Please describe your participation in the life of your congregation, the diocese, and the larger community
Since my ordination in 2016 I have had the privilege of serving in three different congregations in the Diocese (St. Matthew’s, Westerville; All Saints, New Albany; and St. Paul’s, Logan). At St. Matthew’s we worshipped God in peoples homes and in pubs this unorthodox approach to a traditional church model impressed upon me the need to meet people where they are and that our faith should not be confined to a beautiful building, but is meant to be a driving force that leads us into community with one another and into the communities in which we live and work. Ministering to people out of coffee shops, participating in Street Church all shaped my future diaconal ministry and helped me to get out of my comfort zone and take Christ into the world. In my time at All Saints, New Albany (a very different experience of church) I aided in their amazing community garden which helps feed those in need of fresh and affordable produce the neighboring community of Gahanna. In my current assignment I am in the threshold of Appalachia where we have aided local community pantries and closets by collecting goods and clothes for those in need, as well as, hosting pet adoption events on the Feast of St. Francis. During my time at St. Paul’s I have functioned as the Archdeacon of the Diocese which has led me into deeper conversations with the deacon community and assisting parishes and the diocese understand the diaconate more and how deacons uplift and raise up the church by having a foot in both the secular and ecclesiastical worlds.
Why do you feel God is calling you to serve in this position?
As a Deacon, I am called to “Look for Christ in all others” this promise made by all deacons at our ordinations could be expanded to look for Christ in all situations, in all decisions, in all counsels that are sought. It is this promise that has impelled me to put my name in for this position – a deacon’s view of the world should be different from that of a priest and that of a lay person, it is this view that calls out to those that will listen, where is Christ in this decision, discussion and counsel. It is the role of the Standing Committee to give counsel to the Bishop, to take up the role of the ecclesiastical authority when there is no bishop and to fulfill its canonical responsibilities in calling persons to ordination, in raising up new Episcopal Communities and to aid congregations when the decision is made to close its doors. In these decisions and counsels a deacons voice should be present – always seeking where Christ is in a given decision and how we can be Christ to individuals and congregations as we aid them in building up the body of Christ.