Dear People of God in the Diocese of Vermont:
Ten days ago, I wrote to you that I would soon make one additional appointment to my staff, and today I am delighted to announce that the Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge has accepted my invitation to join my staff as canon to the ordinary for cultural transformation. He will join us here in Vermont in February.
Walter comes to us from Christ Church, Grosse Pointe in the Diocese of Michigan, where he has been priest associate for the past two years. Ordained a priest in the Diocese of Ohio in 2001, Walter has served congregations in Ohio, Delaware, New York City and South Africa, and for five years was dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has also been associate dean at the School of Theology at the University in the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Prior to his ordination, Walter practiced law for ten years as a federal prosecutor and in the area of public policy and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
That short biographical summary will give you some idea of the breadth of gifts and skills that Walter brings with him to his new role in Vermont. Together with me, he will be responsible for inspiring, forming, and gathering all of you as we seek God’s vision for Beloved Community in this place, particularly in the areas of racial reconciliation, creation care and stewardship. He will also assist me with pastoral oversight of the diocese, including ministry development, personnel matters, and providing oversight to those in the ordination process.
Earlier this week, I asked Walter for a short greeting to share with all of you. “I am humbled and excited to have been invited by Bishop Shannon to join the Diocesan Ministry Support Team,” he wrote. “I look forward to joining the beloved people of God in Vermont, who are blessed to gather and grow in Christ as partakers in the mission of God. Cultural transformation is a 21st century way of describing our mission, and together we will seek to restore the Dream of God for all of us and the world.”
I look forward to introducing you to Walter and his wife, Christina Nader, in the new year, and hope that their two grown sons, Alec and Martin, will be able to visit once travel is once again possible. Until then, please keep their family in your prayers during this transition.
With leadership from Walter and Auburn Watersong, whose appointment on my staff I announced earlier this month, the Episcopal Church in Vermont is poised to emerge from the pandemic as an even more faithful steward of God’s mission. I am grateful for our ministry together, and I look forward to the years ahead.