The Rev. Dr. Barbara Bond has been called as Priest-In-Charge of New Life Episcopal Church in Uniontown, Ohio effective March 1, 2020. Bond retired in 2016 after 10 years as Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton, Ohio. The energetic priest immediately took on a one-year post as Interim Rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Cleveland. In 2018 she began conducting services at New Life and now has been called to a permanent position there.
Bond is more than enthusiastic about the job. “I am delighted to be with the generous and caring people of New Life,” she said. “They love each other and have a positive attitude. With these two things, we can do Christ’s work in the world!” Bond said she is impressed with the numerous prayer ministries at New Life and is astonished at how much the parish does for the community. “The people of New Life collect food for the Lake Twp. FISH Food Pantry and items for the homeless, help families at Christmas, provide Thanksgiving turkeys for families in Lake Twp. schools, provide school supplies for local children, provide supplies for guidance counselors and nurses in the local schools, and put on a fabulous event every year for adults with different abilities. To name a few.”
While many Episcopal clergy retire to a less active life, there is no resting on laurels for the spirited Bond. Her impressive background includes newspaper reporting, teaching piano and voice, singing opera, living 10 years in Germany, being a hospital Chaplin, and serving as Rector or Vicar in Episcopal parishes in Idaho, Pennsylvania and Ohio over the last 24 years. She earned both her Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. “I’m always ready to move on to the next good thing,” she said. “I love to learn and teach and I enjoy having a spirit of adventure.”
Jan Szwast, New Life’s Senior Warden, says the church feels very blessed to have Bond serving them. “Barbara brings valuable experience to help us be the church God wants us to be inside and outside our walls,” she said. “She has been a comforting and motivating presence to our congregation and we look forward to her increased role in our future. She inspires us to stretch even farther to love God and love others so we can do our part to change the world for the better.” Szwast said the congregation especially appreciates Bond’s deep knowledge of history and her sermons, which can be alternately entertaining, touching, educational and inspiring.
In addition to her work as a compassionate and industrious priest, Bond also serves as President of Canton’s MacDowell Music Club (https://macdowellcanton.org/), where she produces a sought-after newsletter that is possibly the most complete list of musical events for music lovers in the Canton area. She also has an avid interest in history and dolls. She presents history to children in grades 2-6 through the American Doll Club at the North Canton Public Library. Bond lives in Canton with her husband Norm Van Cleve and their three cats.
Located at the juncture of Summit, Portage and Stark Counties in Uniontown, Ohio, New Life Episcopal Church is the spiritual home of a warm and welcoming congregation that loves God, loves others, and wants to change the world for the better. New Life practices radical love and conducts many outreach projects each year in the community. The Sunday service is at 10 A.M. To learn more about the church, visit www.ComeToNewLife.org