Jim is a nationally known leader, educator, consultant, preacher and pastor. Prior to his appointment at Christ Church Greenwich he served as the Director of Mission for the Episcopal Church, USA and was the Dean and President of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, an internationally recognized institution of theological education and leadership. Additionally, his ministry has included service in a large and vital urban parish and Episcopal school, as a university chaplain and in two major cathedral churches.
Having performed significant public ministry and served as a leader at the diocesan, provincial and national level, Lemler, helped to shape the mission of the Episcopal Church in chairing roles for the Standing Commission on the Church in Metropolitan Areas and the Standing Commission on Domestic Mission and Evangelism. He is widely called upon as a teacher, writer, conference leader, preacher, and consultant in areas of congregational development, leadership development, education, spirituality, and mission. His experience also includes consultation and leadership in philanthropy and stewardship with various foundations and the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes, and in education through the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans.
Nationally recognized as a presenter and educator in congregational development, Lemler helped to launch the 20/20 Vision for domestic mission and congregational life in the Episcopal Church, a movement which works towards embracing fully the stated mission of the Church and is a goal that General Convention adopted in July 2000 to contribute to the growth and vitality of the Church and its congregations.
Dr. Lemler has published various articles and essays, study guides for the Episcopal Media Center, trustee education materials, Vestry Papers contributions, and journals. His publications include, Serving Those In Need, 20/20: A Vision for the Church, God and Money, Groundwork: Resources for Congregational Growth and Transformation, Moving Ahead in Mission, and Groundwork II (Year B): Resources for Congregational Growth and Transformation. Additionally, he is the editor of the Transformation Series (2008) from Church Publishing Group and the author of the third book in that series, Transforming Congregations.
The Rev'd Jennifer M. Owen
Curate and Youth Minister, 203.869.6600, x-11
Jenny, a recent graduate from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, serves as Curate and Youth Minister at Christ Church Greenwich. Originally from San Clemente, CA, Jenny adopted the Northeast as her home when she moved to Manhattan in 1995 to attend New York University where she received a BA and MA in European Politics and Policy. In seminary she especially enjoyed her study of scripture, theology of the early church, ethics and Christian spirituality. In the spring of 2011, Jenny was a recipient of the Harriet Jackson Ely Prize for Promise and Excellence in Theological Study. Her career prior to seminary included government relations and research analysis for the city’s tourism industry, lobbying, and working for New York Governor George Pataki.
During her time in New York City, Jenny found a sanctuary where she could worship God, be in relationship with a loving Christian community and explore her faith and doubts at her home parish, Church of the Ascension. There she was recruited to teach Sunday school and to serve as a lay Eucharistic visitor, on the vestry and capital campaign, and with the altar and acolyte guilds. In her ministry and career, Jenny sought to find ways to offer the radical welcome and love that Christ calls us to extend to all people both within the church and in the world. While in seminary, heeding God’s call to seek and serve Christ in all persons, Jenny participated in food ministries in New Haven and went on several mission trips to rural Haiti, where she and her husband, Sam, continue to remain in close relationship with Ste. Marie Madeleine Episcopal Church and School in Bondeau. She served as a seminarian intern at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Naugatuck and St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church and School in New Haven. In addition to regular opportunities to lead in and preach during worship, Jenny served on the leadership team for an Emmaus weekend for youth in Naugatuck and coordinated a joint mission with St. Thomas’s New Haven and St. John’s North Haven bringing a small group to Bondeau, Haiti to build a playground and minister with the people of Ste. Marie Madaleine Episcopal Church and School.
Jenny lives in Greenwich with her husband, Sam, whom she married in the summer of 2012. Sam serves as Vicar and Deacon-in-Charge at the Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan in the Bronx. In August 2013, Jenny and Sam were blessed with the birth of their son, Martin.
As Curate and Youth Minister at Christ Church, Jenny shares the liturgical and pastoral responsibilities with the Rector and clergy as well as lay ministers of the congregation. Working with youth and families, Jenny is passionate about journeying with people of all ages as we wrestle with our faith and seek to serve God, each other, our communities and our world. Her career, ministry, studies and life make Jenny well acquainted with the balancing act of trying to integrate the commitments and vocations of family, friendship, ministry, work and study in a busy and demanding world. She seeks to serve and minister with the folks of Christ Church and beyond bearing witness to the Gospel that proclaims a living and loving God of grace, peace, justice and mercy.