Episcopal | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

11.18.22 | Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

Our particular branch of Christianity is called The Episcopal Church because we are a church with bishops. The word Episcopal comes from the Greek episkopos, which means “overseer,” and the Latin episcopus, which means “bishop.” To say that we are a church with bishops is also to say we are a hierarchical church. Bishops have oversight in their diocese. They serve as chief pastors to both clergy and laity there, and they have responsibility for the doctrine, discipline and worship within their dioceses.

In short, they are the boss(es). At our ordinations, Bob, Susan and I, like all priests and deacons, vowed to respect and be guided by the pastoral direction and leadership of our bishop. By extension, the churches we serve do the same. So, it is a blessing that we have some say in who embodies this office. Bishops in the Episcopal Church are elected. When there is an opening, a diocese will create a diocesan profile and form a search committee (similar to what happens when a parish searches for a new priest, but on a larger scale). That committee does the hard work of finalizing a slate of candidates, and clergy and lay delegates come together at a special convention to vote for their new leader.

We are in the midst of that process now. Bishop Dietsche has announced his retirement, and five faithful and dedicated priests have been named as possibilities for our next bishop. This week they all participated in a whirlwind tour of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, visiting various regions and ministries in the diocese. On Wednesday, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen was included on their itinerary. As you can see in the picture above, not only did they tour our amazing church and soup kitchen, they also jumped right in to volunteer—packing pantry bags, breaking down boxes, talking to guests and volunteers.

It was a wonderful day, and a real honor to be counted among the representative ministries of our diocese. I left our time together confident that we will be in good hands with any of the candidates. Mother Susan, Deacon Bob, our delegate John Sandercock and I will go to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to cast our ballots on Saturday, December 3. Please pray for us as we discern our votes. More importantly, please pray for—from left to right in the picture above—the Revs. Jemonde Taylor, Stephanie Johnson, Matt Heyd, Steven Paulikas and Matthew Mead; that they may know sustenance and courage through this process, and in gratitude for their self-offering to Christ’s church.

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson


Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Give Layers of Love this Winter

Help Keep Our Guests Warm this Winter.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.