Introducing the Keynote Speaker for the 2013 Ministry Expo…
The Rev. Donald Joseph Schell
President, All Saints Company
I have worked as a college chaplain, a small town vicar, a founder and builder of a deliberately innovative congregation (in liturgy, organization, mission, and practice of Christian formation), and now as a teaching priest I travel to lead workshops and consult with lay and clergy leaders. Through all this work, I have guided and sustained a network of collaborators including clergy, musicians, actors, artists, and architects in deliberate experiment and discovery in congregational movement, music, text, and space, all in service of learning and Christian formation in our shared public work of worship.
Founding St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, Rick Fabian and I drew on the breadth of Christian tradition, always preferring times and places where the church’s liturgy was “popular,” that is, easily accessible by the stranger and newcomer. Deliberately following the pattern of Jesus’ prophetic sign, our congregation pioneered the Open Table in the Episcopal Church, inviting everyone to communion whether baptized or not. At St. Gregory’s we also began to explore congregational dance, unaccompanied singing, and lay diaconate, continuing to find ways to engage the whole congregation in worship.
Since 2007 in my work with All Saints Company in conferences, workshops, gatherings, publications, and consultation I have helped and guided churches and church leaders to observe and discover principles for creating good liturgy and vibrant community in their own settings.
My wife, Ellen Schell R.N., Ph.D., is the International Programs Director for Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance. We have three children, Maria Hassid, whose work has been with children who have a parent in prison, The Rev. Peter Schell, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., and Joshua Schell, an actor. Patience (Sasha) Schell, my daughter from an earlier marriage is chair of Hispanic studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
I have written My Father, My Daughter: Pilgrims on the Road to Santiago and have contributed chapters to Searching for Sacred Space, to What Would Jesus Sing? and to Music By Heart: Paperless Songs for Evening Worship.