Deacon Kyle W. Pederson named the 2011 recipient of the Canon Jones award.
A long-time peopleís advocate in the fields of mental health and addictions will be honored in November for his many years of supportive work. He is the Rev. Kyle W. Pedersen, a resident of New Haven and director of the Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation, Inc., in that city. He has been named to receive the Rev. Canon Clinton R. Jones Award granted by the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford. The award is accompanied by $1,000.
The award annually recognizes individuals whose life and work exemplify the values, accomplishments and passions of the late Canon Jones during his 40-year ministry at the Cathedral, and will be presented at a dinner on November 12. The Friends of the Cathedral is an organization of members and others founded to strengthen the Cathedralís worship, outreach and cultural ministries. The Cathedral is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
Since 1996 Pedersen, an ordained deacon of the Episcopal Church, has worked with people experiencing mental illness, addiction, homelessness and poverty. He has been noted for using creative and asset-focused approaches in helping people achieve healthy and meaningful lives in the community. He is a staff member in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University and former senior program director of the Community Services Network of Greater New Haven where he has directed supportive housing and employment services, and supervised chaplaincy and peer and family services. He has been a coordinator of community life at Fellowship Place, a facility that provides recovery support services.
He is Deacon for New Haven, a post created in 2010 by the Episcopal Diocese serving eight parishes in the New Haven area. At the time of his appointment, the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese, noted that Pedersen would work with the parishes to discern the mission of God and effectively connect with each other and with the dreams and challenges of the city.
He is a founding member of the Chapel on the Green, an outdoor service initiated in 2008 by Trinity Episcopal Church in New Haven to serve the homeless and others who may not feel comfortable sitting in a church. Services are held year-round at 2 p.m. Sunday, followed by a shared lunch. Local clergy take part and area parishes provide the meals.
Pedersen received his B.A. in liberal studies from the New School in New York, a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School, and a Certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. His career path to ordained ministry began, after several years in the florist business, when he took a job as case manager at Garden House, a community residence for former homeless adults in New York City. It became a life-changing move for him.
Pedersen is married and has two children.
Further information about the award or the dinner can be obtained by contacting Dean Mark B. Pendleton at Christ Church Cathedral at 860-527-7231 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Episcopal Epistle: Pentecost 2011 (link)
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