I began ministry as Priest-in-Charge of St. Patrick’s the first Sunday in Advent, 2015. I was no stranger to many in this congregation, having served as Interim at St. Patrick’s about ten years before. I had retired as Canon Vicar of Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, Diocese of Southern Ohio in 2000. My family and I returned to Maine, and following the death of my wife Amy in 2012, younger daughter Katherine and I, as fifth and sixth generations, have lived on the family farm where I grew up, in the small village of Freedom, about an hour’s drive South down Rt.3. My Mom who is ninety-eight lived with us until recently entering an assisted living home near Augusta.
Our family fell in love with St. Patrick’s when we were here the first time, and the warm, loving spirit of openness and acceptance drew us back. It is such a gift to be a member of a vibrant community of diverse and unique people who are eagerly seeking how to follow the Spirit in supporting one another and serving the neighborhood. Acceptance of my handicapped daughter Katherine’s ministry as a committed acolyte is an integral aspect of my ministry.
Following a career in education, I began ministry in Biddeford, Maine and have served in Baltimore, Cape Cod, Blue Hill, and Cincinnati. I love the farm and have a large organic garden. My interests include historic preservation and I am working on projects with the local Historical Society. Recently, I served as Chair of the Board of Directors of R.S.U. #3 (Mt. View School). A small group meets weekly as the “Stable Gathering” in my barn chapel to meditate, read and discuss topics of faith and life. “Avis Perley,” (my grandparents who lived their lives here) is a hobby farm museum and arts and crafts gallery shop in the barn, organized around my family’s antique tools, sleighs and wagons.
I didn’t grow up in the Episcopal Church but as a searching adult came to find home here. I am artistic, a thinker, and a social activist. I love the balance of freedom and structure I find. At this point in history, I am trying to let go of meaningless pieces of the institution and re-discover how Jesus is inspiring us to re-create an alternative faith community.
My academic background includes Wheaton College (Illinois), University of Maine, Ball State University, and General Theological Seminary. I am inspired by Henri Nouwen Richard Rohr, and writers in the Celtic tradition from the Iona Community in Scotland. Holistic healing has been a focus of my ministry.
What a gift it is to be with others who are searching for an authentic relationship with God and each other. Love will find a way. Rick