scrambling to obtain a property in a tremendous scorching current market, living out of suitcases and beginning their ministries in Tuckerton and Waretown in the busiest week of the Christian yr, Holy Week, the pair was hectic in fact. But they both equally claimed Holy Week was the best time to start out off their journey in new churches mainly because the weekday products and services and large Palm Sunday and Easter crowds gave them the possibility to greet extra parishioners than they typically would have achieved in a month of, uh, Sundays.
By the way, inspite of mid-everyday living occupation variations, quite a few moves – which, by the way, Lisa was acquainted with, thinking about she had been an “Army brat” as a boy or girl – returning to college, and many others., the couple has guided two daughters who dwell in the Northeast, Katarina and Isabelle, to adulthood. And they share their household with “one significant hairy rescue canine named Uno.”
1 last factor. They both of those have a perception of humor. Chip claimed he has been introduced to the “Jersey Salute,” the one particular-fingered wave irate motorists like to flash while on New Jersey’s roadways.
Welcome to the Yard State.
— Rick Mellerup

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