Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fwd: St. Bartholomew's Calls New Rector

It's official ... Mixed emotions today. Joy and excitement - sad to leave St Dunstans and a heart full of gratitude. 


From: "St. Bart's" <>
Date: August 2, 2014 at 12:01:02 PM 
Subject: St. Bartholomew's Calls New 

St. Bart's Outside       
 St. Bartholomew's Calls New Rector

Next Rector of St. Bartholomew's - Father Mark McKone-Sweet 


Father Mark McKone-Sweet has accepted the call to serve as the next rector of St. Bart's. He comes to us from St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Dover, Massachusetts where he has served as rector for five years. St. Dunstan's is a church which has grown from family size parish to a larger pastoral size parish--approximately 100 households--in the past four years with Fr. Mark's leadership and guidance.

Prior to this he spent five years at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Natick, Massachusetts where he was seminarian and later promoted to the Assistant Rector. During this time, St. Paul's went from a pastoral sized parish to a program sized church--about 240 households.

Fr. Mark is a lifelong Episcopalian. His family includes wife Kate and children Maya and Marcos. He will begin new ministry with St. Bart's parish on Oct. 4, 2014, the feast day of St. Francis.

Educational and Business Background
Father Mark's educational background includes a BA from Wheaton College (Norton, Massachusetts) in 1992 where he majored in International Relations (minors in Economics and Music) and an MBA in 2002 from Northeastern University (Boston) where he graduated in the top 10 percent of his class. He received his Master's degree in divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School (concentration in Liturgics) in Cambridge, MA in May, 2007.

Prior to following his call to ordained ministry, Fr. Mark worked twelve years in the business field for Equal Exchange--a fair-trade gourmet coffee, tea, and chocolate company. At Equal Exchange he served as Director of Sales (grew sales from $1 million to $14 million), and a member of both the Senior Management team and the Board of Directors. Of particular note, during Mark's time at Equal Exchange, he co-led two organizational strategic planning processes, designed and implemented the new product development process, hired and managed a team of 40 people in three offices, initiated cultural exchange programs to visit coffee farmers, and developed partnerships with church denominations. Additionally (while working at Equal Exchange), Mark served three years as the Youth Minister at his home church and then later served two years as the youth minister for a four parish collaborative.

Diocesan Work
Father Mark plays an active role in the diocese of Massachusetts. He is currently vice president of the Diocesan Standing Committee that just led the diocese through the discernment process and the election of a new Bishop. Father Mark also successfully stepped in to lead management of a $425,000 budget process. He was co-president of the Diocese of Massachusetts Clergy Association, representing over 600 clergy. In this role, Mark helped develop collaborative learning programs for clergy and lay leaders, including workshops with author, Phyllis Tickle and Ray Suarez of the PBS network. Fr. Mark is on the board of directors of the Protestant chaplaincy of the Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Youth and Mission Work
"Youth are the future leaders of our country, and we have all made a covenant with God to help deepen their lives. If we see our mission as forming a child for 16 years, into their adulthood, then we can weave together critical milestones, curriculums, worship styles, and outreach to develop each youth to become a spiritual leader by their word and through their example. Shall our goal be to send each youth off to college, military service or whatever with a full spiritual toolbox in hand? I say yes!"...From Father Mark's answers to the supplemental questions from the Calling Committee April 2014.

Fr. Mark has been the chaplain for the Massachusetts Diocesan youth retreats and camps for the past five years. He is a leadership council member of the Episcopal Divinity School. Mark volunteers one day per week as a teacher and chaplain (organizing the weekly Eucharist) at the Epiphany School for at-risk middle school students in inner-city Boston. He has annually participated in and led US and international mission trips with youth for the past twenty years.

From Father Mark's blog, June 24, 2014..."These fine youth go forth as representatives with the blessings of our parish and diocese. Follow along here as we seek Christ while we serve others, and, God willing, discover Christ within ourselves too."

"I have been a leader of annual cultural exchange groups, mission trips, and delegations for over 20 years. I develop, lead by example, train new leadership and get out of the way. I do it because it is critical for people to work together, face to face in ministry. The groups have life changing experiences with Christ... powerful to experience and powerful to witness."...From an email on July 7 to the Calling Committee who were seeking information on Father Mark's mission work.

Current Rector Position-St. Dunston's Episcopal Church, Dover, MA
At St. Dunstan's, Father Mark led the parish in adopting a five-year ministry strategic plan including a Christian Education "think tank." He grew the annual pledging participation from 56 to 93 family pledging units, and stewardship income from $180,000 to $280,000. He added a new education hour between Sunday services. He expanded outreach ministry to include annual mission trips for adults and youth. He is currently developing a men's group and a women's group. He holds annual retreats for vestry and Sunday school teachers. He re-started the Dover-Sherborn clergy association where he led or organized community discussions on 9/11 memorial services, youth safety, drug use, and gun control.

Prior Position-St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Natick, MA

Father Mark was called to be seminarian and was later promoted to Assistant Rector at St. Paul's by the rector, Father Jon Strand, as St. Paul's was undergoing considerable growth. Mark was selected because of his business experience in growth management. He led growth in the children and youth programs to better serve over 220 participants. He co-developed a renewed stewardship team with new lay leadership, increasing pledging by 50% over a two-year period. He provided management support for the rector to make improvements in staff development, parish annual planning processes, and management systems needed for continued parish growth. He supported lay-led initiatives to incorporate new members in church activities.

Faith Through Technology
"Today we held snow church." ...From Father Mark's Reflection on YouTube for those who were unable to leave their homes because of weather. February 16, 2014.

Father Mark uses modern technology to reach beyond the walls of the church. This year, his YouTube videos are aimed at parishioners who were unable to make a service and to the community at large. They range from "snow church"--too much snow and sleet for members to get out--to the meaning of Ash Wednesday and a Memorial Day tribute. He uses social media (Facebook, Blogging, and Twitter) to stay in contact with parish members and to let others know the "happenings" at St. Dunstan's. He has participated as a panelist on a local cable station in a multi-faith forum that included four TV shows.

Father Mark McKone-Sweet brings a wonderful family with him to St. Bart's. His wife, Kathleen (Kate) McKone-Sweet is currently a professor at Babson College where she is the chair of the division of Technology, Operations, and Information Management. Kate and Mark have two children, Maya, who is 10 and Marcos, who is 7. Father Mark is the coach for both children's teams (softball and baseball).

"My liturgical style is grounded in tradition and incorporates my deep passion to bring together the full community of God's people: welcoming all, engaging all members of the parish family and lifting everyone for the ministry that awaits as we pass though the narthex doors...this takes work, in addition to prayer. With a shared interest in God's work, companionship emerges. Incorporating is more than creating a feeling of welcome: it is embracing together the opportunity for transformation in shared ministry."...From Father Mark's Ministry Portfolio with application to St. Bart's.

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