Rector Search Survey
April 24, 2019

Below, please find a survey designed to help our search committee know what qualities we as a parish are seeking in our sixth rector. Knowing not every person possesses every gift, the survey will ask you to rank seven attributes in order from one to seven as well as ask your feedback our our church’s strengths and areas we can grow. The results of the survey will be used by the search committee in their work.

Take the rector search survey


Announcing the Search Committee for the Sixth Rector
April 15, 2019

On behalf of the vestry of St. John the Divine, I am pleased to introduce you to the committee that will conduct the search for our sixth rector. The vestry considered dozens of parishioners for this task and believes that the final group is both a strong and broad representation of our parish and brings the skills, faith and discernment required for the task at hand. The members of the search committee are:

Eric Wade will serve as the chair of the search committee.

About the committee:
  • The youngest member is 26 and the oldest is 80; the average age is just over 50
  • A broad range of our church’s ministry areas are represented, including those areas identified by the parish as foundational to our future in the strategic review process.
  • Four members of the fifth rector search committee agreed to serve once again, to help capture experience and knowledge from the last search.

In the next week, you will receive an invitation to participate in a survey about the qualities and experiences we want in our next rector.  We will share more about the search committee’s process in the coming weeks.

On Sunday, May 5 at the 9 am service, the search committee will be commissioned. The vestry  invites you to attend, pray for, and meet your committee members at that time. Throughout the search process, there will also be regular prayer meetings.  Please join us on May 5 and in the prayer meetings throughout the process, and please keep the search committee in your prayers as they conduct their work.

We know that God will lead us through the exciting days ahead and into the future that He has planned for us and will once again direct us to the rector He has called to lead St. John the Divine. 

Yours faithfully,
For the Vestry of St. John the Divine
Jim Loftis, Senior Warden

The Committee
Andy Breckwoldt

Andy Breckwoldt
Member of the parish for 50 years.
I have been married to Joan for 32 years. We have two children (Megan and William), and one grandchild (Troy). St John the Divine has been my home church all my life, although I have also lived in New Jersey, California and The Netherlands. I am currently on the Vestry and am directing the SJD Leadership Initiative. I am a board member (vice-chair) for Vibrant Faith, a national organization serving churches across the country, focused on faith formation. In the past, I have served at SJD in many capacities, including the Fifth Rector Search Committee. Youth Ministry has been a big part of my life over the last 12 years. I retired in 2017 from the Oil & Gas business specifically to pursue ministry work, primarily at SJD. I am tremendously excited about the current direction and bright future for our church, and am honored to be on the search committee.
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Drew Burgoyne

Drew Burgoyne
Member of the parish for 40 years.
My goal is to help this church be the best it can be. I want to raise my kids, watch them grow in their faith and become part of our community here at SJD, just as I did. I am confident that I would be a valuable asset, along with the other members of the search committee, to find and call our next rector.
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John Butler


Member of the parish for 70 years

I have been a member of St. John's since approximately 1948. I have served in several capacities over those years. I have known all of our rectors and been through many issues that the church has faced over that period.Given the many issues the church, in general, and particularly St. Johns, have faced recently I want to help find the kind of leader who can be an inspiration to our parish, grow it and be true to Christ's teachings.

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Virginia Evans

Virginia Evans
Member of the parish for 42 years.
I am a lifetime member of SJD. I was baptized, confirmed, attended Sunday School, EYC, married, and have now watched both of our boys baptized and experience first communion here. I married my high school sweetheart. Morrow and I have both served on the associate vestry, been small group leaders, and now our eldest son is in confirmation class here. Outside of SJD, I attended St. John’s High School, graduated from SMU, and worked in investment management at both Goldman Sachs and Cypress Asset Management prior to becoming a mother. I have volunteered for the Houston Arboretum and have been extremely active at St. Francis Episcopal School, where my two boys have been since their toddler years. I am so honored and grateful to be entrusted by this parish in the search for our new rector – thank you!
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Melissa Grobmyer

Melissa Grobmyer
Member of the parish for 38 years.
Through joyful times, sad times, and everything in between, SJD has been bedrock in my family’s life. As I have grown in faith, my life has been deeply enriched by the people of this church. I have been privileged to serve on the vestry for the last two years, and I am repeatedly amazed by the profound faith, fortitude, and dedication of our clergy, lay leaders, and congregation. I have seen the Holy Spirit at work though the people of our church, and Christ lives among us in our daily interactions with each other and the outside world. Our church is vibrant, solid, and alive in joyful faith and thanksgiving. I am excited for what the future holds for SJD, and I am honored to serve on the search committee for our 6th rector.
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Philip Grove

Philip Grove
Member of the parish for 26 years.
I am a third generation member of St. John the Divine, where I grew up and have many fond memories of Sunday morning services with my family. After a brief time in Nashville for college, I was happy to return to Houston and reconnect with SJD. I am very involved in the Young Professional Ministry and recently joined the YoPro leadership team. As the SJD Church Representative to the Christian Community Service Center, I attend quarterly meetings and act as a liaison between the center and our community service ministry. Professionally, I am a Commercial Loan Officer for Comerica Bank and have been in that role for almost two years. I am humbled and honored to be a part of the search committee for our new rector, and I am excited to see what God has planned for us.
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Brett Hamilton

Brett Hamilton
Member of the parish for 34 years.
I have faith that God will lead us to our next rector. I will be in constant prayer seeking his guidance.
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Hirschel Hamner

