Rev. Peter H. Rood

Rev. Peter H. Rood

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church gets a new rector-pastor

The Rev. Peter H. Rood, an Episcopal priest and spiritual teacher, is the new rector and pastor for St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Oak Harbor.

His first Sunday leading the parish is April 7.

Rood and his wife, Christen Herman, are in the process of relocating from Southern California to Whidbey Island, where they have already purchased a home.

His appointment comes during the celebration of St. Stephen’s 65th anniversary as the Episcopal church serving North Whidbey Island.

For its entire history, the church has always been located at 555 S.E. Regatta Drive in Oak Harbor, on land shaded by several giant Garry Oak trees.

“We are delighted to welcome Peter and Christen to our renewed and growing St. Stephen’s family, and we are eager to have him as our pastor and teacher,” said Harry Anderson, the church’s senior warden.

“Peter’s more than two decades as a beloved priest as well as his far-reaching personal interests from gardening and yoga to bread-baking and jazz should make him an ideal and wonderful addition to our parish.”

Rood will succeed The Rev. Rilla Barrett, who is retiring on March 17. She served as priest-in-charge since September 2013, and her leadership was instrumental in helping St. Stephen’s heal, renew and grow after a split beginning in 2004 that saw some parishioners leave to form a breakaway church.

“I was drawn to St. Stephen’s because of its desire to be known as a radically welcoming, inclusive and accepting church on Whidbey Island,” said Rood. “I am inspired by its persistence and faithfulness during a period of division and struggle that has brought it to a new and promising time.”

For the past 17 years Rood, a native of Southern California, served as rector of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in the diverse Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles.

He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1995 after graduating from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

He and his wife have five grown children and three grandchildren.

More in News

Island distiller brewing up hand sanitizer

In response to the growing demand for hand sanitizer, one of Whidbey’s… Continue reading

2 from Careage die from COVID-19 as number of cases jump to 42

Two residents from Careage of Whidbey in Coupeville died as a result… Continue reading

Judge revoked man’s bail for violating no-contact orders

A judge revoked bail on a 36-year-old man who is facing prison… Continue reading

Ebey’s Forever grants announced

The Trust Board of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and the Friends… Continue reading

Navy to conduct real-time noise monitoring on Whidbey

Federal, state and county officials who want the Navy to conduct real-world… Continue reading

Hospital has six ventilators, hoping to get more

WhidbeyHealth has six or seven ventilators in the hospital — depending on… Continue reading

Oak Harbor looks at minimizing utility rate increase

The monthly rate Oak Harbor residents pay for city-provided utilities will increase… Continue reading

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
                                Careage of Whidbey, a skilled nursing facility in Coupeville, is the site of a cluster of COVID-19 cases.
32 test positive for COVID-19 at Careage

A total of 32 residents and staff members at the Careage of… Continue reading

Community Resiliency Fund to aid charities with COVID-19 response

A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting other charities on Whidbey Island is… Continue reading

Most Read