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June 3, 2023

New priest in town

Contributed Photos
The Aug. 12 concelebration at the Eucharist of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in King City was led by the Rev. Filemon Diaz (center) and the Rev. Carl Hansen (right), with Joanne Dunwoody as the server at the altar.

Below, Diaz’s wife Nancy shares her thoughts about becoming part of the community.

SOUTH COUNTY — The Rev. Filemon Diaz concelebrated with the Rev. Carl Hansen last Sunday at the morning Eucharist of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in King City.

Having been called by the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real to serve King City and south Monterey County, Diaz will primarily be ministering to the Latino population, while Hansen will continue to primarily serve the Anglo population.

Both priests will work together with lay leaders to “live in the abundance of one another’s gifts, offering a variety of services in worship and community wellness, while growing together inter-racially in the reconciling love of God and neighbor,” Hansen said.

A former Roman Catholic priest, Diaz is a Lutheran pastor, having had a similar position in Iowa.

He can serve an Episcopal Church congregation because Lutherans of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America are in concordance with the Episcopal Church, honoring the orders of clergy as bishops, priests and deacons, and often serving in one another’s churches.

Diaz will help Anglos learn and respect Latino culture, and in the same way Hansen will help Latinos learn and respect Anglo culture.

“As full partners, we will learn from one another as priests how to bring our community together as one in God’s love,” Hansen said. “The Episcopal Church is known as the ‘via media,’ catholic in liturgy and tradition, while heirs of the protestant reformation in the 16th century.”

Diaz’s ministry will extend to Greenfield and Soledad, seeking to establish congregations there with a vision for spiritual growth, racial reconciliation and community service.

At the Aug. 12 concelebration, many joined in welcoming Diaz and his wife Nancy and their three children — Nancy, 18, Diego, 16, and Sebastian, 4 — to the community.

For more information, call Diaz at 323-595-2004 or Hansen at 805-975-9269, or visit the church at 301 Bassett St. at the 10 a.m. service on Sundays.


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