May 18, 2009 - It is with much happiness that the Rector Search Committee, Vestry, and Wardens of St. Paul's announce that after many months of discernment, and in a spirit of love and openness and through the grace of God, we have called Rev. Jeffrey Mello to be the next rector of St. Paul's, Brookline. Jeff has graciously accepted our call and will be starting as rector of St. Paul's in August.
The search committee has been getting to know Jeff- and Jeff has been getting to know St. Paul's - for the past six months. From a field of over forty applicants, and through every stage of the search process - a phone interview, a sub-committee visit to Christ Church Cambridge where Jeff currently serves as Assistant Rector, in numerous communications with the Committee chairs, a meet-and-greet with the Vestry, and in a final interview with the full Search Committee - Jeff emerged as a leader with charisma, intelligence, varied and relevant experience, a deep spirituality, and a sense of humor. The Committee feels unequivocally and without dissent that Jeff Mello is a strong match for St. Paul's as expressed in our Parish Profile and as reflected in our life together.
Some highlights of the experience that Jeff brings to St. Paul's includes his Master's in Social Work from Simmons College and years of experience as a clinical social worker. Jeff studied at Episcopal Divinity School and served as a seminarian at St. Michael's Church in Milton. He received his master's in Divinity degree in 2007 and was ordained in that same year.
In his current position at Christ Church, Jeff has fostered new and strengthened existing outreach programs; helped to start a 20s and 30s Group; facilitated retreats for parish leadership; co-designed and facilitated Adult Christian Ed programs; oversaw growth in the Children's Christian Ed program; added Junior and Senior High programming; coordinated development and implementation of a new parish website; and designed and implemented new outreach and retention efforts. At the Diocesan level, he currently serves on the Executive Committee of Diocesan Council and the Safe Church Practices Committee.
Outside of church, he is a coach for his son's Little League team in Jamaica Plain. He can often be found walking the family's two-year old Pug, Spike.
When Jeff moves into St. Paul's Rectory with his family, we will be blessed with the addition to our community of his partner Paul Daigneault and their eight-year old son Ardani.
Following what at times felt like a world-wide search - involving applicants from overseas and 22 states - it became clear that Jeff was a "gem in our own backyard" as one Committee member put it. We are happy to report that there is overwhelming enthusiasm among the 13 members of the search committee for the choice of Jeff as our next rector, and we look forward to our fellow parishioners having the opportunity to share that enthusiasm as they get to know him.
The Vestry and Search Committee are honored that Jeff has accepted the call to lead St. Paul's and we welcome him, Paul and Ardani to our parish family.
With joy and thanksgiving,