The Rev. Paul Bennett

Please reflect on your participation in the life of your congregation, the diocese, and the larger community:

I am the newly ordained Diocesan Resident/Transitional Deacon at All Saints’ Portsmouth. I have been a part of the Diocese of Southern Ohio since 2014, formerly a member of St. Luke’s Marietta, OH. I graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in May of 2020 and was ordained a Transitional Deacon in June. My wife and our two children settled into our new of Portsmouth in July.

My participation in the church both locally and in the larger church as mainly been focused on the opioid crisis. While in Virginia, I partnered with a fellow seminarian to begin training clergy and lay members, on how to administer Naloxone and have worked with congregations to keep Naloxone with first aid kits.

I am an artist that dabbles in watercolor paintings that are typically inspired by nature, spirituality and scripture. I also make handmade rosaries. I believe that creativity is the movement of the Holy Spirit in our imagination and that we need to find spiritual language to describe the artistic/creative process.

Why do you feel God is calling you to serve in this position?

I am a camp guy. We all know those camp people, those people that begin looking forward to next year’s camp on the way home from this year’s camp. I have been that way my entire life. While I have not attended summer camps at Procter, I grew up going to church camp every summer and have continued that tradition with my family. During my discernment/formation, and throughout the ordination process, I have found Camp Procter to be sort of touch stone place for my soul. I find the grounds to be Holy and deeply spiritual. I also believe in the value of those mountain top moments that happen at camp or on retreat, and Procter provides that space. I hope that I can serve the diocese as a careful steward of our beloved camp.