Meet Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet, Our Priest-in-Charge
The Vestry of St. Thomas is delighted to announce a call to the Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet to be our priest-in-charge. Our decision was unanimous. Such clarity is the fruit of an exemplary process, prayer, online and in-person interviews, and strong references from his bishop, clergy, and laypersons. Mark currently serves half-time as priest associate at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, City-Heights in San Diego. His prior rectorship (2014 to 2021) was with St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in Poway, CA.
The vestry feels blessed that he has accepted our call. It has become clear to everyone that God’s hand is in this process. Mark brings years of experience in pro-active pastoral care, energizing congregations, and expanding outreach ministries into the community.
We are also thankful to Bishop Susan Haynes and Canon Roy Hoffman for presenting us with a very viable slate of candidates for this vital position.
Mark is married to Kate, a business operations professor. They met in 2002, walking the Boston Breast Cancer 3-Day. Their son, Marcos, will be entering the tenth grade, and a daughter, Maya, will begin her first year of college this fall in Boston. Many logistics are involved in a cross-country move and healthy leave-taking from his parish. With that in mind, Mark’s first official Sunday with St. Thomas will be August 7. We hope you will give a warm welcome to this lovely family.
Change is never easy, but it can also be full of blessings. And we at St. Thomas welcome a new beginning. Mark invites us to pray for his family as they make this transition, selling and buying a new home, saying goodbye to old friends, and starting new schools. He has requested a directory of St. Thomas, and he will begin praying for each of us and the staff daily.
We intend to share monthly updates regarding Mark’s arrival and joining us in ministry. In the meantime, please join us in giving thanks to God for the faithful work of our staff, vestry, and each of our families and for the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us forward as Easter people, beacons of love and hope.
A Note from Mark
Dear People of Saint Thomas,
I greet you with Easter Alleluias for the new life born from our Savior Jesus Christ.
With God’s abiding joy overflowing, I can’t wait to join you in ministry. I want to give special thanks to Bishop Susan, Canon Roy+, the wardens, officers, vestry, and staff for their faithful leadership during these most trying times.
Please know St Thomas has been in my heart and my daily prayers ever since the Bishop invited me to pray about joining your call process. The process proved once again to me that God’s hand in this. My entire adult life, I have been called to join hands in building sustainable, vibrant, life-giving faith communities.
The past few years have been trying for everyone, would you agree? Nevertheless, as understood in our baptismal covenant, I believe we are God’s beacons of the Good News. You and I are God’s agents of love made real and tangible to everyone, seven days a week. I have given my life to this very task. On my best days, it is abundant. On my worst days, I am on my knees praying for God to show me the way. How about you?
Please pray for my family and me, as we too are experiencing many changes this summer. The most obvious is our move to Chesapeake. Our son, Marcos, will change high schools and leave great friends behind. Our daughter will be heading to Boston for her first year of college. I will be honoring my current pastoral relationships, saying many goodbyes.
I look forward to learning your prayers and your hopes for tomorrow. I will be praying for each of you by name daily as I go through the directory. And I will have some retreat time with the vestry and staff to pray, get to know each other, and anticipate the second half of 2022.
Faith, my new friends, is an action verb. We are Easter people. This was made evident when I met with the vestry in the sanctuary. There we invited Jesus to be in our midst and in our hearts as we broke bread. We sang, prayed, and shared hopes and dreams for tomorrow. Indeed, when our collective goals are shared, they reveal God’s vision, our path forward. I do not doubt that we will ‘move mountains’ for Jesus together. And new life will be realized by everyone we serve.
With joy in my heart, thank you for welcoming my family into yours.
The Reverend Mark C. McKone-Sweet