Reverend Mark J. R. Farr (biography) in Washington DC
Mark Farr is Senior Director of Faith Engagement at the Points of Light Institute, the organization founded and chaired by former President George H.W. Bush; and Co-Director for the Institute for Faith & Service which he also founded with national faith leader Erik Schwarz.
Mark has responsibility for the faith work of Points of Light, its outreach to interfaith organizations, and the development of a long-term strategy for its faith relationships both nationally and globally. The Institute for Faith and Service is a leader in the development of national and international faith-led programming in the areas of disaster, service, interfaith and youth engagement.
Prior to these positions, he was Senior National Faith Director at America’s Promise, a national campaign whose Founding Chairman is General Colin L. Powell. Through Mark’s leadership, faith groups including the Catholic Church and many other diverse denominations and interfaith organizations have partnered with leading national non-profits to expand faith and service programs.
Mark is also founder and former President of The Institute for Progressive Christianity, a growing Washington, DC, think tank that provides ideas, and a philosophical basis for those seeking elective office who want to include broad, moderate, mainstream faith-based ideas.
Mark was the former CEO of To Kindle Spirit, a non-profit which seeks to enhance the use of spirituality in non faith-based situations, and to develop mentor programming for children and families between faith and non faith-based organizations.
Mark is an Episcopalian Priest. He helped organize National Faith Section of The Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia in April 1997, which all the living presidents attended (presidents Clinton, Bush Snr, Carter, Ford, and Mrs Reagan) and where the major non-profit America’s Promise was born. In addition, for two years, Mark oversaw America’s Promise’ corporate work in the South West. Prior to that, he worked at Sojourners Magazine with Jim Wallis, its founder and editor. During that time he coordinated the Philadelphia Christian Roundtable, a historic meeting in 1997 of diverse Christian leaders addressing the issue of poverty in the light of recent welfare legislation.
Before coming to America in 1995, Mark was Senior Minister at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Wimbledon, the parish which includes the famous tennis courts. He has a keen interest in the arts, including holding three retrospectives of his own paintings, and was Chairman of the Board of the Wimbledon Arts Festival.
Mark is a qualified psychotherapist and had his own business practice in therapy in London, England, and was a speaker and tutor on the spirituality of therapy at his alma mater, London’s Kensington Consultation Center.
Mark was educated at Durham University, Oxford Brookes University, and Cranmer Episcopal Seminary in the UK. His published articles include “The Presidents’ Summit” for Sojourners Magazine, a supplementary paper “Dialogues with Other Faiths” for the Oxford Conference in England; and “Expanding our Horizons,” an Episcopal Church strategy for spiritual and political growth, as well as Selected Verse, a book of poetry.
Mark is on the Advisory Committee of BCC Connections, which teams non-profits with businesses, and has recently become the Board Vice-Chair of the international cross-border service delivery organization Service for Peace.
Mark lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Laura, daughters Sadie and Sienna, and their cat, Gigi.
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