New priest-in-charge for St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church

The pandemic has posed challenges for houses of worship, with in-person services prohibited for months, then allowed only with limited attendance. Some West Seattle congregations has have the extra challenge of seeking new leadership – including St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral, after the departure of Rev. Kate Wesch. Now, St. John’s has announced a new leader:

We have called a new Priest in Charge, Rev. Canon Elise Johnstone, starting August 8.

Elise describes her multiple callings of mother, spouse, and Episcopal priest as bringing great joy. She has been serving since 2014 as the Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, in Kentucky. Prior to that call, she served as Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity, Georgetown, KY, and the Assistant Rector of Good Shepherd, Lexington, KY. She has a Bachelor’s in Classics from the University of Georgia, a Master of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary in New York City, and a Doctor of Ministry in Liturgy from the University of the South School of Theology in Sewanee, TN.

Elise has relished serving the Church on local, diocesan, and church-wide levels, serving multiple triennia as deputy and chair to General Convention, as well as serving on the Episcopal-Presbyterian Dialogue and the Board of the College for Bishops.

Her passions, in addition to her family, are liturgy, music, connecting those in need with resources while showing them they are loved and respected, as well as ballet and theatre. She is married to Ryan Shrauner, who is a seminary librarian, ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and a native of the Seattle area. They are the proud parents of Walter, who is a rising 6th grader. As a family, they enjoy hiking, travel, playing board games, The Simpsons, and figuring out what to do with the many LEGO they cohabitate with.

St. John’s is one of many local churches that have been streaming services online (as featured here with a list of links every Sunday) and has also been offering parking-lot services.

8 Replies to "New priest-in-charge for St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church"

  • Scubafrog June 4, 2021 (11:37 am)

    That’s awesome!  Welcome Rev. Canon Elise Johnstone!

    • Elise Johnstone June 7, 2021 (9:40 am)

      Thanks! We are looking forward to being there!

  • Vanessa June 4, 2021 (11:56 am)

    Welcome! Is there any idea on when “in person” services might begin? And is the church open to LGBT folks and families?

    • Katie Bucy June 4, 2021 (1:24 pm)

      The parish is still figuring out in person services. It’s possible people will be able to attend in person by registering ahead…possibly this month. Yes, absolutely, St John’s welcomes the LGBT community, as does the Episcopal Church in general. 

    • Dan Johnson June 5, 2021 (1:02 pm)

      In response to your question about LGBTQ folks and families. St.John’s is very welcoming and loving community to all, including the LGBTQ community. I have been coming to St. John’s for over 8 years. I am a gay man and we have several members of the LGBTQ community who not only attend church but are also  in leadership positions. I hope to meet you at St. John’s soon! 

  • PJK June 4, 2021 (11:59 am)

     Wow, a Sewanee grad!  My niece graduated from Sewanee in 2012 – awesome University – I loved visiting there for graduation!  Welcome to the PNW!!

  • Blbl June 4, 2021 (6:48 pm)

    From a former Camp Mikell camper, welcome to the PNW!

  • Elise Johnstone June 7, 2021 (8:34 pm)

    Thanks for the warm welcome and for sharing the news!  We look forward to being in West Seattle!

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