RESULTS OF THE GTS ALUMNI ELECTIONS 2014
Candidacy Statements 2014:
Alumni Executive Committee -- 3 year Terms
The Rev. Canon Amy Chambers Cortright '04, Vicar, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri
I am a graduate of the Class of 2004 and am currently serving as Vicar of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Missouri. Prior to serving in St. Louis, my husband, the Rev. Joe Chambers and I served in Columbia, Missouri following joyful service in my sponsoring Diocese of New York.
September 11, 2001, marked the first full day of classes for the Class of 2004. The events of that day and following shaped the next three years of our priestly formation in ways that we could never have imagined. These years at GTS were intense, and simultaneously, for me, filled with deep fulfillment and the blessing of constant revelation. I am grateful to GTS for so many things, especially for all of the ways on which I learned to meet the deep darknesses of 9/11 and to confront them with Christ's light and peace through theological reflection, prayer, and diverse relationships.
I am pained to look upon the seminary now, saturated with deep conflict. I am afraid for us, and I am fearful about serving on the Alumni Executive Committee right now. Yet I have faith that nothing will be impossible with God and that the AEC seeks faithfully to represent and share the very best of what we have learned together from our time on the Close for the good of all, past, present, and future. I wish to walk with GTS and with my fellow alumnae and alumni to support the work of reconciliation during this anxious and uncertain time.
The Rev. Hannah Atkins '96, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas
I am a member of the Class of 1996. My years and friendships at GTS formed and inform me to this day. The Alumni/ae Executive Committee has been a tribute to General as we have worked together in this current situation. I would be honored to continue to work with this distinguished group. My parish in Texas sent a seminarian to GTS, and I would like to do more to help build a strong future here. While at General, I took advantage of the diverse offerings available and have continued to respond with interest to the new realities of theological education in our church and in the world. Directly upon graduation, I served churches in El Salvador, in congregations as well as being Director of Theological education there. I taught Socioloy of Religion and other basic courses for the Centro Anglicano de Estudios Teologicos. After El Salvador, I worked for almost eight years as Senior Assistant at St. John's, Lafayette Square, and have served as Rector at Trinity Houston for seven. All these years I have been directly involved in seminarian formation. I believe my work with endowed parishes, capital campaigns, congregational development, and international theological formation, as well as my enthusiasm for new possibilities, will serve me well in this capacity.
The Rev. Brian Sullivan '97, Rector, St. Benedict's Episcopal Church and School, Smyrna, Georgia
After graduating from GTS I served in the Diocese of Atlanta as associate rector of St. Peter's, Rome and St. Anne's, Atlanta before serving as rector of Incarnation in Highlands, NC. I am currently the first rector of Saint Benedict's Church and School in Smyrna, Georgia. I have also spent several years working with the non-profit, Kids4Peace International, which is an interfaith peace and reconciliation program working with children in Palestine, Israel, and the U.S. (www.k4p.org). Through all these experiences I have raised money for building campaigns, feasibility studies, operational budgets, and dealt with interesting financial structures. I would love to use these experiences to benefit General's efforts in continuing to develop alumni support for our future.
Board of Trustees -- 3 year Terms
The Very Rev. Daniel Ade '92, Co-Dean and Rector, St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles, California
I graduated from GTS in 1992 and served several years of my ministry in my home Diocese of New York. Now having lived in Los Angeles for 11 years, I bring a broad bi-coastal perspective. As a Dean of a new Cathedral, I have had to use skills of entrepreneurship and creativity to help forge a new identity for our congregation emerging out of our existing heritage, in a beautiful old structure, in an exciting and changing neighborhood. I also serve with another Dean in a a co-leadership team, so collaboration, compromise and listening are daily practices. I served on the Board of Trustees for Bloy House, a regional Episcopal seminary in Southern California, for three years. I served on the Search Committee for the Bishops Suffragan. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Guibord Center, housed at St. John's, an interfaith center seeking to foster dialog and reconciliation between religious traditions. For six years I was a member of the Commission on ministry and for two years mentored a Fresh Start training group for newly ordained clergy.
I believe this is a key time to participate in the life of our seminary. General Seminary exists because f the vision and generosity of people such as Clement Clarke Moore, and Bishop John Henry Hobart. The gifts that provided for General at its founding must still form the holy ground on which we stand today. To that end, a chief task of the Board at this time is to seek reconciliation among all the stakeholders of the seminary as we envision our future. I would bring skills of direct and honest communication as well as generous collaboration to the Board, all necessary for such reconciliation to take place. I understand that while I would participate in the Board seeking the good of the seminary as a whole, I would specifically represent the concerns and voice of alumni/ae.
While we remain hopeful that our Risen Lord, the Good Shepherd of the sheep will lead us into a strong future, he calls us actively to engage in the difficult work of reconciliation and rebuilding. I would be honored to play a role in this work as a member of the Board of Trustees.
The Rev. Patricia Steineke Downing '95, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Parish, Wilmington, DE
I was in the graduating class of 1995. I was raised up out of the Diocese of Washington where I returned after graduation, was ordained and served for 14 years. Currently, I am the rector of Holy Trinity Old Swedes parish in Wilmington, Delaware. My reason for wishing to serve on the Board of Trustees is that I am dedicated to the seminary and its mission. The current crisis does not diminish my dedication. I hold the opinion that the seminary still has particular gifts to offer the Episcopal Church in the formation of faithful, learned leaders. I hope my gifts and skills can be helpful to the work of healing, reconciliation and renewal that is required to move beyond the current crisis and carry out our mission.
The Reverend Canon Jadon D. Hartsuff '12, Saint John's Cathedral, Denver, Colorado
I am honored to be considered for service as an alumni representative on the Board of Trustees. I attended General from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2012 and earned both an M.Div, cum laude, and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. While there I was involved in Community Council and served as an elected representative of my class during the seminary's 2010 financial crisis. Our class was praised for its commitment to General during that time of uncertainty. Notably, not one of us left General, and our esprit d'corps was regarded as a source of stability and inspiration as we rode the roller coaster of the next three years as General underwent sweeping changes to its financial and physical life. Since graduating I have served as the Province VI representative to the Alumni Executive Committee.
Now 37 years of age, and originally from Michigan, I enjoyed a first career leading operations, marketing, and finance for a variety of small companies in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles, including a firm of my own. I studied management theory in undergrad and also gave two years of military service following 9/11. I was ordained from All Saints' Beverly Hills in the Diocese of Los Angeles and served as Curate of Saint James' in Lancaster, Pennsylvania before moving to Denver. In addition to serving the AEC, I currently serve as a board member of a professional choir based in Denver and have served on a variety of boards in the past.
I am encouraged by the initial work toward re-imagining General's curriculum that has been accomplished in the last year. At the same time, I am concerned about General's seeming lack of commitment to some of the core principles that have guided it for almost 200 years. As General recovers from its current crisis and continues to rebuild its product and reputation, I hope my voice can help the BOT deliberate with the perspective of recent/current students clearly in mind as it prepares to carry General into the next 200 years.