The Rev. Jedediah Holdorph II, the new rector at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Medford, will be officially installed at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Celebration of New Ministry service, presided over by the bishop of the Archdiocese of Oregon, Johncy Itty.

Holdorph, 47, arrived a few months ago from Libertyville, Ill., where he was minister at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church. He replaces longtime St. Mark's rector David Close.

Aside from the Rogue Valley's beauty and recreational opportunities, Holdorph was attracted here, he said, by St. Mark's strong outreach ministries, such as its on-site emergency family shelter, called St. Mark's House.

I was attracted by the warmth and concern of the congregation for all our neighbors, he said, as well as the shared effort with the Baptist church for teen parents, the way members help with Habitat for Humanity and other programs.

Holdorph, now of Ashland, arrived a few months ago with his wife, Barbara Morris, and son, Adam, who attends Ashland High School. A grown daughter attends college in Ohio.
— The new minister said his church doesn't have a statement on the day's controversial issues, such as gay clergy (approved by the national church a few years ago), but is open, inviting and accepting of all differences of opinion, while maintaining the church's traditions, roots and heritage.

Said Holdorph, My response is that I support people.

Holdorph added that the churches of Christianity live in a changing world that does not unthinkingly embrace an identity as a Christian society and that, rather than feel terribly despairing, he sees it as a chance for us to think about what it means to be Christian and what tasks we have in proclaiming the Good News.

His sermons since arriving here, he said, have been focused on using the gifts God has given us to make this a better world.

St. Mark's, at Oakdale Avenue and Fifth Street in Medford, holds services Sunday mornings at 7:45, 9 and 10:45. Minister at the installation service Tuesday will be a close friend of Holdorph's, the Rev. Bonnie Perry of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago.