The Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer grew up in a small town in Kansas, the son of an Episcopal priest and a technical writer. Br. Richard Edward pursued chemistry and music as an undergraduate, graduating in 1997 from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. He also studied at Northwestern University and the Aspen Music Festival. In 1999, after answering a call to ordained ministry, he attended the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, where he was honored with an Excellence in Ministry Scholarship. After he graduated and was ordained in 2002 in the Diocese of West Missouri, he began serving in the Episcopal Diocese of California.
Video by John Chavez, created for the TamHigh Core Project
Br. Richard Edward began serving as Long-term Interim of Church of Our Saviour in 2006 and was elected and instituted as Rector in 2007. Ordained to the priesthood in 2002, he served previously as Vicar of Christ Episcopal Church — Sei Ko Kai, San Francisco. He has served in the Episcopal Diocese of California as Coordinator for the Ethnic and Multicultural Strategic Plan Working Group, co-chair of the Stewardship Department, and as alternate deputy to General Convention. In the Episcopal Church, he served for three years as Secretary of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry Council. He also has a passion for ecumenical, interfaith, and social justice ministries and has served in several organizations in the Bay Area related to these causes for serving the dignity of Christ in all people. His sermons have been published in Sermons that Work, his reflections have been published by Episcopal Café, and he posts at his blog: Caught by the Light.
Locally, he has served as president of the Marin Deanery, and currently is secretary for the Standing Committee of the Diocese of California.
Br. Richard Edward is an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross, an Anglican religious order following a Benedictine rule. After answering a call to religious life, he was received in 2011 into the novitiate of the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory, a religious community of The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion devoted to service to God’s people and in keeping a Rule that nurtures an apostolic life — a religious life lived out in the world, rather than in a monastery or cloister.
When he’s not up to his ears in work in the Church or behind a keyboard (piano or computer!), he’s spending time with his wife Hiroko, a native of Okayama, Japan, and their children, Daniel and Mari.
Br. Richard Edward continues to enjoy performing and accompanying in the Bay Area, as well as reading, writing, and chess. He resides with his family in Corte Madera.