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Susan Latimer, OA

 

Susan grew up in Southern California, immersed in music, liturgy and the wonders of God’s Creation. Piano, piano accompanying, and singing filled her early years, along with a BA in Music from Yale and a Master’s of Music in performance from the School of Music, USC, Los Angeles. She graduated with an MDiv , Magna Cum Laude, from Candler School of Theology, Emory University and did an Internship and Residency in CPE at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta before marriage to John Roberts in May of 1992 and ordination in June and December of 1992.  

     She served in three large parishes in the Diocese of Atlanta as Assistant/Associate Rector, ending with a position at St. Bartholomew’s. During this time she had two children, Franklin, born in 1994, and Hugh, born in 1997. She also immersed herself in the contemplative tradition, learning and teaching Centering Prayer, the Labyrinth as a way of prayer, Lectio Divina, and leading retreats and quiet days.  In 2001 she took her first call as Rector of St. Mark’s Waterville Maine. During her time in Maine she completed CDI and all the LTI lab training, and became a co-trainer in LTI, as well as assisting Bob and Michelle in the beginnings of Shaping the Parish.    Since 2008, she has been Rector of St. John’s, Charleston, WV; St. Catherine of Alexandria, Temple Terrace, Florida; and The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Hemet, CA ( starting July 1, 2019 ). 
     Susan loves working with groups and teaching spiritual practices of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, Benedictine spirituality, and the contemplative tradition. Music continues to be an important part of her spiritual life and practice.  She has begun to compose sacred chants.  Susan is a student of Cynthia Bourgeault who teaches the Wisdom tradition of Christianity which emphasizes the importance  of the whole person, body, mind, and spirit, for spiritual transformation.  

Michelle Heyne, OA

Michelle is the 8th superior of the Order - Presiding Sister

Michelle Heyne, OA brings empathy, humor, and a solid grounding in ecclesiology and effective organizational dynamics to her work as a trainer and consultant.  She is committed to helping parish leaders bring about effective change by developing the skills they need to make the most of the gifts they already have.  She has worked as a financial services executive for over 25 years and served as a parish lay leader for 15. Michelle lives in Seattle.

Michelle served as part of the training team with the Diocese of Washington and national Shaping the Parish.  She has also done training with and received a certificate from the Church Development Institute. Michelle also has completed NTL's Organization Development Certificate program. She is a consultant in the financial services industry for organization development and compliance issues. Michelle has extensive experience with financial management, interpersonal communications and team dynamics, and developing and implementing organizational change initiatives. She has non-profit experience in the areas of team building, strategic planning, and conflict management. She attends St. Paul's, Seattle.  Michelle is a Professed Member of the Order of the Ascension and the 8th superior, Presiding Sister, of the Order.

Writing: In Your Holy Spirit: Traditional Spiritual Practices in Today's Christian LifeUnderstanding from Within: Working with Religious Systems, OD Practitioner, with Robert Gallagher, January 2015;  “Quality & Empowerment: Organization Development at WomenRising 1992 – 2016.”, OD Practitioner, with Robert Gallagher, Spring 2016. Book in process: Shaping the Parish: A Theology of the Parish Church, with Robert Gallagher

 

 

From Lowell Grisham, OA

Lowell was the 3rd superior, Presiding Brother, of the Order

I retired on January 1, 2018, after 38 years of ordained service, the last 20+ at St. Paul’s, Fayetteville, Arkansas. It’s been a good run. I’m continuing to share the rota for the Sunday evening Eucharist at our local prison for women. I’m also board chair for our Magdalene Serenity House ministry for women recovering from trafficking, addiction and prison. I’m still leading a Theology on Tap conversation group. And I’ve got a shared hour of silence each weekday with a contemplative prayer group. I’m attending Grace Episcopal Church, Siloam Springs.

I’m resting a good bit. (Recovering from a head injury that accelerated my retirement.) In the next few months I hope to clean up after myself, papers and books collected over many years. And I am still writing a column for our region’s paper on the intersection of religion and politics. Enjoying being a granddad. 

 

Robert Gallagher, OA 

 Robert was the 1st and 7th superior, Presiding Brother, of the Order

Robert Gallagher, OA has served as the vicar of inner city parishes in Philadelphia and Trenton; been on the staff of an industrial mission that helped lay people apply their faith to issues of justice and compassion in the workplace; and was the Associate Priest for Ascetical and Practical Theology at Trinity Church, Seattle. He was an adjunct faculty in Anglican Studies at Bangor Theological Seminary. He served as chaplain to the Northwest Chapter of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. Robert serves as formation director of the Order of the Ascension.

He brings 48 years of experience in leadership training and parish development. Fr. Robert offers exceptional skills in facilitating shifts and changes in people and organizations. He provides practical methods and vision for a transformed parish. Robert has a masters degree in Organization Development from Goddard College. 

He’s been a consultant and trainer in religious systems, non-profit organizations and small businesses since 1970. Robert has worked on the staff of, and as a consultant to, ecumenical training organizations, an industrial mission, and metropolitan and state councils of churches. He served as the congregational development officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut from 1981 - 88. He has consulted with hundreds of congregations. He has served as adjunct faculty in congregational development at Hartford Seminary and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and was Director of the Church Development Institute at the General Theological Seminary from 1985 - 2000 and continued as the Director of the CDI- Seattle until in 2011. In recent years Robert served as a priest associate at Saint Paul's Church and Saint Clement's Church, Seattle. He's "somewhat retired" and now attends Saint Paul's, Seattle.  He is a Professed Member of the Order of the Ascension. Fr. Robert was the 1st and 7th superior, Presiding Brother, of the Order.

