Sunday, November 15, 2009
The Very Rev. James M. Jensen 1946 - 2009
The Very Rev. James M. Jensen, 62, of New Hartford, Rector of Grace Church, Utica and Dean of the Utica-Rome District of the Diocese of Central New York, died suddenly November 14, 2009.
Fr. Jensen graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1969. He graduated from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois in 1972. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1972 at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison, Wisconsin. He served parishes in Greenville, MI, Joliet, IL, Delavan, WI, DeKalb, IL and Hinsdale, IL prior to becoming Rector of Grace Church, Utica in 2001.
Fr. Jensen also served the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York as a member of the Executive Board and the Standing Committee.
The funeral will be held on Thursday at 7 PM at Grace Church, Utica where a Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams, III, Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Central New York . Calling hours will be on Thursday from 3-6 PM at Grace Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Grace Church Music Fund or the Society of St. Margaret – Haiti.
UPDATE - From the parish:
UTICA, N.Y. The wardens, Vestry and congregation of Grace Church ask the Utica-area community to join us in prayer as we mourn the passing Saturday of the Very Rev. James M. Jensen, Rector of Grace Church since 2001.
Father Jensen died at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, N.Y., near Binghamton after being stricken while attending an ordination service in Chenango Bridge. His wife Kathryn and members of the clergy were with him.
He was 62. Father Jensen was the 11th Rector in the history of Grace Church, founded in 1838 in Utica. Grace Church is located at the corner of Elizabeth and Genesee streets.
The Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, traveled from Syracuse to Grace Church Sunday morning to support the congregation at both the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Masses.
Bishop Adams pointed to the beginning of Sundays second reading from the letter to the Hebrews, which talks of priests standing day after day at their services. He said it reflected Father Jensens commitment to Grace Church.
He loved being a priest, the bishop said in addressing the congregation at the 10:30 a.m. Mass. He loved being your priest. And he loved you.
Bishop Adams counseled the congregation members to minister to each other in our grief.
Father Jensen was called to be Grace Churchs Rector in spring 2001 following an extensive nationwide search. He served previously at parishes in the mid-west.
During his 8 years at Grace, Father Jensen showed a deep love and commitment to the people of the parish. He gave great support to the music program, to the churchs Christian Education programs and to various community missions, which include a thrift shop on Devereux Street. He was extensively involved in ecumenical efforts with other Utica-area religious leaders and served in several diocesan-level roles including Diocesan Dean for the Eastern District, which includes the Mohawk Valley.
During his tenure, Father Jensen oversaw mergers with St. Georges Episcopal Church in South Utica and St. Pauls Episcopal Church in North Utica.
Susan Ulrich, Directress of the Grace Church Altar Society, had served on the search committee that helped bring Father Jensen to Utica.
He was an outstanding priest in all the capacities in which he served, both in the parish, and in the Diocese, Ulrich said. He guided the Altar Society members in their work through the myriad of liturgies over the year, always in a caring manner and with a wonderful sense of humor. We all feel blessed to have had him serve as our Rector, for what we now realize was much too short a timeframe. He will be missed immensely by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.
Posted by klady at 1:22 AM