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If you needed a new roof, and you were having a birthday, you might come up with a special way to raise some money to help pay for that roof.

The Rev. John LesCallett, vicar of The Anglican Church of the Atonement in Fountain Hills, turned 73 June 16. It happens the church also needs a new roof.

Fr. John got a bit of divine inspiration and decided to skydive as a fundraiser to help pay for the church’s roof.

He and a contingent from the church headed to Skydive Buckeye a couple of days after his birthday to fulfill an item on his bucket list.

“I am in the best shape I’ve been in in 30 years,” Fr. John said. “It really was the perfect time to take the jump.”

Fr. John’s cardiologist is the one most thrilled about his condition.

“He was very encouraging about me doing the jump,” Fr. John said. “I have come a long way since open heart surgery.”

Fr. John’s wife, Ranee, described a conversation her husband had with a friend.

“He (Fr. John) went up into the heavens, where ‘you can touch the face of God’ and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane,” the friend told Mrs. LesCallett. “Someone came by and asked him if he was worried. He smiled and said something to the effect of ‘not at all’ because he knew God up above would handle it.’”

Fr. John said his instructor on the tandem jump was “so great. He really gave me confidence.”

Fr. John also complimented Skydive Buckeye for its generosity in discounting Fr. John’s fee since he was jumping as a fundraiser.

Despite not reaching the fundraising goal, Fr. John said he definitely would jump again, and he would recommend it for everybody.

He said he won’t repeat the adventure right away. Next year he will be ziplining in Tucson.

“I already have my 74th birthday planned,” he said.