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The Reverend Jenna Strizak, Rector
Mother Jenna (or just Jenna, whatever you prefer) comes to St. Benedict’s from Holy Trinity Parish, Decatur, GA, where she served as associate rector for over eight years. She served as a priest to the whole parish-- sharing in sacramental and administrative leadership-- with particular passions for teaching and preaching, small group ministries, building up the ministry of the baptized, and working with young children and their families. Jenna graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and received her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, with a focus on Anglican/Episcopal Studies and Christian Formation. She was ordained a deacon in 2012 and a priest on Baptism of Our Lord in 2013. Before ordination, Jenna worked as a hospice chaplain and college admissions counselor.
Mother Jenna is committed to serving the whole church; she served as president of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Atlanta and currently serves on the Commission on Ministry. Jenna is also chaplain for one of the Episcopal residential houses at Candler, working with seminarians as they are formed for ministry. Her favorite book of scripture is John’s gospel: and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us!
Jenna was born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and spent nine years in Western Massachusetts before moving to Atlanta in 2008; she’s been in love with this state and this diocese ever since. In non-covid times, Jenna is an avid Sacred Harp singer: singing old, American a cappella hymns together… loudly! She’s a slow-but-committed hiker, a creative cook, and loves road trips and spending time with her two year old goddaughter.
The Reverend Daron Vroon, Associate Rector
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I am thrilled, humbled, and grateful to be joining St. Benedict’s as your new associate rector for family, youth, and children. Previously, I was just up the road at St. James’ Church in Marietta, where I served for the past eleven years as associate rector. Before that, I served as curate at St. Columba’s Church in Suwanee, Georgia, where I oversaw the formation program for youth and children.
I have a deep passion for pastoral ministry and formation in the broadest sense of those terms. How can we as individuals, families, and a congregation grow in our practice and understanding of the faith, opening ourselves to the guidance of the Spirit to grow into the full stature of Christ? How can we encourage and join one another in that journey? How can the Church best equip and support her members in that pursuit? And how do we do all that in the particular time and place that God has called us? These are questions that I look forward to exploring with all of you, and in particular with the children, youth, and families of St. Benedict’s.
Prior to becoming a priest, I was an academic. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Hope College, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. I credit this background for equipping me with a love of learning, teaching, experimenting, and careful thinking.
I met my wonderful wife, Julie, during grad school. We have three boys: Isaac (15), James (13), and Charlie (7). I know first hand about the joys and challenges of trying to live out the Gospel as a family and raise children and teens in the Christian faith!
When I am not working or running kids to events and appointments, I enjoy following Braves baseball, working on DIY projects around the yard and the house, and getting out for a walk or hike in nature.
I am grateful to Mother Jenna, the search committee, and the vestry of Saint Benedict’s for this opportunity. I am excited to serve this parish with Mother Jenna as your priest and associate rector, and to work with the staff and volunteers to help build a robust and fruitful ministry to children, youth, and families. I cannot wait to meet you all in person, and see what God has in store for us in the coming years together!
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