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From the Wardens

New rector called to Atonement

July 9, 2023


Dear Atonement Family,


It is our great pleasure to announce that the Rev’d Charles Everson has accepted our call to serve as the 12th rector of the Episcopal Church of the Atonement!

Fr Charles was the unanimous choice of our Rector Search Committee, a diverse group representing a wide range of Atonement parishioners. Bishop Paula Clark recently affirmed the call, and Fr Charles received a unanimous vote of approval from the Atonement Vestry. We are delighted to welcome him as our next rector. Fr Charles’ first Sunday of ministry at Atonement will be Aug. 27, 2023.

Fr Charles is currently rector of St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, a historic Anglo-Catholic parish he has served for nearly six years. He began serving in ministry in college as a music minister, and after graduating served for two years as a Baptist missionary to college students in Paris, France. After returning to Kansas City, he began a 15-year career in banking, the last five of which were in executive management. In addition to his full-time ministry at St Mary’s, Fr Charles also serves as vocations missioner for the Diocese of West Missouri, a quarter-time position. He has held various leadership positions within the Society of Catholic Priests, an Anglo-Catholic clerical devotional society of men and women with over 250 members in The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, most recently as its provincial convener.


Fr Charles is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical studies and a music minor and earned a master’s degree in business administration at Baker University. He graduated from the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry in Topeka, Kansas, with a certificate in presbyteral studies. We look forward to welcoming Fr Charles, his husband Jay, and their dog Jake to Atonement.


We have been exceedingly blessed by having Fr Dan Puchalla as our interim rector over the last year. He continued to push us toward community building and lay-led ministry as we shift away from the rector-centric model that Mother Erika Takacs began to address as the 11th rector of Atonement. It also became clear during the search process that Mother Erika continues to believe in us and support us through verifying Atonement’s portrayal in the Parish Profile and other documents as well as being a sounding board for many potential applicants, including Fr Charles.


Speaking of the Parish Profile, the Office of Transition Ministries regards our documentation as a model for how churches can successfully represent themselves. We continue to use it as a resource for representing ourselves through successful applications for Chicago’s Climate Initiative Fund and Episcopal Charities’ Parish Partner Grants. Kudos to the Search Committee. Please join me in expressing our deep appreciation to the Atonement Rector Search Committee: co-chairs Aron Dunlap and Charles Stewart, Evie Aadland Coe, Henry R Cooper, Michael Cockerill, Jerry Mash, Catherine Mendenhall, Elizabeth Swanson, and Joaquin Villegas. We are so grateful for this dedicated group. They worked tirelessly on this process, more than they’ve ever done for any church committee, and for that we are indebted. Thank you.


There were many moments throughout this past year where we, both Vestry and Search Committee, felt we were on track, going about our work systematically and rigorously, only to learn that we were not the ones fully in control (despite our efforts). The Holy Spirit has a way of intervening in ways that struck us to the core and deepened our faith. Through this process we accepted that we are doing God’s will. Fr Charles felt that call just as well, and we welcome him with open hearts.


Fr Charles, Jay, and Jake will be moving into the rectory in time to join us for the Atonement Block Party on Sat., Aug. 26. Please keep them and the Vestry in your prayers as we move through this exciting time of transition.




Dave Beil and Amanda Kim


A message from Father Charles


Dear People of Atonement,


I am so excited and honored to have been called to serve as your next rector!


Atonement has long been famous in Anglo-Catholic circles for its beautiful liturgy and choral music. That is what initially drew me, but it was our time with the Search Committee, Vestry, and staff that solidified the sense of call. Everyone we met was welcoming, generous, honest, kind, and full of love for Jesus and the Church of the Atonement. It was a joy to see Care for Friends, including Atonement volunteers, in action as they served a hot lunch to a room full of hungry guests. And Edgewater—what a gem of a neighborhood.


Jay and I are both natives of Kansas, both having lived in Texas at various times during our upbringing. We’ve been together 16 years, married for 10, and have owned our home for 14 years. We are ready to settle down in Edgewater and get to know all of you. Jay will be with us for the block party and my first Sunday and will then head back to Kansas City to wrap up a few house projects before permanently moving to the rectory.


I cannot begin to express the excitement I am feeling as we prepare to join you in a few short weeks. Please pray for us as we say goodbye to family and friends, and especially for me as I say goodbye to the good people of St Mary’s. The Church of the Atonement has been, and will remain, in my prayers.


God’s peace,


Fr Charles

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