Servant Ministry Award Presented to Fred and LLouise Jee


Last updated 11/28/2022 at 10:48am

Rev. Michael Plekon, Llouise and Fred Jee

The people and clergy of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church nominated LLouise and Fred Jee for the Servant Ministry Award of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, and they received the award at the diocesan convention on November 12.

The Jee's are what you might call the dynamic duo. They have lived in Borrego since 1975 and have been active at St. Barnabas as it grew from a mission to a parish to the present time.

Currently, LLouise is on the vestry, is the sacristan, serves at the altar, prepares the bulletins, helps organize the monthly Food Bank, assists the Sr. Warden, manages the Memorial Garden as well as the memorial services, and generally pitches in whenever something is needed. Among the many other things she has done in the past was teach Sunday school classes (for her own children), she has designed and created many of our chasubles and stoles and other liturgical items, served on the Vestry many times, maintains safe storage for important things like blueprints, and innumerable other things known and unknown.

Fred is the "sound man," responsible for the way things sound in the church and has recently become the backup "camera man" for our Zoom system. In addition, he is the usher (sometimes he has help in the winter), greets people as they arrive at the church, after the happy hour he cleans up, gathers the trash, waits until everyone is gone and locks up.

He also does the setup for the monthly Food Bank, with Llouise directs unloading of items from the Cushman-Jacobs Food Bank truck. Llouise arranges the pickup stops for clients and both distribute food. Fred heads the cleans up afterward.

Fred is the church property manager, with LLouise, making sure the fire extinguishers are OK, checking on supplies and replenishing them, working with the gardener – all the things that no one else thinks about. He has served as a participant in many audits over the years.

They both also are heavily involved in things in the community. Fred developed and organized a growingly respected Film Festival, in which he spends massive amounts of time each year reviewing all sorts of submissions. He also participates actively in the Performing Arts Center presentations either in the cast or backstage. LLouise loves to share her background in education by working as a teacher's aide at the grade school when she isn't busy volunteering with the Archeology group at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Both Fred and LLouise worked for the state park for years – Fred as a ranger and geology specialist, while LLouise mapped the entire park.

But the Jee's are not simply very active members of the parish and the community.

They stand out as living icons of Christ in both the parish and the larger community and have been so for decades. No one will ever know how many rides Fred has given to medical appointments, how many visits they have made to seniors, and those recuperating at home. There will never be a tally of all those who have gotten food, clothing or help in other ways from these caring, generous, wonderful people. They have shown us how to live out the Gospel.

As another leader in the larger Borrego community put it thus: "They put St. Barnabas on the map. They are examples of how faith is put into practice."

Thus, we are grateful for their service to God and their neighbors. We are blessed by their presence and love and wisdom and celebrate them as Servant Ministers of the Lord.