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  CANDIDATES for Tenth Bishop of Nevada

The Rev. Susan Burns, Rector of Church of the Redeemer, Bethesda, Maryland

The Reverend Susan C. Burns has served as Rector of The Church of the Redeemer, Bethesda, Maryland, a pastoral-sized suburban parish in the Diocese of Washington, since 1994. In her first five years as Rector, she led the congregation in rebuilding after a period of decline, and oversaw planning and a capital campaign to renovate and enlarge the church building. Sunday attendance has almost doubled during her tenure. In 2001, working with Muslim and Jewish friends in the community, she instituted interfaith activities with nearby Jewish and Muslim religious groups. A strategic planning process in 2005 led to a successful capital campaign for deferred maintenance and for the parish’s first pipe organ. The organ will be completed in August, 2007.

From 1989-1994, Ms. Burns served as Associate to the Rector at The Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore, Maryland. Her responsibilities included Adult Education, Spiritual Growth, Church School (clergy liaison), and serving as Chaplain for the parish day school (pre-school-pre-first). She was ordained in the Diocese of New York, having received her M.Div from The General Theological Seminary, in 1989.

A magna cum laude graduate of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, Ms. Burns received her A.B. in French Literature in 1969. She earned a J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School in 1975, and practiced law in New York City for ten years before being called to ordained ministry.

She is married to Allen Burns, a recently retired attorney who spent most of his career representing indigents as an appellate public defender. They have four grown children, two daughters and two sons. Ms. Burns has a great love of art and music, enjoys reading, the outdoors, running, walking and swimming. She completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 2005 and 2006, and is entered to run again in 2007.

Essays from Susan Burns

Parish Website: http://www.redeemerbethesda.org


The Rev. Dr. Cathy L. Deats, Rector of St. James Church, Hackettstown, N.J.

I entered my first triathlon to mark a milestone in my life. I spent six months training, working to improve my ability to swim, to bike and to run. As I built strength for each separate sport, I became aware that what was most important was not the individual skill, but the integration of the skills: to become not a swimmer or runner or biker, but a "total athlete." It is that realization that makes a triathlon so satisfying. The learning I had not expected, but now can claim as my own, is that I can develop a vision, prepare to achieve it and bring it to fruition

I entered ordained ministry skilled as a clinical social worker with a passion for compassion and helping people find their way. In seminary, I needed to develop preaching and liturgical skills, understand my own spiritual core and focus on the administrative and leadership skills that would undergird my ministry in a parish setting. Rather than learning a new profession, my seminary education was about integrating skills I already possessed with the new skills I would need for the next part of my journey.

My spiritual life was formed in the church. I was fortunate to have been nurtured by a strong congregation of disciples who listened, cared for, and ministered to me. My formative years were spent not only in a three-generation home, in public school, and in a neighborhood, but in a community which helped me make some sense of the world and find my place in it.

I excelled at academics from an early age, and my education prior to seminary is primarily in the field of social work. As my husband and I were raising our son, I continued to work as a clinical social worker and educator.
I continue to enjoy the pursuits of swimming, biking and running, as well as pottery. My husband (of 30 years) and I enjoy kayaking and hiking, gardening and home improvement projects. Our son lives in Tulare, California, where he and his wife work the Mello family farm.

Essays from Cathy Deats

Parish Website: http://saint.james.church.home.comcast.net


The Very Rev. Dan Thomas Edwards, Rector of St. Francis Church, Macon, Georgia

After growing up in Texas, Fr. Dan practiced law in Colorado and Idaho. He was regional director of a Migrant Law program; then, statewide director of a Native American Law program. Years of interfaith spiritual searching finally brought him to the Episcopal Church. What began as an experiment turned into a lifelong love of meeting God in the sacraments. His new faith led to study in Idaho’s Deacon Formation Program, then General Seminary (M. Div.; S.T.M.); Columbia Seminary; and Harvard Divinity School. He trained in spirituality at Shalem Institute, Omega Institute, and the Mercy Center (Colorado). But the questions keep coming. The death of a 20-year-old parishioner in the TWA 800 crash intensified his struggle to find God in human suffering. The result was God of Our Silent Tears, a book he has recently written.

Fr. Dan’s ministry has been in churches large and small, urban and rural, liberal and conservative, traditional and contemporary. He was an intern at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC) and with the FisherFolk. After serving as curate in a large downtown church, he became rector of a smaller congregation, St. Francis Church (www.stfrancismacon.com). He has mediated conflicts in settings from one of Atlanta’s largest churches to one of the smallest rural congregations in the Diocese.

Ministry development is near to his heart. Fr. Dan co-directed a diocesan program to train spiritual directors, taught in St. Luke’s Pastoral Institute, and supervises aspirants in field placements. As convocation Dean, he mentors other clergy and coordinates regional church activities.

Fr. Dan served on the Diocesan Committee on Same Sex Blessings and promotes interfaith/ ecumenical dialogue in his role as Diocesan Ecumenical Officer. A former college chaplain, he has led retreats for church and college groups. At St Francis, he promotes servant leadership, Millennium Development Goals, and racial reconciliation. He enjoys warm friendships with the people of his diverse, inclusive congregation. Fr. Dan and his wife Linda have two adult daughters and a son-in-law. They are expecting their first grandchild in February.

