Letter of Introduction to Good Sam
It is with great joy that I join the ministry team at Good Samaritan. I have long known of this faithful parish and its mission and I look forward to walking the pilgrim way with you all.
I have been a priest for 41 years, a fourth-generation pastor. Three generations of my family served on the mission field in India and Indonesia. My father, an Episcopal priest, served in Montana before going to Indonesia with my mother and siblings to engage incredibly innovative mission (it looked a lot like the book of Acts with the same sort of results). My grandfather, a Reformed pastor served in India, my great grandfather was a Methodist circuit riding pastor in central Pennsylvania, and a brother was a missionary to Indonesia.
I was entering high school when my parents went to Indonesia, so I attended Ben Lippen School, a preparatory school then in the mountains of North Carolina. I attended the University of North Carolina in Asheville then transferred to Columbia International University in order to meet Rachael whom I married two weeks after graduation. (Best decision I ever made.) We spent the first years of our marriage completing graduate school, I at Eastern Nazarene College and Virginia Theological Seminary.
My first call was as associate rector in Billings, Montana. I grew up in Montana and still have wonderful memories of my childhood there from age 6-13. Our oldest son was born there the year the Phillies won the series. In addition to the parish ministry, I served as Diocesan Youth Coordinator.
I led parishes in Oklahoma and Arkansas, served as associate for education and youth ministry at St. Jude’s in Smyrna, GA and then served for 13 years at Redeemer, Springfield, PA. After our youngest son finished at the Haverford School where Rachael taught, we served Christ Church, New Bern, NC for ten years. We returned to the Diocese of Pennsylvania and I became Executive Director for the Seamen’s Church Institute from which I retired a few years ago. Since then, I was an interim rector twice and am consulting with parishes in the diocese and mentoring priests. And now I come to you at Richard’s gracious invitation.
Much of my ministry has been spent in reconciliation ministry. I tended to accept calls to churches that had been through a rough patch. To help them heal, I invited them to return to a life of prayerfulness and mission. I am convinced that we heal best when we pray together and then discover in community the mission to which Christ invites us. I have found that when we pray together, Christ calls forth from us corporately, missional action that reflects the skills, gifts, passions and perhaps angers of those who pray. I have also grown convinced that our journey to maturity, wholeness, and joy happens best when we are about the vocations Christ has called us to engage. Obviously, this needs some unpacking and so I will hope we will be able to explore some of these things together.
Through the years, I had opportunity to serve the dioceses of which I was a part. I have already mentioned the Youth Coordinator work which led to a place on the national church youth team. In Pennsylvania, I served on the Commission on Ministry and as Dean of the Delaware Deanery among other things. In East Carolina, in addition to leading a 1000+ member parish, I was asked to serve as Canon Theologian, charged with developing a diocesan listening process around issues of human sexuality among other things. This process helped bring greater understanding for members of the diocese. Over 200 from around the diocese joined us in this prayerful listening process. Since all of us were part of the same diocesan family, we centered the whole process in prayer, reflection on John 17 (Jesus high priestly prayer for unity), and a commitment to listen to each other respectfully as friends without cross examination and side bar conversation. It turned out to be a redemptive process.
In East Carolina, I served as President of the Standing Committee and was deputy to General Convention three times. My major learning there was how centered in prayer and Scripture study we Episcopalians are. Days were steeped in prayer and worship. Committees listened attentively and wrestled faithfully with the matters that came before us.
In each place I served, I was involved in some form of community planning usually in concert with the city. I saw this as my Franciscan vocation.
I am a member of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis and serve on Chapter and lead an international task force on lifelong formation in which we are writing down what we see the Holy Spirit is doing throughout the Order at this time.
I love teaching Scripture and practical theology. I offer spiritual direction for those who are interested in going deeper with Triune God. I love to sing, have done a lot of solo work, and sang with choirs Including the Choral Arts Society. The primary language of my family of origin was music. I was an athlete in high school and college (basketball, soccer, baseball).
My greatest delight is in my wife Rachael, our three sons, three daughters in law, and nine grandchildren whom we attempt to see whenever time allows (all very difficult during this pandemic).
The Rev. Canon Dr. Peter B. Stube