Please describe your participation in the life of your congregation, the diocese, and the larger community.
My congregation is St. Stephen’s, Columbus, which I’ve attended for about 15 years. I was treasurer of St. Stephen’s for 4 of those years and served one term on vestry. I’m still on the finance committee and have, at various times, been involved in maintaining and upgrading the technology at our church. I’ve also been a delegate to diocesan convention for more than five years.
My two main contributions at the diocesan level have been serving as our representative on the executive board of Province V for about 2 years now and serving for five years on the resolutions committee of diocesan convention. I was also an alternate lay deputy to the General Convention held earlier this year in Baltimore.
My main volunteer activity apart from church has been serving on my condo board for the past 7 years and as board secretary for the last 5 of those years.
I earned a PhD in French literature from OSU in 2005. I taught at the university level during the long years that I was in graduate school, and for several years thereafter. I was unable to get a tenure-track job within Ohio, however, and was reluctant to leave our state, because I had entered into a long-term relationship which led to my marriage.
I’m gay and came out many years ago while working on my master’s degree in French Literature at the University of New Orleans. A major reason I joined the Episcopal Church was its move toward accepting same-sex marriage after the turn of the millennium.
Why do you feel God is calling you to serve in this position?
The Christian denomination in which I was raised is not governed democratically, and so I was immediately drawn to the democratic governance of the Episcopal Church, when I joined it. I believe that, understood properly, the Christian message is fundamentally egalitarian and democratic. Running for and perhaps becoming a deputy to General Convention is the ultimate opportunity to participate in Episcopal democratic governance.
If I do become one of the 2024 lay deputies, I will try to honor the diversity of our diocese and reflect it in my work at General Convention. As an active user of social media, I hope also to stay in touch with everyone in our diocese who wishes to stay informed about the Convention’s day-to-day developments.
The Christian message is a call for ongoing social and political change, but determining the most effective way to bring about change can be more of a challenge even than determining the change that is necessary. I would be thrilled to take part in dialogue about both at the highest level of our denomination.