The Rev. Dennis W. Short, a regular contributor to In Theory who serves as minister of Harbor Christian Church in Newport Beach, announced that he will retire after 35 years of ministry in Orange County. His last service will be on Sunday, July 25. Apart from his ministry work, Short is credited with being a founder of the Peace Studies program at Chapman University. He also is the immediate past president of the Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council, where he served two terms as president. The council has promoted an ongoing dialogue among the many and diverse faiths now represented in the county, and it has organized interfaith services on the National Day of Prayer. In your view, how has Dennis Short contributed to the growth of religion and spirituality in Newport-Mesa and Orange County?
The Rev. Dr. Dennis Short is an exemplary servant of God. He has served Christian congregations, including ours, beyond his own denomination; he has led many efforts for mutual respect and understanding among very different children of God through and beyond interfaith ministry.
Pastor Short personifies Gregory the Great's definition of "minister" as "servant of the servants of God," Isaiah's "How beautiful (is) the messenger who announces peace" (52:7) and the Beatitudes' "Blessed are the peacemakers..." (Matthew 5:9).
Dennis is a faithful husband, father and grandfather who understands both challenges that demand his best efforts and recreation through activities, including golf and tennis. I rejoice and am grateful that I am blessed to enjoy Dennis Short as a colleague and friend.
(The Very Rev'd Canon) Peter D. Haynes
Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church
Corona del Mar
Rev. Dennis Short has had a far-reaching ministry in Orange County that will be missed! He has acted as a voice of compassion and faith as a true pastor to our community, not only to his congregation at Harbor Christian Church.
He is the great orchestrator. His fingerprints are all over our community!
He has been an advocate for women and sexual reproductive issues, for the LGBT community and equal rights, for low-wage workers — particularly farm workers — for immigrants, for peace, for interfaith dialogue and for the healing of our county.
The Rev. Short's ministry is marked by his ability to build authentic relationships. His honest desire to help people has built trust in every setting he's worked in, whether he is helping a homeless woman find a night's stay, counseling a couple to help save their marriage or leading the CROP Walk every October.
Dennis genuinely cares and this is why so many of us have been touched by his ministry. We will miss his good humor, his big heart, his commitment and his friendship.
The Rev. Sarah Halverson
Fairview Community Church