Thursday, August 13, 2020
St. Thomas Episcopal Church’s New Pastor Preaches Radical Love and Great Forgiveness
Tuesday, July 21, 2020


He teaches that the people of the Kingdom are called to a radical love and hospitality, as evidenced by the Good Samaritan who helped a Jew on the side of the road.

He reminds people that the Kingdom of God is marked by great forgiveness, as Jesus talks about in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

And he says that living in preparation for things to come informs the way we live here and now, just as with Noah who built an ark for his family and the creatures of the earth and the wise man who built a house strong enough to withstand the storm he knew would eventually come.

That man is the Rev. M. Jonah Kendall, the Rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C. And he will soon become the fourth Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sun Valley.

Kendall expects to spend his first Sunday with the congregation on Sept. 20 outdoors in Festival Meadows on Sun Valley Road. He will succeed the Rev. Kenneth Brannon who left to take a position with an Episcopal church in Dallas, Texas.

The parish remodeled the pastor’s house in Sun Valley this past year in anticipation of receiving a new Rector.

“During the discernment process, the Vestry found Jonah to be an engaging preacher and an inspired leader, and was deeply struck by the joy that Jonah brings to his ministry,” said Rebecca Waycott, senior warden at the church. “The Search Committee, when they recommended Jonah, described him as earnest, personable, adaptable, thoughtful and insightful, as well as warm, centered and approachable.”

Kendall is no stranger to Sun Valley. He spent a summer in Sun Valley while in college. And he served as a guest priest several Sundays during the summer of 2018.

“In many ways, this is a dream come true,” he said. “While I have known Sun Valley since the summer I lived there in college, the time I spent at St. Thomas two summers ago was an experience that deeply touched my family and me. The love and faith we encountered was palpable, leaving us longing to one day return again.”

Kendall’s wife Caty is a studio artist, teacher and yoga instructor with a Master’s degree in the arts. She loves the outdoors. The couple has two daughters—12-year-old Scout and 6-year-old Beau.

Originally from the New York City area, Kendall is the son of an Episcopal priest. He received his BA from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., and his Master of Divinity from General Theological Seminary in New York City.

He has served as a curate at the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City and as Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Harrison, N.Y.

During his 12-year tenure at St. Philip’s, the average Sunday attendance grew by 26 percent; total giving and pledges through the Stewardship program also increased.

He enjoys community outreach and teaching.

“I seek to help others grow in the knowledge and love of God, by assisting them to discover the gifts God has given them and by nurturing them in the use of those talents in ministry for the Church and world,” he said in his Ministry Affirmation.


Join St. Thomas Episcopal Church for Worship on the Lawn at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, July 26, at Festival Meadows on Sun Valley Road. Worshippers are invited to use the St. Thomas parking lot and bring their own camp chair. They’re asked to wear a mask and observed social distancing protocols.





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