Hirschel Hamner
Member of the parish for 10 years.
I am thrilled to serve on the search committee for the sixth rector of SJD. My family and I have been active members of SJD for 10 years and love this place. Our church is at a critical point where we need to identify a sixth rector who can effectively lead and inspire our entire congregation and staff, provide stability and vision, and continue to make SJD's mission relevant to our membership and broader community. I am a finance lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP and have served for many years in recruiting leadership roles at my current and prior firms. I am a lifelong Episcopalian and most recently served on the Associate Vestry from 2017-2019. My wife, Lauren, and I have three children -- Robert (12), Catherine (10) and Henry (7). I look forward to the work ahead and am committed to identifying a consensus candidate who will lead this great church for many years to come. Please feel free to contact me any time with any thoughts or concerns.
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Calvin Harris


Member of the parish for 7 years
During my time at St. John the Divine God has given me the opportunity to serve in the Education arm of His Church as a Group Leader and Adult Education Teacher. When I am not attending and serving at St. John the Divine, I spend my time officiating High School Basketball, serving on multiple Basketball Officiating Boards, and working at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Clinical Trial Research. God allowed me to study His Word at Dallas Theological Seminary. It is my hope that my background and experience may prayerfully assist SJD in the search for our next Rector. With Gods guidance I hope that I may assist in finding the one God has described in I Timothy and Titus that shall hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
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Alecia Lawyer


Member of the parish for 26 years
Larry and I, along with our boys, Jacob and Zachary, have been involved in many areas of St. John the Divine through more than two decades. From Catechisis, the Youth program, and acolyting for the boys, to singing in the choir, small groups like Homebuilders, and vestry service for us, we have witnessed the Holy Spirit thriving in our church. SJD is a house of prayer and I am so hopeful and joyful about our future here. Founding ROCO was a blessed act of obedience to the inspiration God placed in my heart.
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Jim Loftis

Jim Loftis
Member of the parish for 22 years
This parish has an nearly unique position in Houston, able to reach across many divides to connect with almost anyone in our community as messengers of the Gospel. Helping with the search allows all of us to contribute to assuring that this remains the future of this parish.
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Sarah McParland

Sarah McParland
Member of the parish for 25 years
In the 25 years I have been an active member at SJD, God has constantly worked to show me how to love and serve him more each day. With great joy and excitement for what is to come here at SJD, I will faithfully serve on this committee to find our 6th rector. My involvement over the years has given me a broad understanding of much of the ministry that goes on including: teaching Catechisis, Sunday School, confirmation class and Adult Education; leading Bible studies and small home groups; service on the vestry and as a hospital visitor; and teaching English as a Second Language. These experiences have confirmed for me that God uses his people at this church to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I pray that these experiences will be used by the Holy Spirit to help me discern my role on the committee and whom we should call.
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Susan Neuhaus


Member of the parish for 10 years
I love this church. St John’s has always encouraged, loved and supported my family. We are so blessed to be a part of this church community. I am honored to serve on the search committee and I look forward to seeing God’s plan revealed for St. John the Divine.
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Meg Rice

Meg Rice
Member of the parish for 40 years
SJD has been the vehicle through which my spiritual life has grown. I love the "body of Christ" in our church and am happy to serve in the next rector search. My commitment to the Word of God who is Jesus and the "word" of God that we read in the Bible are the pillars we will be leaning into in this process. Please be in prayer for the unity, discernment and wisdom for this committee as we seek God's will.
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Philip Tardy

Philip Tardy
Member of the parish for 3 years
My wife Courtney and I came to St. John the Divine from another Episcopal church in the Houston area as we were seeking an active church with a large youth and children's ministry and excellent teaching for adults. We have three children, ranging in age from 10 to 16. I quickly found a place on the Associate Vestry, and have enjoyed becoming involved with several ministries. My oldest daughter and I traveled on the Bolivian mission trip, and she is an acolyte. My son is in confirmation classes this year. My youngest daughter sings in the children's choir. We have found SJD to be a place that welcomes all, and I hope to find a rector that has a welcoming and open spirit.
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Elizabeth Toedt

Elizabeth Toedt
Member of the parish for 28 years
The clergy, staff, and parishioners at St. John the Divine have supported me from birth through adulthood. From Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to Children’s Choir to Young Professionals, I know from my experience that God is at work in the people of this church. The people who went before me selected rectors that helped shape my spiritual development. I am honored to be able to help in the selection of the sixth rector for the next generation.
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Eric Wade


Member of the parish for 9 years
I am married to Leslie (23 years) and we have three children who are active in SJD’s youth programs (Peter-11th grade, Elizabeth-7th grade and Thomas-5th grade). SJD is our spiritual home and the congregation is an extension of our family. I have had the honor of serving SJD in many roles including as a member of the Fifth Rector Search Committee, Vestry member and as Senior Warden in 2017, chair of the Stewardship Committee, Associate Vestry member, and as a small group leader. I look forward to working with the search committee to find our next rector to continue the good work and service that we have been called to do as a parish. Prayer is critical for our common work and I appreciate (in advance) prayers for the search committee and the rector candidates that we will encounter.
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Jennifer Weston


Member of the parish for 30 years
I have been a member of St. John's for 30 years, and my children, Mary and Andrew were baptized and confirmed here. It was a special gift to be part of one of the children's choir pilgrimages to Canterbury and hear our children sing in the Cathedral. In more recent years, I have been a member of the Outreach/Local Grants Committee. It is a privilege to work with dedicated parishioners on this Committee and to think about how the gifts of St. John's can be used to help others in our community. The Outreach potential of this church is amazing! It is an honor to be a part of the process to seek our next Rector and I look forward to where God's plan will lead us.
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