By Mary O’KEEFE
The congregation of St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church held a retirement party for Bryan Jones, vicar of the church for about the last five years.
Jones was the man chosen by The Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, to lead the church at the end of a long court battle. Members of the St. Luke’s congregation had voted to leave the Episcopal diocese and align themselves under the jurisdiction of Uganda Anglican Church. The court battle was costly, not only monetarily but also emotionally. In 2010 the court gave the historic church back to the Episcopal Diocese. Jones was tasked with not only building the congregation but also bringing trust back to those who were still hurting by the vote and the court battle. He did this by welcoming all to the church.
Under his leadership, St. Luke’s has become a community place for Boy Scout troops, boutiques, pancake breakfasts and the Fire House youth center. Jones’ philosophy was to keep the doors open so all would feel welcomed.
And it worked. When tragedies occurred at Crescenta Valley High School, the Fire House opened its doors for teens and their families. It was a place where teens that normally would not turn to church organized a candlelight vigil to support each other during these tragedies.
On Saturday, the congregation held a potluck retirement party for Jones. He was presented a certificate of appreciation from Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s office and his congregation thanked him for his leadership and wished him well.