"One among many...touched by God...a lover of souls..."
The Reverend Phil Bjornberg is a "cradle Episcopalian" with a charismatic ministry shaped by a number of profound spiritual experiences, but Phil's route to the priesthood was not direct. After an award-winning career with a major aerospace company from 1979-2001, he created an owner-operated custom hardwood flooring installation and finishing company, Class A Floors, LLC. In 2003, Phil committed himself to the traditional twelve step spirituality of recovery and in 2011 was accepted into the Master of Arts in Theology and Recovery Ministry degree program at Fuller Theological Seminary to learn how to bring back to the church what God was revealing to him in recovery. Phil was accepted as a postulant for ordination to holy orders in the spring of 2014 and from 2014-2016, “pastor” Phil was employed as Chaplain for active-duty military personnel and veterans with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) at Stonington Institute.
Ordained to the diaconate June 14, 2016, Rev. Phil was called to serve as part-time Clergy-in-Charge at Trinity Church Portland, Connecticut as a transitional deacon in September and was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut at Trinity on December 21, 2016 at age sixty.
In December 2017, Rev. Phil took his pension from Pratt & Whitney as a lump sum to purchase a house in foreclosure on Main Street in Portland, CT and became a founding director of Follow Me Home, Inc. (FMH), in partnership with Veteran Special Forces Army Ranger, Lance Williams, to establish a residential recovery community. FMH employs theological design thinking for social entrepreneurship to create and develop residential recovery community restoring human dignity and flourishing in the image of God’s intent. Rev. Phil led the parish of Trinity to embrace the community at Follow Me Home as God’s call for them to missional ministry and although Phil sold the recovery house in 2022, Trinity Church members still convene a dinner and fellowship events weekly around a table of blessing in the Trinity Parish Hall.
Rev. Phil was called to Saint George’s Parish on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in January 2020 as a full-time rector shared between the two historic colonial churches of St James’ in Accomac, Va. and St George’s in Pungoteague, Va. Pastor Phil shepherded both congregations through the pandemic without missing even one week of live worship through integration of technology with numerous innovative liturgical elements. Elected to the Agricultural Workers Advocacy Coalition (AWAC) and Board of Dos Santos Food pantry, Phil was instrumental in expanding the missional ministry of St George’s Parish from the capacity of a few participating lay leaders operating out of a closet in a parish hall to an ecumenical ministry involving numerous parishes and youth groups on both sides of the Chesapeake Bay operating a 5,000 sq ft Thrift Shop and Food Pantry serving hundreds of migrant individuals and families each month.
The Rev. Phil and Sue, his wife of nearly 47 years returned to Connecticut for medical reasons in 2022 and now make their home in East Haddam close to grown children Jason (44) and Julia (41) and grand-children, Elliot (17), Anna (14), and Ella (3).
In 2023, Father Phil was employed as Recovery Support Staff serving priests, seminarians, and young laypeople in various stages of recovery at Enders Island Roman Catholic Retreat Center, Mystic, CT. and has also been serving many Sundays as Supply Priest in ECCT.
Phil was recently elected to the Board of Advisors to the UConn Recovery Community (URC).
Liz enjoys being part of the community at the University of CT where she graduated with a degree in Music Performance. She has worn many hats throughout her career, including Administrative Assistant at the UConn Community School of the Arts and Ameriprise Financial. Liz taught private music lessons for many years and continues to maintain an active performance schedule. She appreciates the strong commitment to music that the St Mark's community shares along with its many diverse ministries. Liz lives with her husband, Arthur, of 37 years. They enjoy spending time with their 18-year-old cat and their 130-pound Newfoundland dog.
Charles Houmard, Organist & Choir Director
Dr. Charles Houmard is the Organist and Choir Director at St. Mark's. He holds a Doctorate in Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin.
He obtained the Master’s Degree from Indiana University and his A.B. from Oberlin College. Dr. Houmard has held faculty positions at Beloit College as the Director of Vocal Studies, and at Dartmouth College, where he directed the Chamber Singers and taught a course in Music Theory and Music History. He is the founding Artistic Director of Cantabile Women’s Chorus of the Upper Valley and has served as Minister of Music at various churches throughout his career. He has recently completed a Fulbright Scholar Grant in Choral Conducting to Bolivia in affiliation with the Catholic University San Pablo of Santa Cruz and APAC, Asociación Pro Arte y Cultura.