Four new members join GEMN Board

Global Episcopal Mission Network
Posted Jun 17, 2022

Jenny Grant, Paul Rajan, Alan Scarfe, Helen Van Koevering

Four mission activists with wide experience recently joined the Board of the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN).

Ms. Jenny Grant serves as the Officer for Global Relations and Networking in the Episcopal Church’s Office of Global Partnerships. She develops mission-related resources, maps companion relationships across the Anglican Communion, shares the story of Episcopalians engaged in global mission, and works on projects supported by departments across the Presiding Bishop’s staff. Grant served as a Young Adult Service Corps missionary in Kenya and as a contractor on the Asset-Based Community Development initiative, “Called to Transformation.” Grant completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work and non-profit management at the University of Georgia. She lives in Hickory, North Carolina.

The Rev. Paul Rajan is Vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wantage in the Diocese of Newark. Originally from Tirunelveli Diocese in the Church of South India, Rajan was a cross-cultural missionary in the Indian state of Karnataka. In New Zealand he worked among migrant communities of Samoans, Tongans, Fijians, Fijian Indians, Sri Lankans, Ghanaians, Nigerians and the Asian and Indian diaspora communities under the umbrella of Global Peace Mission, Ethnic Voice New Zealand, and the N.Z. government.  In the USA he has pioneered InterChristian Initiatives, a mission to reach and teach. In addition to a B.Th. degree, Rajan holds an M.A. from Madurai University, India, and an M.Div. from Interfaith Seminary in New York. He is studying for a D.Min. from Bexley Seabury Seminary in congregational development.

The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe served as Bishop of Iowa from 2002 to 2021. He was born and raised in Bradford, England, in a parish committed to global mission.  After studying theology at Oxford, he spent two graduate years at the Romanian Orthodox Institute, where he also worked clandestinely for human rights. He was confirmed and became a lay reader in the Anglican Church in Bucuresti. In the USA Scarfe trained missionaries for the Slavic Gospel Assn. in Wheaton, Illinois, and directed a research agency, Keston USA, which supported religious freedom in communist nations. As a parish priest in Los Angeles he supported work in the Middle East and South Africa. In Iowa, Scarfe oversaw companionships with the dioceses of Swaziland (Southern Africa), Brechin (Scotland), and Nzara (South Sudan), and he traveled to each diocese multiple times.

The Rev. Canon Helen Van Koevering, spent 26 years as a missionary in the Diocese of Niassa, Mozambique, where she served at various times as a community development officer, women’s desk officer, diocesan secretary, parish priest and director of ministry. A British citizen, Van Koevering is rector of St. Raphael’s Church in Lexington, Kentucky.  She served as a missionary in Zimbabwe, as World Church Officer in the Diocese of Monmouth, Wales, and as General Secretary of the Mozambique and Angola Anglican Association. She holds a B.A. from Durham University, M.Phil. from Bristol University, and D.Min. from Virginia Seminary.  She is the author of Dancing Their Dreams: A Theological Reflection on the Lives of Anglican Women on the Lakeshore of the Diocese of Niassa, Mozambique.

After serving an unexpired term on the 12-member board, Grant was elected to a 3-year term at GEMN’s annual meeting on May 13, when Rajan and Scarfe were also elected in tandem with the churchwide Global Mission Conference organized by GEMN.  Van Koevering was appointed to the Board on June 7.

Three Board members rotated off the Board this spring after completing two terms: the Rev. Dr. James Boston of the Diocese of Oregon, Mr. Bill Kunkle of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, and the Rev. Canon Dr. Titus Presler of the Diocese of Vermont and Bridges to Pakistan. The board appointed Kunkle to continue as GEMN’s treasurer, and appointed Presler to be the network’s executive director.

A network of dioceses, agencies, congregations, seminaries, religious orders and individuals, GEMN’s purpose is to gather, inspire and equip people to participate in God’s mission.  Its core values are humility, inclusion and companionship.