Hellos and Goodbye

by The Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill

I am thankful to share that we will welcome two new full-time staff and a new cohort of seminarians to St. John the Divine this summer!

First, the Rev. Libby Garfield will join us as a curate in July. A curate is a new priest in training. Libby is currently an ordained deacon who will graduate from Nashotah House Theological Seminary (WI) this spring and will be ordained to the priesthood in June. Libby served five years as associate youth minister at St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY, a thriving parish not unlike SJD in its make-up. She is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, and spent two years in the Peace Corps serving in South Africa after her graduation.

I am also delighted to announce that Sutton Lowe will join our staff later this summer as director of young adult engagement. Many of you will remember Sutton as one of last year’s Summer Seminarian Fellows. He has previous experience helping lead youth ministry and his responsibilities here will include helping to shepherd our youth ministry along with Hannah Choate who continues her residency as a youth minister with us. Sutton is married to Marleigh, hails from Lufkin, TX, graduated from Baylor University, and is completing his Master of Divinity this spring at Duke Divinity School.

I also want to share that on June 1 we will welcome a new class of Summer Seminarian Fellows! Our Summer Seminarian Fellows Program is an outstanding new ministry of the parish and we look forward to the arrival of Zachary Berry (Duke Divinity School), Wesney Dubic (Nashotah House Theological Seminary), and Matthew Waterman (Wycliffe College, Toronto). Detailed information about them is available here.

Even as we welcome all these new faces, we will bid a very fond farewell to Emma Kastens, who has completed her 3-year residency serving as a youth minister with us as she worked toward her Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Seminary. Emma graduated Sunday, May 7 and we congratulate her on her hard work and success! She has been a consistent and encouraging presence for our teens, served graciously in our Awesome Worship services by providing excellent hand motions (a true skill), and served on our Young Professionals leadership team. 

Emma's last Sunday serving as a youth minister with us will be May 28. It is our profound honor to raise up remarkable leaders such as Emma and send them off into the world. Please join us on Sunday, May 28 during the Pentecost Potluck at 10:15 am to celebrate and congratulate Emma on her wonderful achievement and wish her well as she moves on to her next adventure!

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