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Fallbrook couple honored in Episcopal awards ceremony

A longtime Fallbrook couple was among those honored two weeks ago in a series of first-ever awards presented by the Rt. Rev. James Mathes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

Dale and Marion New, who have lived in Fallbrook for the past 35 years, received the Bishop’s Servant Ministry Award for their “outstanding service work in their church and community.”

Mathes presented the awards to the News and 12 other recipients during a gala dinner that was part of the 36th annual diocesan convention. The dinner was held Feb. 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley. The presentation featured a slide show of the recipients’ church and community work.

The convention is held each year by leaders of the 50-congregation diocese – which takes place in a vast area that stretches from San Diego to Lake Elsinore and Yuma, Ariz. The News were the only couple to receive an award, which is a new program instituted by Mathes.

Mathes put out the call for nominations in November in a letter that was sent to clergy throughout his three-county, two- state diocese.

“The nominated individual should be one whose ministry moves beyond the church community into the world,” Mathes said in the letter. “His or her work should be life giving to those served. I would hope that the marks of this ministry reflect humility, dedication, faithfulness and love of Jesus Christ.”

The News were nominated by the Rev. Canon Wayne Sanders of St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was established in 1891 and is Fallbrook’s longest continually-operating church. Sanders, who attended the convention with the News, said the couple has been an integral part of the St. John’s family and the church’s operations, upkeep and finances.

“They’ve been leaders since the beginning when they stepped up to the plate and volunteered at St. John’s Church,” Sanders said in an interview. “Their joy and love for the Lord has been a contagious flame that others have appreciated and hopefully will pass on for years to come.”

Dale New, 63, is thrilled that he and his wife were chosen for the award. But he added that the recognition is just part of their continuing church efforts.

“Anything we can do that helps individuals and brings people closer to the kingdom of God – we’re serving our purpose,” he said in an interview.

Other award recipients were selected from Episcopal churches in Poway, Coronado, Palm Desert, Borrego Springs, El Centro, Encinitas, San Diego, Desert Hot Springs, El Cajon, Carlsbad and Pacific Beach

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