By Anthony Aldwell | St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church
On Sunday, Aug. 28, the Rev. Wren Blessing was formally invested as the rector of Pagosa Springs’ Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church by the Rt. Rev. Kym Lucas, bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.
During her visitation, Lucas also confirmed three St. Patrick congregants and received five more into the Episcopal Church.
The bishop commended the people of St. Patrick’s for selecting Blessing as their rector, and in response to the query of if the congregation was ready to continue in the ministry with Blessing as their priest, they responded with a resounding “We are!”
Before the liturgy, Lucas led a lively discussion with church members which touched on the current status of the Episcopal Church in Colorado, challenges of attracting diverse members to the church, and the need to adapt to a world in which worship opportunities are available online and worship resources are accessible digitally. Above all, Lucas emphasized that a faithful church is one that is “huge in heart,” incorporating the essential elements of love and community as it turns prayers into action.
Blessing was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and worked as a social worker prior to attending Duke University Divinity School. After her ordination as an Episcopal priest, Wren served at churches in North Carolina and Washington State, including work with a Spanish-speaking congregation. She has also served as Canon for Christian Formation for the Diocese of Montana. Blessing’s love of the outdoors is evident through her five years as the director of the Episcopal summer camp on Montana’s Flathead Lake. As a new Pagosa Springs resident, she loves hiking, skate skiing, as well gravel and mountain biking, which she enjoys with her two middle school-aged children.
Lucas expressed her admiration for St. Patrick’s substantial service work, citing superb efforts by the food bank and clothing ministries, and its proactive outreach to St. Christopher’s Mission in The Episcopal Diocese of Navajoland. To further extend outreach opportunities, Blessing plans to establish a youth service group which will gather once a month to enjoy lunch together and undertake meaningful service projects.
The first youth project will be conducted on Sunday, Sept. 4, when participants will assist with St. Patrick’s Food Pantry ministry. All Archuleta County youth from the fifth grade and up, from any background, are welcome to join this new service and fellowship group. To get involved, contact Blessing (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out St. Patrick’s website, stpatrickspagosa.org/youth-serve.