Essays from Dan Edwards

Parish Website: http://www.stfrancismacon.com


The Rev. Dr. Charles Eric Funston, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Medina, Ohio

The Rev. Dr. C. Eric Funston is proud to refer to himself as a Nevadan. Although he has resided in the states of Kansas and Ohio since 1993, he still calls Nevada home.

Fr. Funston was born in Las Vegas in 1952 and reared in southern Nevada and southern California. He practiced law in Las Vegas from 1983 through 1993, including four years as Chancellor of the Diocese of Nevada (1986-1990).

Eric read for Holy Orders under the tutelage of the Rev. Paul Towner, former rector of St. Paul’s, Sparks, and the late Fr. Karl Spatz, then rector of Christ Church, Las Vegas. After completing the General Ordination Examinations in 1990, he was ordained a deacon and then obtained a Certificate of Anglican Studies at Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

Upon ordination to the priesthood in 1991, he joined the staff of Christ Church as Assistant Rector, serving two years in that position. Since then he has been rector of St. Francis, Stilwell, Kansas (1993-2003), and currently is rector of St. Paul’s, Medina, Ohio.

A firm believer in life-long learning, Fr. Funston holds the following degrees: Batchelor of Arts in English Literature (UC San Diego); Master of Business Administration (UNLV); Juris Doctor (summa cum laude, California Western School of Law); and Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development (Seabury-Western Theological Seminary). He has taught university-level courses in research and business law, and has participated in diocesan and parish theological education programs as both a student and a teacher.

Eric married Evelyn Walther of Elko in 1980. They have two children, Patrick (24), and Caitlin (22), both of whom reside in Kansas. For recreation, Eric and Evie enjoy traveling, antiquing, gardening, entertaining, playing with their cocker spaniels Rascal and Fionna, and taking daily walks together.

Essays from Eric Funston

Parish Website: http://www.stpauls-medina.org


The Rev. Albert John Keeney, Rector of St. John's Church, Canandaigua, N.Y.

Al Keeney is the rector of St. John's in Canandaigua, New York, in the Diocese of Rochester where he has served for the last 13 of his 17 years of ordained ministry. Prior to this, he was rector of St. Matthew’s in Paramus, New Jersey. Al was ordained in the Diocese of Newark, where he served as a member of the Commission on Ministry, the diocesan Communications Committee and was also a clergy staff person at the Diocesan Youth Camp. Prior to ordination, Al had a career in advertising and communications. He has an abiding interest in the role of communications, and especially electronic communications, for evangelism and community building.

Al's ministry at St. John's has emphasized spiritual formation for youth and adults and development of the ministry of all the baptized. St. John’s youth formation programs include Godly Play and the Journey to Adulthood. His work reflects his deep concerns around maturing in the spiritual life, stewardship of the environment, and issues of peace and justice. He is a spiritual director to lay and clergy of the diocese.

In the diocese, he is currently president of the Standing Committee and a member of the Committee for Gay and Lesbian Ministries. The Standing Committee is presently overseeing the process for the call of the eighth Bishop of Rochester. Al has been chair of the Budget Committee for Diocesan Council, director of and teacher for the Total Common Ministry program and a member of the Bishop's Advisory Committee on Diaconal Ministry. He has offered diocesan workshops on contemplative and Celtic spirituality and spirituality in the workplace.

Al has been married to Linda Keeney for 38 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Ryan, who live in Denver. Al and Linda share their life with a 5-year-old Airedale terrier named Penny.

Essays from Al Keeney

Parish Website: http://www.st-johns-episcopal.org


The Rev. Jeffrey D. Paul , Rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Carson City, Nv.

It was a dark and stormy Halloween night in 1954. I was born Polish Catholic in Cleveland, and we moved to California when I began high school. During undergraduate school I worked as a peer counselor for the Probation Department at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Santa Ana, where I met my future wife, Meg. We married in August 1977. While working as a neighborhood community organizer, the people of Messiah called me to enter seminary. With our first child we moved to Berkeley, where I studied at Church Divinity School. Meeting Bishop Wes Frensdorff my first year was a seminal encounter, when I was exposed to the principles of Total Ministry. He regaled us with stories of Nevada, the high desert, and the challenges of a rural diocese. “My heart was strangely warmed.”

Ordained in 1983, I served several parishes in the L.A. Diocese. In 1985 I was struck to the earth and began a twenty-two year spiritual awakening, one day at a time. In 1995, while at St Paul’s Ventura, Bishop Stewart Zabriskie called. We had four children, I had turned forty, and we wanted to plant ourselves in a place we might call home rather than chasing the next position. Meg is a native Nevadan, her family came from the mining towns of Goldfield, Manhattan, and Tonopah. Called to St Peter’s, we moved to Carson City. “Home means Nevada.”

Our greatest diocesan assets and biggest priorities are: developing leadership through education and ministry development, including youth and young adults; stewarding properties, including historic Nevada churches and Galilee; engaging local communities around social justice issues.

Collaboration is my God-given gift, working together to be transformed to transform the world. Dark chocolate is my God-given weakness. It was a dark and stormy Halloween night....

Essays from Jeff Paul

Parish Website: http://www.stpeterscarsoncity.org/


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