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St. Mary’s Welcomes a New Leader

The Rev. Lester V. Mackenzie begins his duties as the new priest of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church with 8 and 10:30 a.m. worship services Sunday, Sept. 4.

Rev. Lester V. Mackenzie, who goes by Father Mack.
Rev. Lester V. Mackenzie, who goes by Father Mack.

He describes himself as “the praying, dancing, teaching, preaching, surfing, web developer priest.”

A third generation Anglican priest born in Johannesburg and raised in Cape Town during apartheid, Mackenzie is fluent in Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Dutch, Portuguese and is learning Spanish. He is a singer and percussionist and uses African musical influence to encourage reconciliation.

Mackenzie succeeds the Rev. Dr. Robert Honeychurch, who served as interim rector for much of last year. Last September, after 10 years as spiritual leader at St. Mary’s, Rev. Elizabeth I. Rechter departed to become executive director of Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality, in Pasadena.

The parish of 167 members met Mackenzie and his family earlier this summer. His wife, Angela Mackenzie, is a fourth generation native of Southern California. They have three children Jonah, Oliver and Cora.

Mackenzie looks forward to perpetuating St. Mary’s role in the community, which he described in a statement as “a presence of hospitality, welcome and joy.”

He also invited residents “to be present with each other as we reflect and explore the great questions of life. Stories of faith allow us to place our questions into a context.”

Mackenzie attended the Diocesan College and the University of Cape Town, both in Cape Town, as well as the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.

Prior to being assigned to St. Mary’s, Mackenzie was the associate for emerging ministries at St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades for seven years.

Mackenzie also is involved in Episcopal leadership roles, as a volunteer jail chaplain and as a designer of an iPhone app for St. Matthews.


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