Mark Parker - Better Late than Never - to Become a Priest

Mark Parker - Better Late than Never - to Become a Priest

By Sophie Smal, Communications Coordinator

Unlike our last two recently ordained priests, the Rev. Mark Ragon Parker was raised as an Episcopalian; however, he didn't become a priest until "relatively late in life."

Although he now lives near Grass Valley, Parker grew up attending St. Mark's in Berkeley, where he later attended seminary at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, earning a Certificate in Anglican Studies. 

After retiring as the Director of Library Services in Placer County in 2010, Parker was able to spend more time serving at Emmanuel, Grass Valley, his home parish.  

The Rev. Mark Parker, right, bestows a blessing upon Paul Hauck, husband of Sierra deanery's the Very Rev. Mary Hauck, after Parker's ordination to the priesthood at Emmanuel on April 8, 2017. (photograph by Lori Korleski Richardson)

In 2011, Parker worked on a congregational interest survey at Emmanuel that included questions on interest in seminary level learning. Subsequent conversations with Emmanuel's rector, Fr. Seth Kellermann, led Parker to discern that he felt called to ministry even though he stated that before then he'd "never thought about it exactly." 

For the next five years of what Parker described as "a pretty typical process of reflection and discernment," Parker completed his studies, enrolled in the Clinical Pastoral Education program at UC Davis Medical Center and did his field work at St. John's, Chico.  

Parker is now an associate priest at Emmanuel, helping others discern their calls, as well as carrying out his own. 

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