Rest in Peace, Rise in Glory: March 1, 2023

Edward Chalfant

The Rt. Rev. Edward Cole Chalfant, Bishop of Maine from 1986 to 1996, died January 24 at 85.

He was born in Pittsburgh, and was a graduate of Wesleyan University and Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1963, and served parishes in Florida and Ohio. He was elected Bishop Coadjutor of Maine in 1984, and served in that role for two years. As bishop, he focused on strengthening lay ministry.

The bishop resigned in 1996 after admitting to committing adultery. His marriage survived that challenge. He and his wife, Marydee, whom he met while working at a waterfront inn as a college student on summer break, were married for 63 years.

Chalfant’s ministry entered a new chapter after he returned to Florida. The Rev. James Cooper, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, invited him to join the parish clergy. When Christ Church launched a mission congregation a few miles south, the bishop served on a clergy team and then became its vicar in 2004. It is now known as Christ Church Among the Oaks.

“He always said that the years working with this dedicated congregation were the happiest time of his ministry,” a family obituary said.

The bishop’s survivors, in addition to his wife, include his brother and sister, a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren. As the bishop requested, he will be buried during a private service in Maine.

John Conrad

The Rev. John William Conrad, a commercial pilot and flight instructor before his ordination, died January 16 at 70.

Conrad was born in Victorville, California, and spent all his years of ministry in the state. He was a graduate of Thomas Edison State College and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He was ordained deacon in 1996 and priest in 1997, and led several churches in the dioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego. He was rector of All Saints’ Church, Riverside, from 2008 to 2018.

Conrad had a broad range of interests. He once described himself as “priest, pilot, poet, counselor, confessor, confidant, and spiritual proctologist.” He wrote in his book To the Least of These: A Better Church Response to Homelessness that the issue would not be solved until Christians saw the poor as their true siblings in Christ.

Shortly before his death, Conrad wrote: “I do accept Jesus as my Savior, and I do put my whole trust in his grace and love. It feels good. I go into the welcoming arms of my Lord Jesus feeling the warm embrace of an all-loving and all-forgiving God. I am truly at peace, and greet the prospect of the next life with guarded anticipation.”

He is survived by his wife, Shannon M. Murphy, two sons, and two grandchildren.

The Rev. Canon Brian Desmond Freeland died December 8 at St. John’s Convent and Guest House, Toronto, at 97.

Freeland was an associate priest at St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, Toronto, for 60 years, worked as director of religious programming for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for decades, and was an avid supporter of the arts.

He served on the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod Worship Committee, was secretary of the Bishops’ Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Toronto, columnist on liturgy for the Anglican Journal, sometime chairman of the Canadian Liturgical Society, sometime chairman of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius, and superior-general of the Canadian Province of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

Joseph Green

The Hon. Rev. Dr. Joseph N. Green Jr., who began his ministry under Jim Crow laws but later served for two decades in the city government of Norfolk, Virginia, died January 13 at 96. Green served in the U.S. Navy beginning in 1943, working as pharmacist’s mate in Great Lakes, Illinois.

He “was a beloved public servant who spent 20 years on Norfolk City Council starting in 1977, including three terms as vice mayor, and served as rector of Grace Episcopal Church from 1963 to 1993,” Katrina Dix wrote for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. “He is recognized for breathing life into housing, education, and transportation in Norfolk, from the downtown Tidewater Community College campus to the light rail system.”

Green was born in Jenkinsville, South Carolina, and was a graduate of St. Augustine’s College, Philadelphia Divinity School, and the School of Theology at the University of the South. A portrait of Jenkins now hangs in an administration building at Sewanee.

He was ordained deacon in 1953 and priest in 1954. He served churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and was chaplain at St. Augustine’s College. At Sewanee, he earned a Master of Sacred Theology degree. He was an important advocate for St. Paul’s College, a historically Black Episcopal college in Lawrenceville, Virginia, that closed in 2013.

Fr. Green is survived by Evelyn G. Green, his wife of 67 years, a son, a daughter, two grandsons, and one great-grandson.

“What I most admired was that, for the sake of the Gospel, he was larger than his pain from the institutional racism inflicted by the Church and, by the grace of God, kept his soul,” Bishop Nathan Baxter wrote in a tribute published by the Union of Black Episcopalians, which Green helped create and led as president (1975-77). “And God blessed the church (local and national) through his faithful labors.”


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