The Rev. Dr. Barbara Bond
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Bond became Priest-In-Charge of New Life Episcopal Church in Uniontown, Ohio on March 1, 2020. She retired in 2016 after 11 years as Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton, Ohio. The energetic priest immediately took on an 18-month post as Interim Rector at St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Cleveland. In 2018 she began conducting services at New Life and has been their permanent Priest-in-Charge for four years.
Barbara 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.”
Barbara’s 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 27 years. She earned both her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. In her earlier life, she completed a history degree at Carleton College, and two master’s degrees in applied voice.
Jan Szwast, one of New Life’s lay leaders, says the church feels very blessed to have Barbara 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, especially during the COVID lockdown. 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 Barbara’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 local libraries. Barbara lives in Canton with her husband Norm Van Cleve and their cat, Clio.
(Thanks to Charita Goshay for her story in the Canton Repository on March 1, 2020, on which this write-up is based.)