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New Vicar in Ramona

We are pleased to announce that the Rev. Phil Cooke and St. Mary’s, Ramona have covenanted to begin to explore mutual ministry together on Sunday, September 1.

Father Phil will begin his tenure as a part-time vicar after his retirement as rector of St. John the Divine, Morgan Hill, California. He served there for 18 years in ministry that included the start of successful preschool program in 2003. In 2007, the parish completed a million-dollar building project, which included building a new preschool/activity building, an impressive labyrinth courtyard as well as significant renovations in the worship and fellowship space. In 2015, he headed up the procurement and installation of a pipe organ. Notable in his ministry has been the development of a young child-friendly Eucharist. In the diocese, he has served as a reader of the theological work of candidates for ordination to the diaconate and priesthood. He has been active in the interfaith community in Morgan Hill and has generated liturgies for shared Thanksgiving events and the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Prior to his ministry in Morgan Hill, he lived in Texas for 25 years. He attended Nashotah House, an Episcopal seminary, and he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1981 and 1982 respectively. After spending two years as a curate at St. John’s, Fort Worth, he began in 1983 as a mission vicar at St. Gregory’s, Mansfield, Texas. In seventeen years in Mansfield, the mission went through three building programs as it was grown into a programmatic size parish. 

Father Phil and his wife, Karen, raised their two children, Tessa and Simon, in Mansfield through their high school graduations. While Father Phil was in the diocese of Fort Worth, he taught apologetics and pastoral theology at the Anglican School of Theology in Dallas for fifteen years. He also did post-graduate work at Southern Methodist University in the history of religion, and he completed the work for, but not the dissertation, in the doctorate program at the University of Texas at Arlington. His area of study was in rhetoric, particularly as it involved the significant social and intellectual questions of the post-modern era.

His wife, Karen, is a retired human resources professional. Her avocations are choral music and handbell choirs as well as crafts, including Ukrainian eggs, soap making, beading (she makes prayer beads and bracelets), knitting and quilting.  Phil and Karen are both preacher’s kids and so they grew up in families shared with parish families.

Welcome to our diocese, Father Phil and Karen.

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