St. John’s Episcopal in Jackson Hole calls James P. Bartz to lead parish

Posted May 5, 2016

[St. John’s Episcopal Church] St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole, WY, is pleased to announce the call of The Reverend James “Jimmy” P. Bartz as our new Rector.

Originally from Houston, TX, his path to the ministry began at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church under the attentive eye of now Bishop Claude Payne. Upon completing a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and ordination, his path continued as Campus Missioner at the University of Texas, where he was successful in expanding that program. He then served as Associate Rector at All Saint’s Parish in Beverly Hills, CA and most recently as Founder and Lead Minister at Thad’s, an emergent Episcopal Mission Station in Santa Monica, CA.

He describes his liturgical style and practice as “exceedingly diverse” with “a deep love for the traditions of the Book of Common Prayer along with a desire to see those practices translated for relevant use in missional contexts.” His early years of ordination were spent serving in broad church, formal worship at All Saints’ in Austin, TX, and traditional, formal worship at All Saints’ Parish in Beverly Hills, CA. For the past nine years, he has been leading Thad’s, the creative, contemporary worship congregation he planted.

Jimmy is a member of the Gathering of Leaders, a group of outstanding young priests and is Chair of the Board of The Episcopal Evangelism Society. He said, “Through the traditions and liturgies of our church and through innovation in ministry, I hope to communicate to people that they are children, chosen and marked by God’s love, and equip them to share that reality with others.”

In his letter to St. John’s regarding Jimmy, The Rev. Canon John Newton shared, “Jimmy Bartz is a man of prayer and a man in prayer. [He] has a faith that is vulnerable enough to cry and laugh and confident enough to lead and teach.” Bishop Smylie has enthusiastically endorsed this action by the Vestry. Jimmy is a skier, climber, and angler, saying, “The majority of my deep spiritual renewal comes from time in nature mostly surfing, fly-fishing, and mountaineering.” More significant than knowing and enjoying our valley, he loves all that St. John’s Episcopal Church is and can be. He is not only on the cutting edge of ministry but also has worked outside the church with for-profits and non-profits to communicate and teach spiritual disciplines, operating from the position that “you can’t practice God’s love alone.”

We are equally excited to welcome his wonderful wife Cindy, and their two children, 14-year-old son Jas and 10- year-old daughter Jade. While plans are still being made, we anticipate that the Bartz family will move here by mid-July to settle in, and he will conduct his first service soon thereafter.