Geoffrey Collis

The Rev. Geoffrey Collis, who served parishes across the Diocese of New Jersey, died October 2, aged 70.

Raised in Rumson, New Jersey, he was a graduate of Rider University and General Seminary. Following his ordination in 1976, he served as curate of Christ Church in Toms River, where he later became priest in charge. He became rector of St. James Church in Long Branch in 1981 and served there for 18 years. After leaving Long Branch, he served in interim ministry for churches in Somers Point, New Providence, Barnegat Light, Cranford, Cranbury, and Ventnor. He was a member of the diocesan ecumenical commission for many years and an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross.

He had a lifelong love of sacred music, fostered by singing as a teenager in the choir of men and boys at St. George’s by the River in Rumson. He loved travel and started every morning with the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Collis is survived by his sister, Diane West, and by several nieces and grand nieces and nephews.

 

Melissa L. Kean

The Rev. Melissa L. Kean, a gifted young priest, died tragically on September 12, aged 30.

A native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, she graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder, with degrees in ecology and studio art. After teaching English in South Korea for a year, she became minister of formation at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Colorado Springs.

She trained for the ministry at the School of Theology of the University of the South and was awarded the prize for excellence in community service for her work in establishing the school’s Annual Women’s Lecture. She was ordained to the priesthood in 2019 and served as associate rector of St. Peter’s Church in Rome, Georgia.

Her family remembered, “Melissa was an absolute masterpiece. She was intelligent, witty, creative, adventurous, passionate, kind… Melissa embodied abundance. Abundant good food and good drink. Abundant charity and abundant hospitality. Abundant generosity and abundant creativity. Abundant options and abundant opportunities to entertain guests. Abundant forgiveness and abundant affection for her friends.”

“Melissa appreciated liturgy for how it gives us glimpses into the vastness of God’s heart, and how it gives structure to the chaos and vulnerability of prayer. She prided herself on being a tough nut to crack, but she was easily moved by a thoughtful sermon delivered by a friend, and she often wept while she sang. When she needed to cry, she sang ‘There Is A Balm in Gilead’ and talked about Jesus.”

Kean is survived by her parents, Bob and Linda, her brother Chris, and her cat, Sakari.

Arthur Adams Lovekin

The Rev. Canon Dr. Arthur Adams Lovekin, whose long and varied ministry included missionary service and work as a clinical psychologist, died September 22, aged 91.

Lovekin was born in Boston and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in biology. He studied theology at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the University of the South and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.

After a brief stint as a curate in Tucson, he went to Liberia as a missionary and served as superintendent and chaplain of the Julia C. Emery School for Girls in Montserrado for two years. He returned to the United States to serve as vicar of St. John’s Church in Williams, Arizona, and founded St. David’s Church in neighboring Page in 1959. Three years later, while serving at St. Luke’s in Monrovia, California, he founded another congregation, St. John’s Mission in La Verne.

In 1969, Lovekin stepped away from parish ministry to study clinical psychology at Fuller Seminary, earning his Ph.D. in 1975. He was the co-author of Glossolalia: Behavioral Science Perspective on Speaking in Tongues, which is still considered a definitive work in the field. He also founded the Samaritan Counseling Center in Albuquerque, working with clients in the community, as well as in prisons and hospital. For more than 20 years he was an associate at the Cathedral Church of St. John in Albuquerque. Deploying once more a gift from his early years, his final ministry was as the founding vicar of the Church of the Holy Cross in Edgewood, New Mexico.

He married his late wife, Anne, in 1977 and was a loving father to their blended family of eight children, who survive him, along with 14 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.