On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Rt. Rev. José McLoughlin installed the Rev. Logan Lovelace as rector at Saint Mary's and Saint Stephen's in Morganton.
The Rev. Logan C. Lovelace began serving Saint Mary's and Saint Stephen's in June 2022. Logan earned his Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and his Bachelor of Arts from North Park University in Chicago, IL. Prior to his call to the priesthood, Logan taught English at an alternative high school.
"I believe God is ever-present in creation and in all the people we meet. I listen and look for God in all I encounter," Lovelace said.
Logan and his wife Corey are excited to call Morganton their home. Both love the outdoors and are devoted hikers and campers. They have two chill cats and one energetic boxer. When not at church, Logan enjoys exploring new places, eating delicious food, and practicing his photography.
Below is a short Q&A with the Rev. Lovelace.
What do you love about Saint Mary's and Saint Stephen's?
The people. The community of St. Mary's St. Stephen's is special. I noticed it immediately from my first visit and when I initially started my call here. The people here put in the work to ensure that being in church is possible. From volunteering to clean, to assisting in worship, to serving the greater community through outreach efforts, to the "Holy Mowers," there is little that isn't done personally by the people here. The heart and faith here are undeniable. It seems no matter what comes their way, they keep moving forward. The space is also lovely, and having grown up close to Morganton, being here almost feels like coming home. The Holy Spirit is moving.
What are some current ministries of the church, and how will you work with those?
Currently, SMSS is involved in a number of ministries. The most active ministry is probably with Burke United Christian Ministries. We have volunteers who cook and serve once a month in the BUCM kitchen. We collect food for the pantry and we participate during special times of the year- we cooked 13 turkeys last year for Thanksgiving. We also open our space weekly to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scout troop is active in helping with a number of our ministries as well.
Do you have any new initiatives or implementations in mind?
I don't want to speak too soon, but we do have a vision for the near and future mission of SMSS. Our Vestry has set goals for the coming year, which includes growing our ministries. Right now, we are really focusing on gathering and spending time together. Since Covid, I believe it is important that we make time and try to be with one another. We've been holding events like game and movie nights, having regular theology socials out in the community, and we had a faith story-sharing night, with hopefully many more to come. I've also started a weekly healing service.
Thanks to the generosity of the Diocese, especially Fiscal Ministries and The Episcopal Foundation of Western North Carolina, who awarded us money through the Restoration Grant, we are going to be able to make some much-needed updates on our property. Stewardship of our resources and space is important to us and is what helps make it
possible for us to continue to do ministry. We are grateful to be a part of the Diocese of Western North Carolina.
Lastly, we've been in prayer and discerning what having a community garden would look like. We are grateful for the beautiful grounds we have and think this could be an asset in our ministry to our larger community. We have mapped out and thought about how we could do this in stages. We know it truly needs to be a community endeavor, but every day we are seeing things come together to make this possible.