The Rev. Gia Hayes-Martin
St. John’s, Worthington
Nominee for Clergy Deputy to the 81st General Convention
Please describe your participation in the life of your congregation, the diocese, and the larger community.
I’m a charter member of the New Call in a Pandemic Club: I came back home to Ohio and began my ministry as rector of St. John’s in April 2020, two days after the first Covid Easter. I currently serve our diocese as chair of the Nominating Committee for the tenth Bishop of Southern Ohio. I’m also an active member of the Columbus Deanery and the Worthington Faith Leaders. You may have heard my voice reading the book of Genesis for A Morning at the Office, the Morning Prayer podcast from Forward Movement.
Prior to my call to St. John’s, I served for nearly 10 years in the Diocese of California, most recently as rector of St. Bede’s, Menlo Park, and before that as associate rector at St. Matthew’s, San Mateo. While in California, a colleague and I convened a working group that sought to address pay discrimination against women clergy, clergy of color, and LGBTQ+ clergy. Our group convinced Diocesan Convention to pass, unanimously, a canon that mandates publication of anonymized clergy compensation data, a key step in reducing pay gaps. I’ve also served on two task forces of General Convention: the Task Force on Theology of Money from 2018-21, which reported on theologies of money, stewardship, and practices of socially responsible investment in the Episcopal Church; and the second iteration of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage from 2015-18, whose work led to liturgical marriage equality in all dioceses of the church.
Why do you feel God is calling you to serve in this position?
I love the Episcopal Church because this is where Jesus found me when I was a broken, hurting young adult. He followed me into the tomb I’d made of my life, grabbed my hand, and led me into resurrection. And I continue to find him here, in the pews and parish halls and Zoom meetings of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement. My service on General Convention task forces and in the Diocese of California persuaded me that God has given me gifts for the ministry of deputy. Southern Ohio is my fourth diocese—I became an Episcopalian in the Diocese of Tennessee and was ordained in the Diocese of Ohio before serving in California—and this breadth of experience, in places with both conservative and liberal reputations, has given me a wide perspective on our church, an appreciation for the big tent of Anglicanism, and a commitment to the dignity of all baptized people. I came to love Southern Ohio quickly, and it would be an honor to serve our diocese as a deputy.