AED Board Nominee - 2020 Election
Diocese: Los Angeles
Present Employment: Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
Current Ministries: Provost, St. Paul’s Commons; Priest, St. Athanasius Episcopal Church.
Current Church Assignment: St. Athanasius Episcopal Church
Previous Positions: Pastor, Immanuel Presbyterian Church 1995-2010; Founder and ED of Partner in Hope 1988-1995; Theological Advisor & Urban Coordinator of AMEXTRA, 1986-1995; Professor, Comunidad Teológica, Mexico City; Professor, Seminario Presbiteriano, Mexico City; Associate Pastor, Bel Air Pres. 1978-85.
Education: B.A. Pomona College, 1973; M. Div. Fuller Theological Seminary, 1977; D. Min. Fuller Theological Seminary, 1985.
Prior Board Experience: Chair, Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Presbytery of the Pacific, 2007-2010; Member, Program Group on Ecumenical and Interreligious Life, Diocese of LA, 2013 to present; CLUE LA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) 2015-2018; Progressive Christians Uniting, 2012-2015.
Skill sets: Bilingual English-Spanish - speak, write, counsel, translate; Community Organizing; Community Transformation; Founding Executive Director of non-profit; Board membership of non-profits; Preaching and teaching.
How do you envision contributing to the AED Board? What are your special talents and gifts?
I am an out-of-the-box thinker, offering a different angle on subjects being discussed. I understand the board wants to increase the diaconate in LatinX congregations. I speak, write, understand and minister in English and Spanish, with extensive experience in multicultural settings. I love teaching, and have led workshops on multicultural ministry, community organizing, bilingual worship, among other subjects. I love preaching if that is needed. I believe these skills and experiences align well with AED’s mission, especially articulating a response to the church’s challenges when viewed through a diaconal lens and monitoring developments in diaconal theology. I strongly affirm the mission of “enabling the diakonia of all the baptized”, reminding Presbyters that their first ministry is diakonia, and calling all the baptized to ministry.
What is your vision for the future of the Association for Episcopal Deacons?
The United States is at a critical juncture. This moment calls the country to face its original sins of the conquest of Native Americans and enslavement of African Americans with structural changes in its political, economic and civic systems. At the same time, COVID-19 challenges our health and economic systems, and has resulted in increased discrimination toward immigrants, especially Asians. Recent immigration policies have affected people from Latin American and Muslim countries in increasingly negative ways. The diaconate is uniquely oriented to support the church as it responds to this moment.
I envision an AED that helps to undergird the church’s efforts to let justice roll down in this country. Expanding the role of deacons to include direct engagement in concrete efforts to improve social justice can give new energy to the diaconate in the Episcopal Church. As women religious have been leaders in many social justice movements in the Roman Catholic Church, I believe Episcopal deacons are uniquely suited to participate, and encourage participation by lay members, Presbyters and Bishops, in such efforts. Such “movement” work complements the direct ministries of compassion, which will be ongoing.
Deacons in “ethnic” (a misnomer since all of us have ethnicities) congregations could offer leadership in these efforts, with all deacons participating equally in the struggle for justice.