BRANDON, VERMONT – The vestry of St. Thomas & Grace Episcopal Church recently announced that the Rev. Rachel Field will be the parish’s new Priest-in-Partnership, effective August 29. The position is a quarter-time role, an arrangement that will enable Rachel to pursue her call as both a sacramental minister and an environmental educator and activist.
Rachel currently works for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut as one of six regional missionaries who support the spiritual development and missions of parishes and lay leaders. She and her fiance have bought a house in Roxbury and will be moving to Vermont this summer.
Rena McDonough, senior warden, commented, “The Vestry and Ministry Discernment Committee are excited by the gifts and talents that Rachel will bring to St. Thomas & Grace. She has a quiet spirituality, sense of humor, passion for the environment and nature, and energy. In her current work, she has helped groups figure out how to ‘be church’ in the twenty-first century. When asked to plan a liturgy for the interview process, she introduced our vestry and Ministry Discernment Committee to the concept of a ‘table Eucharist’ and led us in meaningful worship.”
Rachel grew up as an Episcopalian. She graduated from Washington College in Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, worked as an ornithologist for a migratory bird banding station, and then went to Yale Divinity School. Rachel was ordained as a priest in 2016.
Rachel commented, “I am drawn to St. Thomas & Grace partly because of the congregation’s strong environmental ethic – the garden, composting, recycling, reusing. I am also excited by their vision of being in partnership with a priest, which conveys a sense of shared ministry and ministry than goes beyond the more traditional ‘priest in charge’ model.”
The parish’s newly-formed Core Ministry Team will evolve to include and support Rachel when she begins her ministry in Brandon.