By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Friday, July 20, 2000
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
HAMPTON — Trinity Episcopal Church in Hampton has announced the appointment of Reverend Peter Lane as the church's new rector. Reverend Lane will fill the space left in the pulpit by retired priest Reverend Harold Westover from Missouri, who had filled in since the retirement earlier this year of Trinity's long-time clergyman, Father Warren Deane.
The 43-year-old rector, who lives in Exeter with his wife Kate and their two Guatemala-born children, Jacob, 4, and Sarah, 3, was raised in an Episcopal household (his father, Rev. Arthur Lane, is a retired priest who is well-known throughout New England). Though at first Peter chose not to "ride on dad's coat tails" by becoming a reverend, he eventually found his true calling to the priesthood during the illness of his first wife, Dee, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
At that time, Peter found he "came face-to-face with the need ... for a support network" that would "make an event like that survivable." He became closely involved with Seacoast Hospice and drew even closer to the roots of the godly faith in which he was brought up.
"I became more involved in church at that point," says Father Peter, finding comfort and support within his church family and through his faith in God, as well as through Seacoast Hospice, which provided care for Dee until her death in 1990.
Actively involved in the organization's young widows/widower's group, the Bridges program, and one-on-one caregiving, Peter found opportunities to "use what I discovered were gifts of my own" — being with people, listening to them and offering support, always readily available "to walk with them through difficult times -- not necessarily offering great wisdom, but simply being there."
(Through this experience, Peter brought to light a verse in the Bible which reads, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.")
Peter realized "what God has for us with his presence in our lives" even during difficult times, and felt pulled toward the priesthood because that was a place where he could "be that reminder" for others "to acknowledge and proclaim God's presence and blessing on all of it." Plus, he says, "I love being with people, and love the privilege and honor of being invited into their lives."
With the true nature of his calling quite evident, Peter followed his father's footsteps and answered that calling by becoming an Episcopal priest. He attended three years of seminary at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria.
Ordained in 1998, he served as an assistant reverend for two years in a parish in Newport, Rhode Island. Now married to Kate and relocated back in the Seacoast area ("This is what we call 'home'"), Father Peter and his family have been "warmly received" by the congregation at Hampton's Trinity Episcopal Church.
"A great group of people — an amazing bunch of folks with amazing connections to the community" is how Father Peter describes the Trinity church family. He says he is looking forward to "continuing the work they've begun" and is "excited about growing as a parish."
The Episcopal reverend, who rightly refers to himself as "a people person," is also prepared to humbly utilize his gifts in his close connection to the lives of his parishioners. And, in the course of doing so, Father Peter says, it is his desire "to continue to be a beacon of hope of God's love and grace in the community."