Appointment concludes yearlong search for head of LO parish

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The Rev. Jeremy Lucas made a long trek in coming to Oregon from Alabama. He loves what he is finding at his new church in Lake Oswego.While serving at a vicarage in Battle Ground, Wash., the Rev. Jeremy Lucas was advised to “put his name in” for the position of rector at Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego.

Lucas did it and he received the call to serve the night after Thanksgiving last year.

The Alabama native has now been on the job for a month, and he seems to be immensely happy about his decision.

“I’ve had a great time getting to know everyone and being in this beautiful area,” Lucas said. “This church is so appealing to me because it takes its many gifts and shares them generously with the community. Not just Lake Oswego but with the wider community. There is an amazing generosity of spirit here. It seems to be a place where the spirit is not stale and static, and the people are reaching out to bring the kingdom of God closer.”

As for the reason why he became a Christian minister, Lucas recalled an old joke: There should be fewer lawyers and more priests.

In his case, the jibe hits home because Lucas was a lawyer in his former career.

“I like lawyers. They’re interesting people,” he said. “I practiced street law, doing cases for people injured on the job.

“But I was hearing more and more problems that I couldn’t do anything about. They had spiritual problems. With my priest, I discerned that I needed to go to seminary. Doing this would be more true to myself and what God asked me to be in this world.”

So, Lucas entered the General Theological Seminary in New York City. His first day there was on Sept. 11, 2001.

“That was the beginning of lots of growing and learning,” Lucas said, in reference to that was the day the two towers in the World Trade Center collapsed in a four-pronged terrorist attack against the United States on American soil.

His first position as rector was in Alabama, followed by 3 1/2 years as a missionary in Namibia. Then this Southern man and big Bama football fan came to the Pacific Northwest. Now he will be settling in more and more into Oregon, along with his wife, Siobhan Passmore, and 9-year-old daughter, Erin. Together they are discovering the fascinating places of Oregon.

As for his goal in Lake Oswego, Lucas said, “I want to help more and more people to be formed as Christians. Sunday is the easiest day to be a Christian. I want to prepare them for Monday morning and the other five days of the week.

“Life is messy and complicated and not simple. We all have lives that challenge us. I don’t want to have a scolding voice. I want to have a voice of love and grace and share triumphs and also disappointment.

“Christians look very different, but we all want to walk in what Jesus calls, ‘The Way.’”

The hiring of Lucas ends a yearlong search for a new church rector. He is succeeding the Rev. Shannon Leach.

For more about Christ Episcopal Church, go to the website

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