Haynes accepts Priest-in-Charge call to St. Thomas

St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Plymouth has called the Rev. Thomas E. Haynes to serve as their Interim Priest-in-Charge for two years. Fr. Tom has been teaching math at the Culver Academies and has served in various capacities with Spiritual Life and Instructional Technology in the 13 years he has been there. He is currently the Priest-in-Charge at St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Culver. Fr. Tom will leave those positions in June.

St. Thomas has a weekly service in Spanish, and Fr. Tom will be going to the Honduras for the month of July to take part in an immersion language program there. He will also be working with a small local church in the Honduras to gain some fluency with ecclesiastical vocabulary and the order of worship in Spanish. He is excited by the work ahead, and his first services at St. Thomas will be August 4.
The Haynes family will continue to live in South Bend. His wife, the Rev. Susan B. Haynes, will continue to serve as Rector of St. Paul's in Mishawaka.

Fr. Tom has been an active member of the Culver community and lived in town from 2000 to 2008. He has worked with the Culver Community Council of Churches, and he has taken part in community and ecumenical services. Last year he took part in a Blessing of the Animals for St. Francis Day with Fr. Thadeus Balinda (St. Mary of the Lake Roman Catholic Church in Culver). He has preached in the Lenten services at Culver's Grace United Church of Christ and Wesley United Methodist and has been conducting a service at Miller's in Culver on a six week rotation with other pastors.

Asked about the plans for a new priest at St. Elizabeth's, Fr. Tom said, “You would have to ask the vestry and Bishop Little. There are priests in the diocese who might be willing to consider a call to St. Elizabeth's. I think in the short term, they plan to have Fr. John Houghton preach and celebrate in July. That gives them some time before Fr. John returns to The Hill School in Pottstown, PA where he is the Chaplain.”

Fr. Tom is planning a strong finish to his time at the Academies and St. Elizabeth's. He has an especially good group of students this year and is certain he will miss the classroom after 32 years of teaching. He has a lot of respect for the small, strong faith community at St. Elizabeth's and knows they will thrive.

Fr. Tom observes that as Christians “We labor in the fields of the Lord. Sometimes we are called to new ones.”

He will keep the Academies, St. Elizabeth's, and the Culver community in his prayers.