New priest begins ministry at local Episcopal churches

By: 
Dwight Harriman

Park County’s two Episcopal churches have a new priest.

Rev. Kristin Orr’s first Sunday behind the pulpit at Livingston’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Emigrant’s St. John’s Episcopal Church was Sunday, Sept. 3.

The two churches were once part of the Episcopal Churches of the Upper Yellowstone parish, which included St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Big Timber, all served by one priest. But that has recently been reorganized to the Yellowstone Episcopal Churches parish for the two Park County congregations. St. Mark’s is seeking its own part-time priest.

Before coming here, Orr was the minister for 13 years at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Flossmore, Illinois. She attended Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.

Orr is no stranger to the West. She has family in Montana and Wyoming and has backpacked in the Bighorn Mountains since she was young.

“I love these mountains and I’m really excited … to be right here,” she said during an interview at her St. Andrew’s study earlier this week.

Before becoming a minister, Orr worked as a research geologist for ExxonMobil, and also worked for a summer as geologist for a Montana mining company.

“I still enjoy geology, and this is an exciting place to be a geologist,” she said.

Asked what led her to get involved in ministry, Orr said, “Just a sense that grew over time that the gifts and the passions I had would best serve the church and the world in this particular role … This was the niche that God had in mind for me to help others.”

Orr, whose hobbies include hiking and cross-country skiing, said she has enjoyed settling into the local community.

“People are friendly and engaging,” she said, adding she likes the mix of Western and artistic culture here.

She said she’s found both Episcopal churches open and welcoming, enjoys their sense of community and lively “spiritual curiosity,” and looks forward to developing the foundation the congregations have.

“Both are exciting parishes,” she said.

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Sunday morning worship at St. John’s is at 8 a.m. and at St. Andrew’s at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call St. Andrew’s at 222-0222 or visit the churches’ websites at www.saintandrewsepiscopalchurch.org or saintjohnsepiscopalchurch.org.

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Dwight Harriman may be reached at dharriman@livent.net.

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