St. Paul’s welcomes new rector and youth minister
As a new fall worship and program year begins, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church welcomes two new leaders to its clergy and staff. The Rev. Jeanne A. Leinbach will assume her duties as rector on Sept. 1, and Miguel Covarrubias became youth minister in early August.
In the Episcopal Church, a rector is the priest in charge of a self-supporting parish. Leinbach is the 16th rector of St. Paul’s, the largest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, and the first female rector in its 169-year history. Since the mid-1980s, four women have served as associate rectors: The Revs. Charlotte Dudley Cleghorn, Harper Turney, Angela Ifill and Lisa Hackney-James.
Leinbach comes to St. Paul’s from Winnetka, Ill., where she was associate rector at Christ Church. A lifelong Chicagoan, she was ordained to the priesthood in December 2007 and is the mother of two sons, ages 19 and 22.
In her previous career, Leinbach was a management consultant. She holds a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.B.A. from Cornell University, and a Master of Divinity from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.
In addition to her leadership skills, honed through both parish experience and in the business world, Leinbach met other criteria the parish desired in its new rector, including the ability to help St. Paul’s discern the most meaningful ways to connect with the surrounding community.
Tami Brown, St. Paul’s senior warden, said, “Those on the search committee, the Vestry, and staff who have met Jeanne have been struck immediately by her warmth, authenticity and enthusiasm for everything that St. Paul’s represents and can become. Jeanne’s experience, new ideas, and vision for building upon the strengths at St. Paul’s will guide and shape this next phase in our lives together.”
Bishop Mark Hollingsworth said, “The thoughtful and thorough work of the search committee has resulted in an exceptional choice in the Rev. Jeanne Leinbach. Among many gifts, her accessible and genuine presence and her wide leadership experience will make a worthy companion to the parish as it enters this new season in its life and ministry. I am delighted to welcome her to the Diocese of Ohio.”
Leinbach said she was drawn to the parish from her first reading of St. Paul’s parish profile. In June, she wrote to the parish, “Your desire to live faith-filled lives, our hope for the future and your care for one another and the surrounding communities says volumes about the faith community you have created and nurtured.”
Leinbach will preach at all services—7:45, 9 and 11:15 a.m.—on Sunday, Sept. 13, and an installation service and celebration will be held on Friday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.
Also new to St. Paul's is Youth Minister Miguel Covarrubias, who, with his wife, Cathy, moved from Colorado Springs, where he was director of communications, youth and young adults at Chapel of our Saviour Episcopal Church. Prior to that, he served as youth minister at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown, N.Y. With more than 10 years of experience in youth ministry, Covarrubias fills a position that provides leadership to middle and high school students, and young adults in their 20s. “Youth ministry is living life with youth and their families through education and sharing the amazing love of God,” said Covarrubias.
With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in youth ministries and a minor in theater from Colorado Christian University, Covarrubias is eager to bring his passion for theater to St. Paul’s active youth theater program.
All are welcome to attend services at St. Paul’s, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. To learn more and to view the parish profile, visit www.stpauls-church.org.
Mary Cushing is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.