Dear People of God in the Diocese of Vermont:
I am delighted to share the news that the Rev. Auburn Watersong, a priest of our diocese since 2012, has accepted my invitation to become the canon to the ordinary for transition ministry on my staff. She will begin her new ministry on January 18. In this new position, Auburn will work with parishes and missions in transition to help congregational leaders transform mission and ministry. In particular, she will assist congregations in calling creative and innovative ordained leaders, encourage and support regional mission initiatives and Local Ministry Support Teams, and work with the diocesan trustees to assist congregations that are discerning new mission for their buildings and properties.
I am excited at the possibilities that Auburn’s energy, commitment, and extensive knowledge of Vermont’s communities, human services network, and advocacy organizations will offer to our diocese. Auburn has been serving Vermonters for more than 25 years as a tenacious advocate for those challenged by the effects of trauma and toxic stress that result in part from systemic oppression, violence, abuse, and poverty. Her work has included supporting individuals, and leading teams, organizations, and communities through times of significant change. From 2009 until 2019, Auburn worked at The Vermont Network, our state’s federally recognized domestic and sexual violence coalition as the director of economic justice and housing and later as the policy director. Among her many accomplishments there was helping to pass Act 92, which helps to shield domestic violence victims from gun violence. Since early 2019, Auburn has been Director of Trauma Prevention and Resilience Development for the State of Vermont. She holds an M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School and a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Earlham College. Auburn, who is Abenaki, is the mother of two young adult children. She and her family live in Montpelier.
In the coming days, I expect to make one other appointment to my staff—a new position, called canon to the ordinary for cultural transformation. Together with these two new canons and the faithful continuing members of the bishop’s staff, I believe that we will be poised to become even more faithful to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation in our congregations and communities.