Leadership > Staff
The Reverend John Merz - Vicar
A biographical note from the Reverend John Merz:
I was born and raised in Brooklyn New York to Joseph and Mary L. Merz (both Architects) and have three older sisters two of whom remain in Brooklyn.
I was raised Roman Catholic, attended Catholic grade school, graduated from St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn. I graduated college locally with a major in English from Brooklyn College.
I abandoned “organized religion” for many years for all the usual reasons (plug in your gripe here), though through the urging of a former college professor with whom I studied religion I dipped a toe in the water at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields in NYC. Having found an honest, serious, inclusive and intellectually vibrant place in which to engage Christian faith anew, my sense of love for the mystery we call God, as well as a desire to be in deeper kinship with others was nurtured. While doing so, all those odd claymation stories in Catholic catechism came back to life, as did the strange smells from that darkened childhood church. The hallowed mystery of old ritual practices came alive again with new complexity, depth and meaning as they were being linked to education and action for justice. It was in that context and out of that community a call to ordained ministry and leadership in the church was discerned for and with me.
Before coming to Ascension I served as an Assistant Priest at the Church of the Transfiguration NYC, on the staff of the Diocese of NY as Episcopal Chaplain to NYU and the surrounding campuses and as an Assisting Priest at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin Times Square.
As no bio captures a person I will leave you with a few other tidbits or deep commitments:
- I was a basketball maniac for much of my life.
- I am a devout reader of archetypal psychology.
- I am generally interested in eccentric people.
- I love the theater of the street.
Finally, beyond having friends scattered all about the city, I have a home and personal life enriched beyond measure by my wife Tara L. Anderson who is a person of great humor and insight. We have a daughter Phaedra Lou and a cat Electra and are expecting a baby boy on October 18th, 2016.
I look forward to meeting you,