The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, ordained Benjamin Brenkert, Jae Wan Chung, Douglas C. Mohrmann and Sheng Wang to the sacred order of Deacons, Saturday January 27th at 11 AM in the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
Meet the Ordinands
Dr. Benjamin James Brenkert, EdD, LMSW, SIFI, originally from Valley Stream, Long Island, is married to Willian Hernandez Brenkert (originally from El Salvador), they live in Jackson Heights with their beloved cockatiels and pet fish. The Brenkerts worship in English and Spanish at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Jackson Heights, New York.
Benjamin is a tenured school social worker assigned to four New York City public schools in Brooklyn, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University, and an author. His clinical expertise is in school social work and palliative and end-of-life care. He actively supervises graduate students of social work during their field education, including students from Fordham University and Columbia University.
Brenkert writes about Ignatian Pedagogy and Public Education, Character Formation, Teacher Training, Spirituality for the Classroom and Ethics. Brenkert is a former member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). He earned graduate degrees in Theology from Boston College and the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. At Teachers College, Columbia University, Brenkert completed his doctorate under the tutelage of Ernest Morrell, Christopher Emdin, and Pierre Faller.
Brenkert is also a scholar of the Newport Sex Scandal, 1919-1921. He is published by the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, The Advocate, Out Magazine, The Washington Post, the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and other outlets. Brenkert is thankful for the love and support of his husband, Willian, their families, the members of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and his many friends and companions that have accompanied him throughout his discernment. Brenkert knows his parents, Albert and Loretta are looking down on him from above with joy and gratitude, and encourage him onward towards his ordination to the priesthood
Jae Wan Chung
Jae Wan Chung was born and grew up in Seoul, Korea. After graduating with B.S. in Electrical Engineering he served as an officer of Facility Construction Squad in the Korean Navy for three years. Meeting in Hanshin Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Church of ROK), Jae married Ala, a Christian Educator, and moved together to US for further study at Eden Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO) in 2001. Jae was ordained in The Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2010 while serving a Korean-American church in Panama City, Florida for seven years and called to be a pastor of a Korean church in Long Island, New York in 2015.
Jae and Ala have three sons living on the West Coast: Sehyun (software engineer in San Francisco), Joonha (film studies at University of California, Santa Barbara), and Gunwoo (studying business at University of California, Los Angeles).
Jae likes walking the trails at Cold Spring Harbor with Ala and playing basketball with their three boys. They enjoy camping during the summer and snowboarding in the winter. After serving churches, predominantly in Korean-Christian culture, he was questioning and concerned about genuine Christian spirituality, especially through the pandemic period. From the Episcopal liturgy and the practice of contemplative prayer, he found deepened spirituality in the Anglican tradition. Now he is praying for the true living community seeking for union with Christ in the Episcopal liturgy and spirituality, especially for Korean-Americans.
Douglas C. Mohrmann
Dr. Douglas C. Mohrmann is currently a Visiting Scholar at Union Theological Seminary, after stretches as a professor of biblical studies at The General Theological Seminary and Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI). At Cornerstone, he served as Chair of the Religion and Ministry Division and was Co-Director of the Honors Program. There he also founded the Center for the Study of Antiquity and led several trips to Greece and Israel. In 2023 his commentary on LXX Deuteronomy was published by Brill. He has also published articles in the Anglican Theological Review (2021, 2019). His current writing project is on spirituality in the time of Jesus. Field supervision for ordination is being conducted at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
Dr. Mohrmann’s formal education began at Evangel University (Springfield, MO) in Mathematics and Bible. His seminary work was at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (S. Hamilton, MA) with emphases in New Testament and Biblical Languages. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Durham (England) under the supervision of James D. G. Dunn.
Douglas and his wife, Rebecca, live in West Hempstead, while their home parish is Church of the Ascension (Brooklyn). They are proud to be parents of Jessica, Barbara, Joshua, Alyssa, John, and Timothy. Love of the outdoors is motivation for their backpacking and hiking in remote areas of Michigan, Minnesota, and Maine. Gardening, riding bikes, and walking their retriever, Winston, are other favored pastimes.
Gratitude goes out to his family and friends for their support in this journey.
I am Wang Sheng, you can call me Samuel, I am from China. My wife, my daughter, and I have lived in New York for 16 years. I graduated from Hong Kong Minghua Theological Seminary in 2023. My home church is St. George's Church in Flushing and currently serves St. Francis Church in Bellmore.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me. With your help and guidance, I can continue to move forward on the road of serving God. It is an honor to have you by my side on this journey of ministry. I am so grateful to God for choosing me and allowing the diocese to give me the opportunity to be ordained. I will continue to work hard and serve God with all my heart.
Photography by: Jen Uihlein, Girl in a Camera Productions