Rev. Carlton Kelley accepts interim rector position

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes, Voice of the Clergy.

carlton_kellyDear People of Grace,

What a joy and privilege it is to be writing to you as your interim rector.  I am looking forward to joining you in the next several weeks along with Don Ryno, my partner of 26 years and Lydia, our Lab mix and Hoover, our Calico cat.   I have been to Traverse City only once for diocesan convention when I was serving at St. Paul’s, Dowagiac (and later at Trinity, Three Rivers) and found it a place of tremendous beauty – even though I got lost going home!

I am a classically trained pianist, a RN whose most recent practice was in mental health and addictions and one who knows the joy of recovery – 9 years in September!  Sobriety has taught me that life is good, though always challenging and is best, as we say, lived one day at a time. (One doesn’t need to worry quite so much!) I am pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral theology at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio but have yet to decide on a specific concentration.  Don is a retired organist/choral director of national note as well as a concert artist, organ designer, composer and several other things!

I am the youngest of three.  My brother is retired and living in Chicago, and my sister and her husband will soon be returning to the United States from Thailand where they spent many years working there and in Beijing for the Wycliffe Bible Society as translators and teachers.

I have served as a priest in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Ellicott City, Maryland; Venice and Sarasota, Florida; Richmond, Indiana; Dowagiac and Three Rivers, Michigan; and Toledo, Ohio.   All of these have presented their unique set of opportunities – joys as well as sorrows.  I have grown and learned from each.

That is more than enough for now.   I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you, loving you and serving you as we advance the kingdom of Christ from that special place called Grace Church, Traverse City.


Carlton Kelley

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