Bishop Bascom announces the Very Rev. A. Patrick Funston as canon to the ordinary

Bishop Cathleen Chittenden Bascom on Jan. 26 announced that the Very Rev. A. Patrick Funston has been named Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, to begin on Aug. 1.

Funston, 36, currently is rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan, where he has served since 2013.

In making the announcement Bishop Bascom said, “I have, of course, been praying about the qualities I need in our Canon to the Ordinary – chiefly, someone with a skill set that will balance mine, and a person who resonates with my understanding of gospel mission and with vision for new models of bearing Jesus’s Way of Love in Kansas. As a person centered on vision, I need a canon with a detailed mind and the ability to anticipate how vision and new ideas can be implemented through procedures and policy.

“I believe Patrick has these needed skills. I already have worked with him in his role as president of the diocesan Disciplinary Board, and I have seen how he helped create a process for our new Minster Teams to engage with the Way of Love during their monthly meetings. At last fall’s Gathering of Clergy he shared his passion for racial justice and reconciliation, and I believe he will help empower members of this diocese to transform our neighborhoods toward racial justice.”

As Canon to the Ordinary, Funston will serve as the bishop’s chief clergy administrative aide, translating vision and initiatives into the processes necessary for them to be sustainable and to bear fruit. The canon will research models, programs and policies of the Episcopal Church and other dioceses to find best practices for the work of mission in Kansas. In consultation with the diocese’s chancellor, he will advise the bishop on matters of constitution, canons and church policies. Funston also will work with clergy and parishes to implement new models like the Kansas Minster Project and will serve as the bishop’s representative on three new diocesan task forces: Justice and Racial Reconciliation, Care of Creation, and Evangelism. In partnership with diocesan Transition Missioner Debbie Kremers, Funston will have responsibility for clergy and parish transitions. Additionally, he will assist with new efforts for programs and development of the diocesan grounds in Topeka, known historically as Bethany Place. He will travel to parishes (being in each convocation every four months) and will be available to preach, celebrate or offer diocesan support for the mission of parishes.

Funston said of his new ministry, “I’ve been truly blessed in my ministry and partnership with the clergy and people of St. Paul’s. I’m humbled to join the diocesan staff, a group of ministers I have respected and learned from for many years. In my years of ministry, I’ve enjoyed serving the people of the Diocese of Kansas in a variety of ways – Council of Trustees, General Convention deputy, convocation dean – and I’m excited to move into full-time diocesan ministry to continue and grow that service.” 

Funston grew up in this diocese and was an active participant in its youth and campus programs. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2011 and was ordained a priest in 2012. He spent two years as chaplain and teacher at Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence before becoming rector of St. Paul’s. He currently serves as dean of the Northwest Convocation, as well as president of the Disciplinary Board. He is a two-time deputy from the diocese to General Convention and former member of the Council of Trustees, and he also served on the Commission on Ministry and the Campus Ministry Council.

His wife Michael is Associate for Youth and Campus for the diocese and will continue in that role. They have two children, Eirnín and York.

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