Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
      
 
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Clergy & Staff

Clergy

The Reverend David Romanik

The Reverend David Romanik

Rector
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David Romanik was called to be the rector of Heavenly Rest in May of 2019. Originally from Connecticut, David has degrees from Boston University and Virginia Theological Seminary. David began his ordained ministry at Heavenly Rest, where he served for three years as the Associate Rector. Before returning to Abilene, he served on the staff at the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. David is passionate about liturgy, music, and the study of Scripture, and is eager for Heavenly Rest to be a repository of grace and a source of blessing for the Abilene community. David is married to Sarah Beth, and they have three young children.

The Reverend Claire Makins

The Reverend Claire Makins

Associate Rector
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Mtr. Claire is a native Texan who grew up in San Antonio. She received her BA from the University of the South in 2001. Prior to attending seminary, also at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, Mtr. Claire and her family lived in San Angelo where she was a high school liberal arts teacher and tutor. Mtr. Claire and her husband, Daniel, have two children, Cal and James.

 

Now serving the Church of the Heavenly Rest as Associate Rector, Mtr. Claire participates in the leadership of the New Member Formation Class and helps to coordinate Christian Education. She also participates in pastoral care and the liturgical leadership of the church as a member of the clergy. She was ordained to the priesthood here at Heavenly Rest. 

The Reverend Amanda Watson

The Reverend Amanda Watson

Assistant
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Amanda is a University of Texas, Austin graduate, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. Before seeking the ministry, she taught secondary mathematics. Her education continued at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston, Houston Theological Seminary and at Seabury Western, Evanston, Ill. Amanda serves the church in a variety of ministries:  She mentors the Education for Ministry class, provides pastoral services with Hands-On Outreach and recently began working with the Neighborhood Committee to participate in partnership between Heavenly Rest and the surrounding neighborhood.? In 2014, she started her participation inthe IONA Project, which is a preparation program for bi-vocational priests.

 

Amanda is married Tom Watson, an attorney. Together they have 3 children, Morgan, Claire, and Michael, as well as 6 grandchildren.

 

“Walking the neighborhood and meeting the neighbors, volunteering at Bowie Elementary and FaithWorks, is a passion. Through these both organizations I see people grow and become that wonderful self that God created them to be. Between these activities,there is sewing and arts and crafts—I have no talent, but I love to make a mess!!” - Amanda

The Reverend Dr. Doug Thomas

The Reverend Dr. Doug Thomas

Assistant
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Doug received his B.A. in Psychology from California Baptist College; his M.A. from California State University, Fullerton; and his Ph.D. from United States International University, San Diego. He worked as a practicing Psychologist in Southern California from 1980-1994, and as Head of of the Psychology Department at Hardin-Simmons University, from 1994-2013. In 2016, he graduated from the Diocese of Northwest Texas School of Ordained Ministry and was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. Doug is married to Deanna Thomas, a retired school teacher, and they have one son, Trevor.

 Bikole  Mulanda

Bikole Mulanda

Swahili Minister
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Mulanda leads the congregation of Abilene refugees from the Congo in Swahili services. As part of the Heavenly Rest team, he connects the congregation with the Heavenly Rest community and other area resources. 

The Reverend Karen Boyd

The Reverend Karen Boyd

Deacon
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Karen moved to Abilene in late 2012 after spending most of her life in Utah and Arizona. She spent many years as a nurse specializing in Gynecology Oncology and End Stage Renal Disease. She received her call to the diaconate and attended the School of Ordained Ministry in Lubbock prior to her Ordination in January of 2018. At present she volunteers part time as a chaplain with a local Hospice. She is very involved with the pastoral ministries at this parish caring for the sick, the grieving, and the homebound. She also feels a need to care for all of God’s creation and finds fulfillment participating in pet blessings and working with our pet Columbarium at Heavenly Rest.

 

Staff

April  Powers

April Powers

Manager of Operations
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April was born and raised just outside of Chicago. From there she received her Bachelor’s in Accounting.  She moved from Arkansas to Texas in 2012 to expand her job possibilities. After working for many profit organizations in collections and accounts payables, she joined our staff in 2014. She is married to John and has 3 children, Jasmine, Brandon, and John. She also has a grandson.

Steve Gibbs

Steve Gibbs

Parish Manager
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As Parish Manager, Steve Gibbs works in tandem with April Powers, our Manager of Operations, to provide general office support to the parish, staff, congregation and committees, in order to support the ministries and mission of Heavenly Rest. 

 

This work includes, but is not limited to: data and records management, phone and e-mail support, supplies and inventory management, managing use of church space by parish and outside groups, supporting church ministries and committees and collaborating with volunteers. The Parish Manager is a resource person for both members and non-members, and a welcoming and responsive presence in our church office.

 

Prior to his time at Heavenly Rest, Steve was a Human Resources and Administration professional with experience in Healthcare, Technology and Professional Consultation. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Human Resources for Sears Methodist Retirement System and the owner and operator of High’s Flowers & Gifts.

