Father Brian Coleman is the Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Battle Creek, serving the church as pastor and organizational leader. His passions in leadership include helping others claim their God-given authority through discernment of their own gifts for ministry, and helping them experience more deeply a sense of God's call in their lives. He works with parish leaders to shape a strategy for effective ministry development based on the parish's mission priorities of worship, youth, and discipleship.
Fr. Brian's ministry at St. Thomas includes, among other things: pastoral care, which he understands as being alongside people in their daily hopes and fears, sorrows and joys; preaching as effective Christian communication, both in word and deed by helping others (especially children) understand how the Bible relates to their lives; daily prayer, through the public worship services provided in the Book of Common Prayer,and through personal prayer and spiritual disciplines, including iconography; and community action and outreach, through service, support and collaboration with local community leaders and organizations.
His responsibilities in the wider church include participation in local ecumenical efforts including membership in a clergy colleague group. He is the President of JONAH, a faith-based community organizing affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation. In the Diocese of Western Michigan Fr. Brian serves as the Vice-President of the Diocesan Council and as Chairman of the Eastern Deanery. He is also an appointed member of the inter-diocesan Board of Ecclesiastical Discipline for the dioceses of Lower Michigan. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Society of Catholic Priests, an international organization of Anglican Clergy who support the full inclusion of women and gay and lesbian clergy in the life of the Church, and whose rule of life emphasizes priestly formation and catholic evangelism. Fr. Brian serves currently as the organization's Provencial Chaplain.
Ordained a priest in 1999 by the Right Reverend Fred Borsch, Fr. Brian has served in urban parishes in Los Angeles, California, and in Sheffield, England (Church of England), where he lived for eight years. He is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton (B.A. in Philosophy), and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois (M.Div.). He lives with his partner John Moore and their family includes two basset hounds: Belle and Bob.
In addition to many other interests, Fr. Brian is a member of Rotary International, sings with the Battle Creek Community Chorus, enjoys cooking, cycling and hiking, and is a proud member of the Mug Club at Arcadia Brewery in Battle Creek.
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