AED Board - 2022 Election
Geoffrey T. Smith
Diocese: New Hampshire
Present Employment: Chief Operating Officer, Office of the Presiding Bishop of the The Episcopal Church
Current Ministries: Serving in a diaconal role on occasion for the Presiding Bishop; leading my parish in their work on racial reconciliation; leading a joint project with the Witness Stones Project and community participants from my parish, First Baptist Church, the Essex Historical Society, the Connecticut River Museum, and Valley Regional High School. This effort is partially funded by a grant I was successful in getting from the diocese.
Current Church Assignment: St. John's Episcopal Church, Essex, CT
Previous Positions: Serving as deacon in parishes in 6 diocese (IL, ME, MA, NH, NY, CT) and as archdeacon in MA
Education: B.A., Economics, Univ. of Connecticut; MBA Finance, DePaul Univ., Chicago
Prior Board Experience: Cathedral Shelter (Chicago); Director, St. Elizabeth's Pantry (ME); LSS of N. N.E.; Episcopal Relief & Development
Skill sets: Policy advocacy; community organizing, non-profit experience, operational management, risk management, growing the diaconate in two dioceses.
How do you envision contributing to the AED Board? What are your special talents and gifts?
I envision making contributions to the AED Board through having served in six diocese and experienced a wide variety of definitions of the diaconate, through my experience and personal relationships with bishops in many dioceses and with the staff and leadership team of the Presiding Bishop (I have learned first-hand how the polity of The Episcopal Church works), through my management experience in operational areas, and through my passion for and hands-on experience growing the diaconate especially with younger and under-represented candidates.
What is your vision for the future of the Association for Episcopal Deacons?
I feel very strongly that AED has a tremendous opportunity to help The Episcopal Church better recognize and support the ministry of deacons through helping deacons recognize and further develop their own gifts of ministry and helping the Church understand and grow a healthier appreciation for the unique gifts and abilities deacons bring to church leadership. The time is right.
I believe the Coronavirus pandemic will be bringing a sea-level change to The Episcopal Church as congregations across the church have learned different ways of being church. We will not be going back to the way things were before, no matter how much some may want to. The fact that a recent survey conducted by The Episcopal Church revealed that nearly half of America associates the words hypocrisy, judgmental, self-righteous, and racist with Christians is a clear call to the Church that the servant ministry leadership reflected in the diaconate will be critical to changing public perception towards a more authentic understanding of the way of love of Jesus Christ.
More than any other order of ordained ministry, the diaconate is an extraordinary witness to diversity. The Association of Episcopal Deacons can and should help the Church to recognize, appreciate, and grow in desire for the strengths this diversity can bring to its leadership.