Reverend Jennifer joins us from Holy Faith Inglewood, where she has been serving as Priest-in-Charge for the past three and a half years, giving sermons in Spanish as well as English. During her time there, as COVID-19 became a reality for all, Jennifer flexed her creative muscles by experimenting with liturgies, livestream, videos, and use of social media, in addition to performing drive-by pastoral care. She also encouraged and assisted their social justice ministries for housing equality, the need for a living wage, and support for unions.
Having received her M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology, Jennifer spent her ministry year prior to ordination at Holy Nativity in Westchester, where she was encouraged to spend as much time in their organic community garden as in the sanctuary. Preceding this ministry, she spent 13 years as the Director of Children’s Ministries at St. Augustine by the Sea in Santa Monica. There she led many children, including her own, in a program that included a large Sunday school, middle & high school youth education & activities, a nursery, and a volunteer staff. Supporting families in their spiritual journeys remains close to her heart, and she continues to be an advocate for youth to be more deeply involved in worship and the church.
For the past 30 years, Jennifer has resided in Del Rey, only 5 minutes from St. Bede’s. She lives with her two daughters--one a senior at Venice High and the other a graduate of UC Santa Cruz. She has served the community as a Girl Scout leader, PTA President, Block Captain, and an organizer of local community and school events. She loves meeting new people and their animals on walks; since she’s a great listener and is easy to talk to, people tell her their stories, much to the chagrin of those in line behind her at the market.
A native of New England, Jennifer loves the outdoors, but no longer likes the cold. She was raised on Connecticut’s Long Island Sound--swimming, crabbing, clamming, and going barefoot all summer. She still collects rocks, shells and sea “stuff,” which is on display throughout her home. Jennifer playfully warns, “Don’t get me started talking about horseshoe crabs.” She was raised by gardeners and studied horticulture, so it’s no wonder that she enjoys spending time in the garden, getting her hands dirty, and laboring outside. Her family says, “She’s out there praying again!” Jennifer says in response, “They are not wrong. Working outside feeds my soul, as does feeding the wildlife, especially the squirrels.”
Jennifer finds that wearing her clericals around town is a great form of evangelism. She notes that confusion over a woman in a collar is a great conversation-starter about the Church, Jesus, and God’s infinite, unconditional, never-ending love. Most of all, Jennifer says, she loves because God loved us first, and she works to see this love in others every day. She is thrilled to join us and looks forward with excitement to being a pilgrim on the road together with the good and faithful people of God at St. Bede’s.