January 27, 2023

Dear St. Mark’s Family,

I became a resident clergy in the Diocese of Texas in October 2013. From afar, in the last ten years I have learned about and heard of many parishes. This includes St. Mark’s, Beaumont. I learned of the longstanding connection between St. Mark’s and chili! I have been amazed at the number of clergy and family who have had some type of connection to St. Mark’s, or Beaumont, or Southeast Texas. I learned about St. Mark’s deep community involvement through outreach. These are all things I knew about St. Mark’s from afar and I am so grateful to be experiencing them up close and personally!

Another part of St. Mark’s story I learned about, from clergy gatherings and Episcopal school events, is a person—Fr. Dean Calcote. Many ordinands visited with Fr. Dean through his muti-year service on the diocesan board of examining chaplains. In my own priestly experience with two previous Episcopal schools, I learned of Fr. Dean’s influence and impact in Episcopal education and the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES). Upon receiving the call to come to St. Mark’s, I have received the incredible gift of grace of working personally with Fr. Dean. I have learned so much about his faithful service to All Saints School and St. Mark’s. Since his arrival in 1974, he has worked with many rectors and clergy. His stable and faithful clergy presence over the last several years has been a gift of incredible grace to St. Mark’s. Fr. Dean, through his own life, shared his witness of caring for Maree during her sickness, and beginning a new chapter in life after her death. Fr. Dean has been and remains an example of deep faithfulness.

With a heart full of deep gratitude, I want to share what Fr. Dean’s presence among us will look like as we move forward in 2023. While remaining a vital part of the worshipping community at St. Mark’s, Fr. Dean’s active participation in ministry and leadership at St. Mark’s will come to an end. He will lead the Friday morning service through the month of February, as this will allow time for him to fully transition into the worshipping community at St. Mark’s.

With Fr. Dean and his family, we are planning an event later in the Spring, where we will all have a chance to gather, honor his priestly ministry, and most importantly, give thanks for the numerous ways we have been touched by Fr. Dean’s faithfulness. Please be on the lookout for when the date and event is set.

During these days, and as Fr. Dean sits and worships among us, take time to say thank you. We are a more faithful community because Fr. Dean has served so well. I give God thanks for the wonderful community of St. Mark’s, and the gift of grace in Fr. Dean Calcote.

Fr. James