In Memory of the Rev. Peter Rood

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Father Peter Rood this past week. Peter was the rector of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester for many years before moving to Oak Harbor, Washington to serve at St. Stephen’s Church in 2019.

He liked to call Holy Nativity a “community center that just happened to have a church attached to it” and said yes to pretty much anyone who wanted to use the church for the greater good of the world. He ripped out a side lawn and created a community garden. When the neighborhood wanted a playground he took out a section of the front lawn of the church.

He was also a big supporter of Kelly and I. Along with Environmental Changemakers he hosted book events for us. He collaborated with the Los Angeles Bread Bakers in building a community oven which became a place to gather for monthly bread and pizza parties. Peter had the same condition as Kelly and was very supportive during Kelly’s two open heart surgeries. He was a kind, creative and loving soul who will be greatly missed by so many people.

I went though my photos to find pictures of Peter at work but he was always moving around too much to get a shot. I did find a sign that hung in the parish hall at Holy Nativity that sums up Peter’s life: “May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe you can make a difference in this world so that you can do what others claim can’t be done.”

Peter is survived by his children and stepchildren, Dylan, Julian, Hilary, Kajia, and Paul: a half-brother, Austin; and several grandchildren. His wife, Christen Herman, died in 2021.

Leave a comment


  1. One year after Peter’s aortic dissection, I was stricken with the same. During my four months in hospital and another 6 months of recovery, Peter stayed in touch and was a hope-filled lifeline. We exchanged messages a couple weeks ago when he told me he is going for minor surgery to replace a valve. I am heartbroken. We were friends for 30 years or so.

  2. I am shocked and so saddened by the news of Peter’s death. I have such fond memories of our time at seminary.
    Tho we weren’t close after we went our separate ways, I followed his ministry via emails and Facebook. Blessings on his family.

    • Peter was such a gifted clergy person–honest, compassionate, humorous, and generous. One in a million.

  3. I thank the Lord for allowing Father Peter to cross my path; He made a few trips to Saint Georges Episcopal Church/Hawthorne CA., and encourage the creation of our Church summer garden. I will always remember him walking around our church grounds. I even attended some of the garden parties at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester, CA.-Lord recieve Father Peter into your Kingdom.

Comments are closed.