We are excited to have The Rev. James Harlan as a Guest Preacher.
The Rev. James R. Harlan serves as the Canon Evangelist for the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
Before taking up this ministry, James served as the twelfth rector of the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida for ten years. With over 30 years of service in parishes in Florida and Colorado and as a Navy Chaplain all over the world, James brings a breadth of parish leadership experience and education to his role in the Diocese. He has served in large and small congregations, in urban, suburban, and small-town resort congregations, each of them experiencing a time of growth and vitality under his leadership.
Alongside parish ministry, James served in Colorado on the Standing Committee, the Commission on Ministry, the diocesan Board of Examining Chaplains, the Commission on Youth Ministry, and the board of directors of Cathedral Ridge, the diocese’s camp and conference center. He also taught Liturgics and Church History at the Iliff School of Theology in the Anglican Studies program and served for many years as a reader for the General Ordination Examination for the Episcopal Church’s General Board of Examining Chaplains. In the Diocese of Southeast Florida, he served as chair of the Constitution and Canons Committee, as Dean of the North Palm Beach Deanery, and as a member of the Executive Board of the Diocese. He also served on the board of Forward Movement, including a year as chair, and on the planning committee for the Episcopal Parishes Network’s annual conference.
James’ passion for helping congregations grow and thrive centers on learning about and appreciating our rapidly changing culture in order to better understand how to live faithfully in it as followers of Jesus. He wants our rich Episcopal tradition to continue to speak the love of God to all who come through the doors of our congregations: by thinking creatively about programs and ministry; by being responsive to new needs and opportunities; and most importantly by constantly deepening our understanding of our respective calls to ministry in the Way of Love through our Baptismal Covenant.
James first felt called to be a priest in fifth grade. He grew up, the fourth of five children, in a faithful family that was always active in the Episcopal Church. As a teenager his parents responded to a call to live in a Christian community setting, and so he had as many as sixteen fellow residents in his house. He has solely focused on serving the church since the age of twenty when he became an assistant youth minister at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver.
James and Eli, his wife of 25 years are thrilled to be living in Norfolk where they get to enjoy four seasons, the wonderful arts and culture, and the opportunities to explore this beautiful part of the country. Their 23-year-old child, Luna, lives in Gainesville, Florida.