The Reverend Dr. Anthony Hutchinson (“Father Tony”)
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Elliptical Glory (Father Tony’s Weblog)
Father Tony Hutchinson was raised in Moses Lake, Washington, on the dry Eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. He lived and studied in France as a college student, and received his Ph.D. in Biblical languages and literatures at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., studying under Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J., and Francis Gignac, S.J. He served 25 years as a U.S. diplomat, specializing in Public Diplomacy in China and serving also in Africa, retiring as a Counselor (equivalent to a one-star general) in the Senior Foreign Service in 2011. He was ordained in the Hong Kong Anglican Church in 2008. He served as chaplain at St. John’s Cathedral and taught Biblical languages and literature at Minghua Theological Seminary in Hong Kong. From 2009 to 2011 he served as Assisting Pastor and Minister of Music at the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing, China.
In late 2011, he was called as Rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Ashland, Oregon, home of Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He began his ministry there January 1, 2012. His wife of 37 years, Elena Hutchinson, accompanied him to live in Ashland. They have four grown children and three granddaughters. Fr. Tony speaks Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, French, and American Sign Language, and reads several biblical, classical, and ancient languages. He gardens, walks, and plays celtic harp.
The Murphys moved to Ashland in 2005 from Spokane, Washington. Her husband is The Rev. Tom Murphy who officially retired in 2000. He continued to do supply and interim work in the Diocese of Spokane until Huberta retired after a 26 year banking career.
Huberta was born and grew up in Spokane. She is a lifelong Episcopalian, being formed and nurtured at Holy Trinity Church, Spokane. As a young married adult, she and the family moved to California, later relocating to Seattle. Further moves were to Hoquiam, Washington; Fort Madison, Iowa; and back to hometown Spokane.
As a layperson Huberta’s ministry has included altar guild, child and adult education leader, mission board member, choir member, organist, Lay Eucharist Minister, lector, intercessory prayer group member, lay delegate to convention, Cursillo Secretariat. Huberta is an Associate of the Community of the Holy Spirit.
In addition to her professional education, Huberta is a graduate of the Education For Ministry program.
She and Tom have 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
The Rev. Deacon Carol Howser
The Rev. Carol Jordan Howser, Deacon, was born and raised in eastern Oregon, a land where you can see forever, where the wide open spaces get into your heart and your head, and give you time to be alone and quiet. Carol graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Education, spent time traveling and then lived in Medford for over a decade. When at last she moved to Ashland in 1974, it felt like settling into a soft, well-fitting glove.
Before becoming a deacon, Carol raised three children, a son and two daughters, and now has 3 grandchildren, much to her delight. For 16 years she owned a bookstore specializing in books for children and teachers. After her deaconate training, Carol was ordained in January of 1996 and has been working as Chaplain and Chaplain Coordinator for Lovejoy Hospice in Grants Pass since January 1997.
Her special ministry at Trinity has centered on pastoral care, particularly with Stephen Ministry leadership, and the training and scheduling of Lay Eucharistic Ministers. Sitting quiet and alone in wide open spaces these days? Well, only now and then.
The Rev. Deacon Meredith Ayer Pech
The Rev. Meredith Pech, Deacon, was born and raised in San Jose, California, and she attended the University of California at Santa Cruz. Meredith considers herself blessed to have been a “pioneer,” as a member of the first four-year class (1965-1969), where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History with an emphasis on American Studies. Upon graduation she furthered her education by spending eight months traveling through Europe and working on a kibbutz in Israel.
Following her travels Meredith spent a year working a minimum-wage job and received an entirely different sort of education! She moved to Oregon and obtained her standard elementary certificate from the University of Oregon. In September 1972, she took her first teaching job in a fourth grade class at Slater Elementary School in Burns, Oregon, a culture shock that taught her much more.
In August 1973, she married Bob Pech. They have three daughters: Margaret, Tessa and Laura. As Meredith’s partner in ministry, Bob is a model of quiet service with deep faith. In 1977, the family left Burns and moved to Ashland. In January 1981, Meredith began teaching at Walker School where she continues to this day. In her 28 years in education, she has taught grades 1, 3, 4 and 5. Teaching young children is both her passion and calling in the world.
Growing up, neither of her parents were regular churchgoers, but she was always called to be at church! She attended Presbyterian and Methodist churches as a youth. She discovered the Episcopal Church on Palm Sunday in 1979 when she walked into Trinity, and knew she was home. At Trinity, Meredith has worked on education and outreach programs, served on Vestry, as Senior Warden, reader and Lay Eucharistic Minister.
Meredith feels blessed by the support of the parish in her call to be a deacon. She attended the Diocesan School for Deacons and was ordained on St. Andrew’s day, November 30, 1996. “I find great joy in liturgical service. I am humbled by and thankful for the opportunity to preach.” Deacon Meredith’s ministries continue to focus on outreach, in particular through the school and education.
Director of Music Dr. Paul French
Dr. Paul French was so moved by a single performance at age 18 that it changed the course of his life. As a college student sitting in a music hall he experienced a performance of Josquin’s “Ave Maria.” He was so inspired that he changed his major and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California at Berkeley and Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California. After teaching and singing in the Los Angeles area for twelve years, French joined the music faculty at Southern Oregon University in 1990 and became conductor for the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers.
He is currently Director of Choral/Vocal Studies, and Artistic Director of the Vocal Arts Institute. French has extensive experience as singer, conductor and teacher. Ensembles under his direction have performed to acclaim at prestigious six-state conventions such as the American Choral Directors Association Northwest Convention (1994, 2002), the American Guild of Organists Northwest Convention (1997) and the Oregon Music Educators National Conference (2002). In 2003, French made his National Public Radio debut with the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers performing on “West Coast Live” for an estimated one million households nationally and Internationally.
Operatic conducting credits include Carmen, La Bohème, La Traviata, and Cosi Fan Tutte, as well as numerous light operetta productions such as Die Fledermaus, Sweeney Todd, and Candide. French has conducted for Rogue Opera, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Bach Ensemble, Chelan Bach Festival, Rogue Music Theatre, and made his Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra debut in a performance of Brahms’ “Requiem” in Spring, 2002. In demand as a clinician and adjudicator, French has adjudicated Oregon’s Music Educators National Conference state voice and choir competitions many times as well as MENC sponsored competitions in California and Alaska. He has conducted numerous Honor Choirs and regional All-State Choirs in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Nevada.
Trinity’s Assisting Clergy:
The Rev. Anne Bartlett, the Rev. Tom Murphy, the Rev. Morgan Silbaugh, and the Rev. Bert Anderson.
Trinity Episcopal Church Ashland is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Oregon, under the supervision and leadership of the Right Reverend Michael Hanley, Bishop of Western Oregon. Bishop Hanley’s residence and offices are located in Portland. http://www.episcopaldioceseoregon.org