Our 23rd Rector: The Rev. Winnie Varghese
Plans are underway to give our next rector a BIG LOVE welcome at St. Luke's on Sunday, August 8. Winnie will preach at both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Eucharists. Following each service there will be time for parishioners to personally greet their new pastor. Details coming on these "reception" gatherings.
August 8 will be quite a day at St. Luke's as it is a baptismal feast day when we will renew our baptismal vows, Community Ministries will hold its Love Hydration water drive for Crossroads and clergy will bless the backpacks our kids will carry with them to school each day. It's going to be a great day. Please plan to be a part of it!
The vestry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is thrilled to announce that the Rev. Winnie Varghese will be our next rector. A national leader in the Episcopal Church, Varghese is known for her inspired writing, teaching and preaching. She is currently serving as Priest for Ministry and Program Coordination at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.
Prior to Trinity, Winnie served as Rector and Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s in the Bowery in New York. Winnie was also Chaplain at both Columbia University and University of California Los Angeles. She is a native of Dallas, Texas and is married to Elizabeth Toledo, a public relations executive. They have two grown children.
“I am so excited to join the community of St. Luke's in ministry in Atlanta! I have been so inspired by the people of St. Luke's in the search process, and I pray the same discerning, creative, and adventurous Spirit marks the years ahead,” Winnie, who will be the 23rd rector of St. Luke's, said.
“Winnie is one of the most prominent, inspiring voices in the Episcopal Church and the vestry is so happy that she accepted our call,” said Melba Hughes, senior warden. “She has the experience, the passion and a vision that will bring great things to our already remarkable parish.”
“After a comprehensive national search spanning more than two years, St. Luke’s successfully identified a leader who exemplifies the aspirational attributes and experiences that we envisioned in our parish profile,” said Greg Vaughn, chair of the search committee. “We are thrilled that Winnie has accepted the call to lead St. Luke's and our amazing congregation.”
The Right Rev. Rob Wright, Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, said he had known Winnie for nearly 20 years and described her as an acclaimed and popular speaker. He said he is excited to welcome her to the diocese and looks forward to working with her.
“She is widely regarded as someone who is thoughtful about what it means to live for Jesus Christ in the 21st century,” the Bishop said.
Winnie is a published author, editor, and podcaster.
Winnie’s parents immigrated to the United States from India, and Winnie spent part of her early childhood years there. She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA and earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She then attended Union Theological Seminary and graduated with her Master of Divinity degree in 1999.
She was ordained to the diaconate in Los Angeles in 1999 and to the priesthood six months later in 2000.
St. Luke’s will spend the coming weeks celebrating and thanking our wonderful interim rector, the Rev. Ed Bacon. Winnie is expected to start at St. Luke’s in August.