Transition in the Community of Deacons
The Venerable Rebecca Barger, Archdeacon of The Diocese of Missouri, has announced her resignation as her family prepares to move to Ohio. The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson, Eleventh Bishop of Missouri, has named the Rev. Harry Leip as the next Archdeacon. A transitional service is being planned for June 6 at 5 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral.
Rebecca Barger was ordained as a deacon in 2014 and has served at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Eureka since that time. Bishop Wayne Smith appointed her Archdeacon in 2019. "I am very grateful for the trust you have given me to carry out my role as Archdeacon," Barger said. "I pray that my efforts to serve God, the Diocese, and St. Francis' Church have been reflective of the joy I received from participating in these sacred ministry areas."
Barger and her family will be moving to Cleveland, Ohio, as her husband takes a new job as the Director of Adult Congenital Heart Disease at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. The move also puts the Bargers closer to extended family. St. Francis will celebrate Deacon Rebecca's last day together Sunday morning, June 6.
Bishop Deon Johnson expresses his gratitude to Archdeacon Rebecca for her years of service to the diocese. We will all miss her friendship and wish her and her family all the best in their new home in Ohio.
Harry Leip was ordained to the diaconate in 2011 and began his service as the parish deacon at Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis' Central West End, where he continues to serve today. Deacon Harry has also served as a representative on the Deaconess Anne House steering committee, Diocesan Council, the Commission on Ministry, and most recently with the Bishop's Search and Nomination Committee.
Leip lives in St. Louis with his husband of 25 years and works as a team lead in the IT division for a financial services company.
Archdeacons are appointed by the bishop. Their work and ministry is shaped around both the Community of Deacons and the direction of the bishop. As the convener of the Community of Deacons, the archdeacon is responsible for their pastoral care, ongoing formation and assists the bishop and canons with parish assignments. The archdeacon also is a resource for the diocese, a presence at diocesan liturgies and an evangelist for the work and ministry of deacons.
"I am both humbled and incredibly excited to serve the Diocese and Community of Deacons in this new capacity!" said Leip.
Read more about the Community of Deacons.
Deacon Transition Service
Sunday, June 6
The diocese will "officially" say goodbye to Archdeacon Rebecca and welcome our new Archdeacon Harry at a special transitional worship service Sunday, June 6 at 5 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral. The service will have limited in-person attendance, following COVID safety guidelines. The service will also be available via livestream on the diocesan website (video screen on home page) and on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EpiscopalDioceseofMissouri).