August 8, 2021
Meet our Co-Rectors!
Rev. Jessica ( Jessie ) Thompson
Rev. Daniel ( Dan ) Kline
Walking through the redwoods each week to their ethics class in downtown Berkeley, Jessie and Dan discovered energy around their shared call to the priesthood. They began exploring co-preaching and pastoral care at the start of their relationship. After graduation, they were ordained, married, and moved across the country to the east coast where Rev. Dan’s sending diocese was located. Rev. Dan served as the Associate Rector on an interim team and Rev. Jessie served as a Priest-in-Charge over two parishes during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were responsible for creating and sustaining new ways of doing ministry in response to this crisis.
The Reverend Jessie Thompson
Jessie is a native of Portland, Oregon. She received a Master of Divinity and a Post-Masters in Transforming Spirituality with an emphasis in Spiritual Direction at Seattle University’s School of Theology & Ministry and received her Certificate of Anglican Studies from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California (where she met her partner, Dan). She recently completed a certificate in Contemplative Leadership with the Shalem Institute.
Rev. Jessie has over two decades of ministry experience, in a variety of roles ranging from children’s pastor to religion professor and everything in between. Her work as a spiritual director and retreat facilitator makes her heart sing. For the past two years, she has served as the Priest-in-Charge at St. James Episcopal Park (Prospect Park) and St. John the Evangelist (Essington), in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Her passions and areas of teaching/ministry include creating space for people to encounter the Holy, body theology, labyrinth work, discovering God’s deepest desires in our lives, hospitality as intentional vulnerability, transitions, grief, and loss. Her heart beats for the marginalized, and she seeks to provide safe spaces for all to feel welcomed, known, loved, and celebrated. Rev. Jessie is a sucker for watching God’s grace show up in unexpected places, and she loves the idea of second chances and transformation.
When she’s not in the office, you can find her making silly videos for her favorite nieces, scoping out the best live music around, or dancing somewhere– anywhere! She loves a good cup of coffee and conversation, so she hopes you’ll reach out for both.
The Reverend Dan Kline
Dan is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Certificate of Anglican Studies from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California (where he met his partner, Jessie). He is currently working on a Master of Science in Church Management from Villanova University’s School of Business.
Rev. Dan has over a decade and a half of ministry experience. He’s worked as a seminary professor, missionary, children’s pastor, youth pastor, assistant pastor, prison chaplain, recovery chaplain, and hospital chaplain. For the past two years, he has served as the Associate Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, a historic neighborhood of Philadelphia. Prior to being ordained in The Episcopal Church, Rev. Dan taught English overseas in South Korea and theology in Fiji. He also worked in the restaurant industry, helping launch several locations of an Austin, Texas based startup in a new market. It’s no surprise that he loves cooking and discovering new and innovative cuisines, as well as the entrepreneurial side of ministry.
A trained community organizer, his passion is helping people discover God’s work in their lives through the Jesus story, especially through a social justice lens. His spiritual guiding compass is, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “to make the invisible visible.” Rev. Dan’s diverse denominational background fuels a desire for bridge building and reconciliation between divisions in the church and the wider society. When he’s not in the office, he’s planning another camping trip to a national park with Rev. Jessie.
Rev. Jessie and Rev. Dan believe that their unique vocation as a clergy couple with a shared leadership ministry is another fresh and innovative way to model Christ’s relationship with the Church. Their prayer is that their complementary gifts might provide deep pastoral care, support historic traditions, vision for future generations, and creatively help individuals grow in spiritual community, all while offering greater access to God’s belovedness for all.
The third musketeer caravanning across the country with them is their sweet 16-year-old dog, Porkchop (who has also been to seminary twice!). All three look forward to serving the Church of St. Paul in the Desert and continue to be in awe of the Spirit’s great invitation here!
An excerpt from a prior letter…
We are delighted to submit our application to serve as the next co-rectors of The Church of St. Paul in the Desert. As we read your Parish Profile and your thoughtful website offerings, we were energized, excited, and moved by the unique qualities and values that reflect St. Paul’s desire to share meaningful ministry, care well for present and future generations, be good neighbors in ways of service and outreach, and grow together in the waiting with God and walking on new ground!
We believe our varied gifts for ministry complement each other well and would offer St. Paul’s a dynamic and steady leadership team in the years ahead. We were so moved by the invitation to those drawn to serve here, that if God calls us to St. Paul’s, we will consider it a blessing to be welcomed home.
August 9, 2021
Watch a video of the announcement from Sr. Warden, Steve Moore of our new Co-Rectors the Rev. Jessie Thompson and the Rev. Dan Kline. It was indeed a memorable day in the life of St. Paul in the Desert as we announced the calling of the 9th Rector since our founding in 1939.
Revised COVID Protocol for Indoor Worship
Due to the recent spike in COVID cases in our area, Bishop Susan has issued this appeal to all clergy in our diocese.
Jesus commands us to love our neighbors, which includes doing what we can to keep them and ourselves safe in a public health crisis. With regret, due to the spike in Covid cases in our area, I am asking you to reinstate mask-wearing for all (except while reading or preaching) for indoor worship in our diocese.
I have so enjoyed our brief respite from most restrictions in worship. Like all of you, I hoped and prayed that the drop in Covid cases we saw earlier in the summer would prove to be the end of the pandemic. Sadly, the choice of many people in our area to remain unvaccinated is allowing the pandemic to continue. Given the fact that children and some people with health conditions cannot yet be vaccinated, and that even vaccinated adults can catch breakthrough cases (albeit with far better outcomes than unvaccinated people), it seems that the responsible thing to do is keep ourselves safe with masking during indoor worship. I am saddened by the need to tighten restrictions once more, but this message comes after review of the concerning news of a Covid spike, and after discussion with members of our Public Health Task Force.
I ask you to join me in prayer that the current growth in cases is short-lived, and I ask you to urge your members to be vaccinated, for the sake of public health in our community. I hope we can remove the masking requirement soon. But for now, I believe that Jesus’ command to love our neighbor compels us to do what we can to protect our neighbors and our community from this disease. I am grateful to all of you for your leadership in this trying time.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego
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God has invited us to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ through the Church of St. Paul in the Desert, by serving Christ in others and by gathering to praise and thank God in worship. We are a welcoming, empowering, supportive community.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is a missionary community that dares to follow Jesus Christ in his life of fearless love for the world.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Update
Many regular Church activities and meetings are being cancelled due to health concerns. Please check back daily for updates.