News - Article
Episcopal Diocese of Washington
News - Article
Leadership Transitions in the Diocese
Dear Friends of the Diocese of Washington,
2012 has been a year of leadership transition in the diocese. I write with gratitude for those who are ending years of faithful service and those who have accepted the call to ministries so important in our efforts to serve God's mission and proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
In May, the Rev. Barbara Allen retired from St. Barnabas Episcopal Church of the Deaf, where she served as Vicar of this mission congregation for ten years.
In June, the Rev. Dr. Peter Antoci, Episcopal Chaplain at the University of Maryland since 2003, announced that he had accepted as Associate Rector for Adult Formation at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Washington beginning in September.
Also in June, the Rev. Jessica Hitchcock, Diocesan Youth Missioner since January 2009, accepted a full-time ministry position as Associate Rector at St. Luke's Episcopal, Bethesda beginning in September.
Barbara, Peter, and Jessica have served God and the people of God with great love and dedication. While we will miss them, each is moving on to a new stage of life and ministry for which we give thanks.
I am delighted to announce the following calls to continue the work so ably performed until this time by Barbara, Peter and Jessica:
St. Barnabas Church of the Deaf has called the Rev. Susan Masters as Vicar (a half-time position). Susan comes to us from Minneapolis, where she has successfully revitalized a deaf congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Indeed, Susan's call represents the best of what the Call to Common Mission (the full communion between the Episcopal Church and ELCA) makes possible- the free sharing of gifts and leadership in service to God's mission. The future of Deaf Ministry, Susan believes, is ecumenical and she is keenly interested in working collaboratively across denominations. Susan is married to a journalist, Bob Hulteen, and they have two adult daughters. Her first Sunday at St. Barnabas is August 5th.
The Rev. Otis Gaddis III begins his ministry as Interim Chaplain at the University of Maryland, College Park on August 1st. Otis was ordained transitional deacon in the Diocese of Washington in June and is scheduled to be ordained priest next January. Active in young adult ministry leadership and development at his home parish of St. Mark's Capitol Hill, he was raised up for ordained ministry from our diocese and he went on to attend Yale Divinity School, where he received his Masters of Divinity degree in May. At Yale, Otis continued his leadership in young adult ministry, and he was the co-founder of the Episcopal Evangelism Network, or EEN, an inter-seminary student organization that supports, equips, and prepares seminarians to share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ.
Otis is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown Law School. He has experience in campus ministry from his undergraduate years when he was active in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Otis has a keen interest in adapting organizational principles of successful evangelical campus models of ministry to Episcopal campus ministry, so that more will experience our generous, expansive theology and the ways we as Episcopalians have been called to live and proclaim Christ's gospel.
The Rev. Melanie Mullen began her work as Interim Diocesan Youth Missioner (part-time) on July 15, overlapping with Jessica Hitchcock in the summer months. Melanie was also ordained to the transitional deaconate in June, having discerned a call to priesthood from St. Margaret's, Washington, DC. She graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in May and is scheduled to be ordained a priest in January. Melanie brings rich experience in non-profits, community organizing, youth, and young adult ministries. She is particularly skilled in ministry assessment and re-development, which will be the focus of her leadership at the diocese.
Melanie will continue work that Jessica began to evaluate and redesign key youth ministry initiatives. She will oversee a 12-month comprehensive evaluation initiative, engaging youth and youth leaders from across the diocese, with the intent, as Melanie writes, "of living into a vision of faith that will better equip youth to live as mature and articulate Christians, and to encounter the living Christ in their own lives."
In addition, I'm pleased to announce that we've made the second of two anticipated calls to new positions on the diocesan staff (the first of which, announced in May, being our call to Ms. Joey Rick to serve as Canon for Congregational Vitality). Mr. Jason Evans will join the diocesan staff in September in the newly-created position of Young Adult Missioner. Jason, a native of San Diego, has over a decade of experience working with young adults in a variety of contexts- urban and suburban, traditional church environments as well as new expressions of Christian community and worship. He comes to us having served as the Director of Outreach and Evangelism of First Presbyterian Church in San Diego, as well as the Executive Director of The Ecclesia Collective, an initiative to assist young leaders, churches and non-profit agencies in San Diego adapt to sociological and cultural change. He has served as a consultant and trainer to most mainline Christian denominations, including the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, as well as Saddleback Community Church.
Jason's responsibilities include working to strengthen the growing number of young adult ministries throughout the diocese, develop new initiatives, and provide strategic oversight and direction for our varied campus ministries. Jason is married to Brooke Evans and they have three children.
Finally, we are pleased to welcome Ms. Rachel Tjornehoj, who joined the diocesan staff earlier this month to serve on a part-time basis as Online Communications Specialist. Rachel is a recent graduate of Syracuse University and a member of St. Peter's, Poolesville. She will be responsible for producing regular electronic communications, making updates to the diocesan website, and expanding the reach of the diocese in social media and other channels.
My thanks to all who have assisted in the discernment and call processes for these important ministries. Please hold all those in transition in your thoughts and prayers, and join in welcoming Susan, Otis, Melanie, Rachel, and Jason to our diocesan community.