AED Board - 2022 Election
Diocese: Western North Carolina
Present Employment: Retired
Current Ministries: Advocacy, especially public education and mental health services
Current Church Assignment: St. James, Black Mountain, NC
Previous Positions: Archdeacon, Diocese WNC, 2011-2019
Education: AB Zoology, Duke University, 1969; MAEd, School Counseling, Western Carolina University, 1979
Prior Board Experience: McDowell County School Board, 1980-1986; NCSBA Board, 1982-1986, Black Mountain Counseling Center, 2019-present, Commission on Ministry, 2010-2019, Deputy to general Convention, 2015, 2018, 2022 and many others
Skill sets: Advocacy, leadership, teaching, public speaking, non-profit experience
How do you envision contributing to the AED Board? What are your special talents and gifts?
The AED Board is an active group who are advocating for and working to promote the diaconate across the entire Episcopal Church. I have seen the increase in numbers of deacons serving on church boards, as deputies to General Convention, and as members of Diocesan Committees. I believe this is in large part because of the work of AED. The education of deacons continues to strengthen again because of AED’s work with deacon competencies. I am a “big picture” person and I believe this ability to see the long view is an attribute that can benefit the board. I am passionate about the diaconate and being part of continuing the good work of AED in promoting deacons.
What is your vision for the future of the Association for Episcopal Deacons?
AED is already doing amazing work. I was honored to serve on the first committee to begin talking about deacon competencies. Though I had to leave the work because of my husband’s Alzheimer’s Disease, the work that came out of that volunteer committee is a huge benefit to deacon’s training programs. I would like to see AED continue to develop resources for deacon’s training programs and advocate for life-long education.
AED’s partnership and advocacy with the Church Pension Group is bearing fruit. I believe the resolution for a minimum compensation for deacons will pass the next GC, giving deacons access to the resources of CPG and bringing deacons a step closer to being a full and equal order in reality. This kind of partnership with church agencies should continue as AED moves into the future of the church.
I have a dream that anyone would be able to become a deacon, regardless of their first language or their financial situation. Though many dioceses in the continental US do offer deacon training in Spanish, most do not. In addition, deacons’ training can be very expensive and not all dioceses can or do underwrite the training. Our diocese splits the cost three ways among the diocese, the sending parish, and the aspirant, but some of our smaller parishes are not able to bear this cost. I wonder if AED could address some of these inequities.