AED Board Nominee - 2018 Election
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Vice President/President-Elect Candidate - Electing 1
Diocese of Fort Worth
Present Employment: Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth – Ministry Support & Communications
Current Ministries: Young Deacon committee, AED board
Current Church Assignment: Trinity, Fort Worth
Previous Positions: Deacon at St. John, Silsbee; St. Stephen, Hurst; Port Chaplain/Ship Visitor for Port Arthur Int’l Seafarers’ Center; Chaplain for Vidor Volunteer Fire Dept.
Education: BA – Literature, Austin College 1998; MA – Literature, Lamar University 2011
Prior Board Experience: AED Board – current partial term
Skill sets: Technology, communications, some event planning, experience with non-profits (as employee).
Question #1 How do you envision contributing to the AED Board? What are your special talents and gifts?
My contributions to AED's board so far, having served one partial term, have partly been tech-related, using tools for collecting and analyzing some data and feedback. I’ve also added a perspective from Province VII and insight gained by the Young Deacons Task Force about barriers currently blocking some younger people from choosing a vocation in the diaconate – as well as efforts toward removing those barriers. I’ve gained a greater awareness of the progress AED has been making since its start.
I also have event planning experience, administrative / organizational skills, and a strong desire to strengthen and expand the order of deacons. Something else I do well is distill complex information and communicate it succinctly, sometimes visually; this can help decision-making by narrowing the focus.
Question #2 What is your vision for the future of the Association for Episcopal Deacons?
My desire for the future of AED is connected to the sustainability of the order. With fewer than 20 deacons under the age of 40 in The Episcopal Church right now, we are undoubtedly missing a lot of passion, talent, insight and vision. We also risk losing momentum on work that deacons have been engaged in over recent decades. How will our work up to now continue unless we make sure that new people can join us in it?
Work I’m involved in with the Young Deacons committee has identified specific areas where we can improve younger people’s awareness of and access to the diaconate, and we’re making discernable progress. I want to continue efforts in intentionally making paths into the diaconate for those who aren’t currently at the table or who are under-represented. We’re also working to make sure that those newly ordained are supported as they grow into their diaconal identity.
AED has been developing partnerships across the church that I’d like to see deepened, such as our collaboration with deacons in Canada and in other parts of the world, and Episcopal Church partners such as the Church Pension Fund. I’m very excited about the recent creation of a social justice committee, which will support deacons in advocacy work with marginalized groups, and also work to advocate on behalf of deacons themselves, as there is no other group in the church concerned primarily with the welfare of deacons.