Blaine Beyer

Blaine Beyer

Director of Communications
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An Abilene native, Blaine Beyer joined the staff of Heavenly Rest in the fall of 2019. Blaine is a graduate of Hardin Simmons University with a degree in Mass Communications. He has worked as a producer at several local television stations in Texas and California, most recently at KTXS here in Abilene. Blaine is collaborative, passionate about telling stories, and full of ideas about how we might more fully engage the members of this parish and the Abilene community.

Dr. Mitsi Willard

Dr. Mitsi Willard

Director of Children's Ministry
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Mitsi Pair Willard joined the staff of Heavenly Rest in the summer of 2017, bringing with her years of experience in a variety of educational settings.  Mitsi has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Texas Tech University, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from The University of Texas at Austin.  She believes that children are an important part of the Body of Christ and that the church is one of the few places where meaningful intergenerational community still happens.  Mitsi is married to Josh, and together they have four children: Mae, Hattie, Sam, & Lydia.

Susetta Rockett

Susetta Rockett

Music Assistant
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Susie Rockett has been on the music staff at Heavenly Rest since 2013.  She holds degrees in music education and performance from Texas Tech University and a Master’s in Oboe Performance from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA.  Susie is adjunct music faculty at McMurry University, Hardin-Simmons University, and Abilene Christian University, and performs regularly with the Lubbock Symphony and Abilene Philharmonic.  She loves sharing music with the world whether it be through teaching, performing, or facilitating, and hopes to continue making music a worshipful experience for all who attend Heavenly Rest. 

Nolan Kelley

Nolan Kelley

Verger and Acolyte Master

Nolan Kelley and his wife Sharon were married at Heavenly Rest in l973 and have been actively involved in the church ever since.  

A graduate of UNT, Nolan earned a B.A. and M.A. in history.  He served 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Ethiopia

 and 32 years as a teacher and administrator in AISD. At Heavenly Rest he has taught Sunday School, served multiple terms on the Vestry, and three times as Senior Warden. He was honored to serve as chairman of the Gerhart Hall Building Committee. Nolan presently serves as Heavenly Rest Verger and Acolyte Master.

Sharon Kelley

Sharon Kelley

Hospitality and Kitchen Coordinator

Sharon Kelley, a Corpus Christi native and Texas Tech graduate, moved to Abilene to teach. She and Nolan, a fellow teacher, married at Heavenly Rest and have been active, involved members for 46 years.  They have 2 children, Erin and Lance and 6 grandchildren—all in Waco.  She loved teaching Nutrition, Food Science and Child Development.  After 42 years in AISD, she retired and traded her fun and challenging adolescent students for wonderful CHR kitchen volunteers.  As Hospitality and Kitchen Coordinator and longtime co-chair of Altar Guild, she and many others serve the “table” at Heavenly Rest.

Dorothy Guerra

Dorothy Guerra

Housekeeper

When the nursery needed an extra hand, Heavenly Rest approached Dorothy first. After serving in the nursery when Heavenly Rest had a Mother’s Day Out program, Dorothy became the housekeeper for the church. Her son, Domingo, occasionally assists her or her husband to ensure the grounds are maintained and cleaned for worship and other activities.

 

“We know the people here. Members are family – they know me, and I know them. We have been blessed here.” – Dorothy 

Robert Becerra

Robert Becerra

Sexton

Robert began his career with Heavenly Rest at the age of 14, when he began to assist his uncle, Arnold Guerra in doing housekeeping and Sexton duties.  Robert knows the facility well after ten years and is now the sole Sexton for the church.  Robert also assists at the Thrift House and at St. John’s Episcopal School when needed.


 




18Oct
Thrift House Mtg Friday, Oct 18 @ 11:30 AM
19Oct
Altar Guild Preps Saturday, Oct 19 @ 9:00 AM
19Oct
Kathleen Wolaver Funeral Saturday, Oct 19 @ 11:00 AM
19Oct
Kathleen Wolaver Funeral Reception Saturday, Oct 19 @ 12:00 PM
19Oct
Organ Practice - Kyla Saturday, Oct 19 @ 8:00 PM

 
October 13, 2019
Sunday, October 13, 2019
 
            
The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest | ADDRESS: 602 Meander Street • Abilene, Texas 79602 PHONE: (325) 677-2091 |  Site by Church Website Design
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Welcome to Heavenly Rest

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Welcome to Heavenly Rest! We are glad you are visiting our site and hope you will accept this invitation to become part of this faith community.  Together we seek to know the reconciling love of the God and share that love with everyone.  Beautiful worship, exquisite music, inclusive fellowship, generous outreach and excellent Christian education await you. We thank God that more and more people are making this church their spiritual home.  Feel the caring, sharing, creating and serving that God intended for your soul at Heavenly Rest.

 

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