Welcome Gwynn! New Associate for Pastoral Care.
Dear St. Paul’s
At our annual parish meeting in January, you heard me say that I would soon be adding a clergy person to the leadership team at St. Paul’s. In February, I began that search. With the support of our Bishop and vestry, I am happy to announce that I have called the Reverend Gwynn Crichton to join us as St. Paul’s Associate for Pastoral Care. While the majority of Gwynn’s time will be spent in the area of building pastoral relationships and developing a system of congregational care at St. Paul’s, a portion of her role will be to offer spiritual support to Lynn Williams, our Director of Outreach and Community Engagement, and to the Steering Committee associated with that area of our life together.
Gwynn will graduate from Virginia Theological Seminary in May. She was ordained a transitional deacon by Bishop Goff in March and will be ordained to the priesthood in September 2020. Most recently, she served as the seminarian for Epiphany Episcopal Church in Herndon for past two years. A cradle Episcopalian, Gwynn grew up in Nashville, Tennessee where she was baptized and confirmed at St. George’s Episcopal Church. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in 1994 and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 1998. From 1998-2017, Gwynn enjoyed a meaningful and exciting 19-year vocation as a conservation scientist, strategic planner, and project manager with The Nature Conservancy, a global land and water conservation non-profit organization. In 2000, as part of her work with the conservancy, she moved from Durham to Charlottesville, Virginia where she began attending St. Paul’s Memorial Church, holding a variety of lay leadership positions over the next 16 years. She met her spouse, Janean Rodkey, a high school Spanish teacher, in 2003, and they were married at St. Paul’s Memorial in 2015. The faithful people of St. Paul’s Memorial nurtured and raised Gwynn up to discern and follow her lifelong call to ordained ministry, presenting her for ordination to the deaconate in March 2020.
Gwynn is passionate about empowering disciples as the Body of Christ for loving and serving others to make God’s reign of love and justice known to all of creation. In addition to all things churchy, Gwynn loves to walk and hike with her two dogs, botanize and bird in beautiful natural areas, go road cycling, garden, and play Frisbee. Gwynn will begin at St. Paul’s on July 1.
Of course, the calling of any clergy to a church family is a conversation and involves multiple voices. I am thankful to the interview team that offered their time and gifts to this conversation, especially during this very complicated time: Carter Johann, Lynn Williams, Eleanor Burt, Martha Anne Ellis, and Susie Scott. They are skilled listeners and discerners, and know St. Paul’s very well.
More good news . . . I am also happy to report that the Reverend Rainey Dankel will continue as priest associate at St. Paul’s on a part-time basis. Rainey brings important liturgical, pastoral, and organizational skills to the team at St. Paul’s. As of July 1, Rainey’s principal areas of responsibility will be in liturgical planning and parish life.
St. Paul’s, I know you’ll make Gwynn feel welcome. Thank you for your prayers as Gwynn and Janean begin their transition. Thank you for your prayers as we all continue to be shaped by God’s loving and almighty hands. Finally, know of my prayers for you and for us all as we seek to be, even now, healers, reconcilers, and living reflections of our Risen Lord.
Very faithfully yours,
Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Preferred pronouns: he, him, his