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Celebrating Pastor Christopher Kurien May 21, 10 AM
From Richard Auman, Staff-Parish Relations Committee
We’ll come together on Sunday, May 21, for a special combined service to celebrate Christopher Jacob Kurien’s 41 years in full-time ministry and 38 years as an ordained pastor. While his official retirement date is June 30, Pastor Chris’s last Sunday in church will be May 28. He’ll be on vacation for all of June, which will include leading a group trip to the Holy Lands.
A luncheon in Memorial Hall will follow the 10 am combined service so we can wish Chris well as he prepares for retirement. The Staff Parish Relations and Worship Committees are coordinating the morning events with Pastor Chris. Among our guests will be the Rev Evelyn Kent Clark, our District Superintendent and Chris’s close colleague, the Rev Bob Wilt and two of his three daughters.
Pastor Chris, whose career spanned two continents, began his ministry in the Church of South India where he served as a Diocesan Youth Organizing Secretary and Director of Missions. He was also on the teaching staff at the United Theological College in Bangalore, India. After moving to the states in the late 1990’s, he took the position of Lead Chaplain resident at Southwest Memorial Hospital, Houston TX.
With the encouragement of Bishop George W. Bashore, a former Reading pastor, and Spring Township resident, Chris accepted an appointment in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference at St. Matthew’s Church, Reading, in 2001. Four years later Bishop Marcus Matthews appointed Chris as a District Superintendent, and he served five years as Dean of the Cabinet. After six years as a DS, he was appointed Director of Connectional Ministries until 2017, when he returned to the pulpit at First Church in Lansdale.
“I was humbled to be endorsed as an episcopal candidate twice by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference,” Chris said. While an elder in our Conference, he also served on numerous boards of our Annual, Jurisdictional, and General Conferences and on the World Methodist Council.
Next month he completes four years here at Lincoln Park and his full-time ministry.
“I will continue in service as an assisting Elder in the Annual Conference, as a member on theWorld Methodist Council, Methodist Hospital Foundation Board, the Northeast Jurisdictional Program Committee, and on various Conference Boards and Agencies,” Chris added.
While Chris plans to stay active in the church, much of his time will be spent with his wife of 37 years, Christy Jacob, who plans to continue working as a math teacher at Reading HS and visiting his three daughters:
- Dr Elsen Chris Jacob, an Assistant professor, St. John’s University, NY, is married to Dr. Manu Ben Johny, Assistant Professor and research lab director, Columbia University, New York. They have a daughter, Shiloh Grace, who is seven months old.
- Dr Susan Chris Jacob, Clinical Manager, Beth Israel Lahey Health System, Boston is married to Dr. Alexis Hubaud, Senior Scientist, Be Biopharma, Boston.
- And the Rev Ann Chris Jacob, a Co-pastor at Edmonds UMC, Seattle. Ann is one of the two members from the United Methodist Church presently serving the World Council of Churches and the Central Committee of the WCC.
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