Bishop Poulson Reed and Father Thomas Early become members in the Order of the Ascension

Order of the Ascension
Posted May 2, 2024

Brother Scott Benhase. Sister Michelle Heyne, Brother Poulson Reed, Sister Liz Schellingerhoudt

The new brothers of the Order of the Ascension are the Rt. Rev. Poulson Reed and the Rev. Tom Early. On April 30, while on retreat at the Community of Saint John the Baptist, Brother Poulson took the Promise as a life Professed Member and Brother Thomas as a new novice.  The Promise was received by Sister Michelle Heyne, OA, superior of the Order.

Early is priest-in-charge of St. John’s by the Campus, Ames, IA. On taking the Promise, he said, “My time with the Order is just beginning but I feel at home. They are folks passionate about parish ministry and the ways Benedictine spirituality can be a catalyst for mutual flourishing. After years of listening with the ‘ear of my heart’ I feel I have arrived to where God has been calling.”

Reed, bishop of the Diocese of Oklahoma, first took the Promise and became a novice three years ago as the community meeting using Zoom during the pandemic. “As a new bishop, it isn’t always easy to find community,” Reed said. “I’ve found in the Order a group of bishops, other clergy, and lay people living under a common rule of prayer and holy living, but deeply committed to equipping the vitality of congregations. It’s been a life giving experience for me.”

Brother Lowell Grisham, Brother Thomas Early, Sister Michelle Heyne, and Brother Richard Proctor

The Order now has two active Professed Members who are bishops. Poulson Reed and Scott Anson Benhase, assisting bishop in the Diocese of Florida and retired bishop of Georgia. Brother Scott was professed in 1988 in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at General Seminary. Bishop Greg Rickel, now assisting bishop in Southeast Florida, was a member earlier in this century.

The charism of the order is the development of parish churches grounded in Anglican pastoral and ascetical theology, especially Benedictine spirituality. They also draw on the fields of organization development and organizational psychology. Its members serve parish churches as priests-in-charge, consultants, trainers and coaches, and in the episcopal oversight of parish churches.