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KINGMAN - The trip from Sedona to Kingman is a minimum three hours across Coconino, Yavapai and Mohave counties.

 

“I always enjoyed coming to Kingman. Father Phil (Pastor Shaw) and Deacon Ben (Rodenbeck) do a great job here at Trinity Church,” said the 15-year veteran Phoenix Bishop and Episcopal Diocese leader Kirk Smith who will step down from duties this March and head back to school to teach history at Manhattan’s General Theological Seminary.

“I’ve come to downtown Kingman countless times over the years,” said Smith as he fondly remembers the day almost 11 years to the date, the ordination ceremony he presided over and was held (at Kingman’s Trinity Episcopal) where Trinity’s now-Pastor Shaw was officially ordained a parish priest.

“It will be 11 years this next week, February 2 is my anniversary date,” stated a white-icing bearded, spiritual leader of the longtime Spring Street Episcopal Church’s Pastor Shaw.

The 71-year old Episcopal Vicar calls home Ashfork and travels I-40 as often as many local residents routinely shop along Stockton Hill Road.

“It’s extremely busy days preparing for the Bishop’s visit,” revealed Shaw after the Sunday Mass and confirmation service. “All but one of our parishioners had, in some way or time been confirmed previously with the exception of Gabrielle Rodenbeck (Deacon Ben’s 13-year-old daughter). However, the confirmation ceremony solidifies the sacrament and is a special day for all of us here at Trinity.”

Among the Trinity parishioners confirmed was newly-joined congregation member Louanne Falcone. “I’m most pleased to be part of this very fine church and today was an excellent example of the spirit of Trinity, Father Phil, Deacon Ben and our generous bishop,” said Falcone, who recently relocated to Kingman from California.

During a luncheon following the confirmation ceremony, Pastor Shaw spoke extensively of Kingman Area Pastors Association (KUPA) and the innovative upcoming event planned for Feb. 17 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

“We have seven churches of Christianity, a mosque, and a synagogue participating Jan. 17,” said Shaw. “Our pastors and church leaders ask everyone not to sit together with your ‘familia’ of your own congregation. Rather sit with people you don’t know from the many other houses of worship. This event is about the mingling of faiths and community of church communities,” Pastor Shaw stated.

KUPA was founded four and a half years ago and is “an interface for interfaith” according to the pastor who also revealed that the association was founded “'over a cuppa coffee.”

“Yes. I’m serious abut that and we (at KUPA) are doing serious work.”

In 2015 it was Shaw, Father Leonard Walker of Divine Word Catholic Church, Ray Christenson of Grace Church, and of St. John’s Methodist’s Pam Wagner who over several ‘cups ‘o joe’ came together and founded the organization that is constantly working to unite Kingman through prayer and interfaith.

- Jimmi Dragna

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