Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Rector

The Reverend  Kenneth Nicholas Forti - "Nik"

 Background

  I was born on February 8, 1981 in Richmond and raised in Chesterfield County. Growing up, my family was Roman Catholic, but we rarely attended Mass. While I was a teenager, I attended both Catholic and Episcopal Churches.  During this time, I felt called to the Episcopal Church and was received in the Diocese of Southern Virginia when I was twenty, just before leaving for college.

 In 2010, after seminary, I joined the staff of St Paul’s Memorial Church as the Associate Rector for University and Young Adult Ministry.  In addition to my work as chaplain to the Episcopal students at UVa, I was charged with reviving their dormant Youth Ministry.  During the three years that I was there, I formed a Youth Ministry with a consistent and dedicated group that met weekly. 

In May 2013, I became the Theologian in Residence at Southside Abbey in Chattanooga Tennessee.   Southside Abbey acts as an alternative worshiping community for the purpose of serving its local community and exploring new ways for the Church to be the Church of the future.  The Southside of Chattanooga includes many neighborhoods long inhabited by the more impoverished citizens of the city - largely African-Americans, Latinos, and Sudanese immigrants - who are now beginning to be displaced by the increasing gentrification of the area.  Southside Abbey seeks to be a site of reconciliation and relationship between these two very different groups. 

 My liturgical experience has been stretched by my time at Southside Abbey as we often experimented with various forms of worship.  I feel equally comfortable with Rite 1 and Rite 2 as well as the Church's supplemental liturgical resources - Enriching Our Worship.  Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline are, I believe, also wonderful ways to gather in prayer during the week.

 Liturgical leadership (including Preaching), when combined with Teaching/Formation and Pastoral Care, make up the three most important responsibilities of a priest, because they are also the three pillars of parish life.  And these three are interrelated.  In worship we present ourselves as a living sacrifice in Christ, which prepares us to be further formed in His image and likeness through teaching and discipleship, a discipleship that is lived out in our relationships of mutual pastoral care.  Just as the priest presides at the Eucharist but the entire congregation participates in the worship, the priest also takes the lead in pastoral care but it is really the work of the whole congregation in building friendships and relationships of concern that make up the full life of pastoral care.   

 For my own spiritual care, I enjoy a regular prayer life often grounded in the Daily Office.  I spend my off-hours maintaining long term friendships and creating new ones.  And aside from Church, locally-owned coffee shops and little used bookstores are, for me, the surest institutional signs of God's Kingdom.  I also enjoy scholarly pursuits - reading and writing - and spending time outdoors.

 Prior to my arrival, it would be nice to start to get to know the congregation of The Fork Church.  If you would like, you can email me at KNicholasForti@gmail.com telling me a bit about you and your family.  Adding a picture of you and family will help me get to know you better.

 Education

Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy & Religious Studies from Radford University; Radford, VA (2004).

Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary; Alexandria, VA (2010).

Master of Sacred Theology from Sewanee: The University of the South; Sewanee, TN (2014).

 Experience

Associate Rector for Young Adult & University Ministry at St Paul's Memorial Church, Charlottesville, VA (2010-2013).

Theologian in Residence at Southside Abbey, Chattanooga, TN (2013-2014) -  http://vimeo.com/59134494

 Other

Member of the Society of Scholar-Priests & Scholar-Priest Initiative -   http://www.scholarpriests.org/

Contributed a chapter for a book on The Soul to be published by Wipf & Stock - (forthcoming).

 Blog

Notes from the Undercroft -  http://subterraneanepistles.blogspot.com/

 

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