St. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Parish is pleased to announce that we have called a new Rector, the Rev. Robert J. Hendrickson III. This call is the culmination of many months of work on the part of the Search Committee assessing the gifts and skills of prospective candidates, and discerning work on the part of the Vestry in meeting with the finalist candidates.
Fr. Robert comes to St. Philip’s after serving for three years as the Sub-Dean and Acting Dean of Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Cathedral’s ministries and worship, Cathedral administration, and the development of new mission initiatives. As Sub-Dean, Fr. Robert oversaw the work of the 19 lay professionals who work in communications, finance, administration, music, and formation. In addition to the lay staff, Fr. Robert oversaw and coordinated the programmatic work of three canons and the curate.
He attended The General Theological Seminary, was ordained to the priesthood in 2011, and served as a curate at Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut. There he started the Saint Hilda’s House and Ascension House intentional communities in which as many as 22 young adults a year worked and prayed together for the good of the poor in the city. He has also worked with the Ecumenical Office of the Episcopal Church, co-founded the Society of Catholic Priests of the Episcopal Church, and recently completed a book on young adult ministry titled Yearning: Authentic Transformation, Young Adults, and the Church. He is currently working on two separate books: one on mission entitled Broken and Blessed: Sacraments and Service in the Church and Sacramental Leadership: Making Christ Known in Our Parish Culture. Fr. Robert’s proudest achievement at Saint John’s was his leadership in the partnership that is constructing permanent housing on the Cathedral’s property for 52 formerly homeless individuals.
He attended Cornell University, studying Chinese language, and Beijing Foreign Studies University, studying Chinese language and Modern Chinese History. His undergraduate work was in International Studies at the Croft Institute at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Prior to ordained ministry, Fr. Robert was the Corporate Communications Director for Brooks Brothers, leading the creative staff in producing catalogs, web site design, and internal communications.
He is married to Dr. Karrie Cummings Hendrickson, who is a researcher for Yale-New Haven Hospital. They have two sons, Nikolas (age 5) and Brayden (age 2), who became part of their family through lots of prayer and adoption in August 2015. They are the proud companions of Becket (a dolorous basset hound), Penelope (a fearless dachshund), Cuthbert (a once indomitable raccoon fighting cat), and Marshmallow (a rotund cat prone to wild fits of napping). The whole family enjoys lots of hiking, reading, and writing; Nikolas plays the piano and sings in the choir while Brayden enjoys cultivating his huge collection of stuffed animals.
The Hendricksons are thrilled to be coming to Tucson. “Karrie and I cannot begin to express the excitement we are feeling as we prepare to minister alongside you all in the city of Tucson. ‘The holiness of beauty’ has proved true in every way in our walk with you through this discernment. The space is gorgeous, the building evocative, and the grounds stunning. Yet it was none of these things that truly drew us — the real beauty here is the people we have met. Your faith, generosity of spirit, joy, and genuine loving-kindness are a joy to us. Sometimes, in the midst of the many changes and chances in this life, it can be hard to imagine that God is working something miraculous for us. Then you meet a friend, find a place, or hear a word that lets you see and know that all shall be well — that God is taking our whole lives and our too few days and blessing us without ceasing. This has been our experience of St. Philip’s — we have met friends and found a place and heard from you the kind of faith and compassion that will make it a blessing to us and, more importantly, that will be the rich ground where we will meet and bless so many in this city. May God add his blessing to all the work and worship that we will offer in his name at St. Philip’s for years to come!”
St. Philip’s is grateful to our Interim Rector and Search Consultant, the Rev. Canon Frank H. Clark, to the Search Committee, and to the Vestry for their hard work and commitment that led to this call. We look forward with joy to this next stage in our journey as we strive to do God’s work in the world and welcome the Rev. Hendrickson and his family to St. Philip’s.