Writing: Fill All Things: The Dynamics of Spirituality in the Parish Church, Ascension Press, 2008. Parish Assessment Workbook, Coauthor, a manual for conducting a self-study, Ascension Press, 1988; Faith Sharing, Coauthor, exercises for groups exploring life histories and spirituality. Ascension Press, 1989; Conformed to Christ: Structures and Standards for Parish Life, Coauthor, guidelines and samples of job descriptions for staff and committees. Ascension Press, 1983, revised 1988 and 2004 as a CD; Power from on High: A Model for Parish Life and DevelopmentAscension Press, 1982; Stay in the City, A strategy for dioceses in regard to urban parishes. Forward Movement, 1981; The Ministry of the Laity as Agents of Institutional ChangeAudenshaw Documents, 1972 and a shorter version in Asian Focus, East Asian Christian Conference, 1971In Your Holy Spirit: Shaping the Parish Through Spiritual Practices, 2011. Understanding from Within: Working with Religious Systems, OD Practitioner, with Michelle Heyne, January 2015.  “Quality & Empowerment: Organization Development at WomenRising 1992 – 2016.”, with Michelle Heyne, Spring 2016 OD Practitioner. Books in process include:  Eucharistic Spirituality: From Audience to CongregationShaping the Parish: A Theology of the Parish Church, with Michelle Heyne

 

From Scott Benhase, OA

 Scott was the 2nd and 6th superior, Presiding Brother of the Order

 

My wife, Kelly, continues as a professor of English at Armstrong State University, although recently, in the wisdom of the Board of Regents, it has become a wholly-own subsidiary of Georgia Southern University. That means her paycheck now says “Georgia Southern University,” but she is still in the same place, trying to help the same kind of students become better writers. All three of my children are fully grown, out of the house, and financially (mostly) independent. My oldest (John) is a chef in Atlanta with his wife (Sarah) who is a Nurse Practitioner with Emory Hospital’s hospice care. Charley is with a relatively new start-up company in DC developing bars and restaurants. He shares life with his long-time partner, Charlotte. Mary Grace now works in Communications for No Kid Hungry, a non-profit in DC whose goal is to end childhood hunger in America. Don’t try to stop them!
My sisters and brothers in OA continue to be a source of wisdom, love, and support to me. I am so thankful to God for their gift to me.

 

From Jeremy Bond, OA 

Born July 9, 1938, I grew up near the Village of Yorktown Heights, New York, about forty miles north of NYC and about ten miles east of the Hudson River. I enjoyed life in our rural setting three miles south of the village. I had two brothers, James, thirteen months older than me and Brian, four years younger. I spent twelve years (no kindergarten) in thee same school building and graduated from high school in 1955 at age sixteen. The only difficult part of growing up came when our mother died at age forty-four from cancer in March 1950. I had to learn to cook and clean house as a pre-teen.

My father married my step-mother in 1952 and she took over some of my chores. In high school I participated in several sports and especially enjoyed track which I did my last two years. The fall of 1955 I began studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. I majored in English and about half way through chose to go on to seminary. I graduated from Kenyon June of 1960 and attended the General Theological Seminary in New York City. I finished GTS in June of 1962 at age 23, got ordained deacon June 9th of that year and began ministry at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine July 1st.

The fall of 1960, at a classmates birthday party, I met Kathy Bartlett, a student at Bellevue School of Nursing across town from us. We started dating and married September 29th 1962. I then got ordained a priest December 22nd 1962. Then in the spring of 1964, with my time at St. John's due to end I accepted an offer to  serve at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA. at St. Stephen's, basically a parish church, I learned parish ministry. I stayed there as Assistant Minister until March of 1968 when I took on the position of Rector of St. Paul's, Harrisburg; a blue collar racially mixed congregation.

I have three children: Angela, Catharine and Michael. After eleven years at St. Paul's and going through fire in 1970, and flood in 1972, I served as Rector of St. Matthew's parish from 79 to 2003. There we chose our own house to live in and bought a pleasant 1950's home on the hill.  In 1989, I also took on the small congregation of  St. Mark's, two miles away in Northumberland. From then on, each Sunday morning at celebrated Holy Eucharist at 8:00 and 10;30 in Sunbury and 9:00 across the river in Northumberland. I retired August 1st. 2003 and Kathy and I moved west to our c
 urrent home in Grover Beach, California in June 2004. I enjoy retirement life here.
I attended a clergy workshop in New Jersey in 1992. Robert Gallagher led the event and from him I got information on the Order of the Ascension. I soon began the process of membership and finished the entry stages in 1995 to become a regular member. Now that I soon turn 81 I'm slowing down but continue my disciplines of prayer and praise and hope to see one and all of the Order each year, wherever we meet.

 

 

From Royster Hedgepeth, OA 


 

 

 

From Gawain de Leeuw, OA   

I was born and raised in Rochester, New York to poet from Orissa, India and an Anglo-Dutch teacher. Ordained in June 1996, I have served St. Bartholomew's church since 2001, after other cures in Korea and White Plains. 

He was graduated from Oberlin College with a first degree in philosophy, with graduate education from The Divinity School of the University of Chicago and General Theological Seminary. He received his Doctorate in Congregational Development from Seabury-Western, an Episcopal seminary. 

He serves the boards of Meals on Wheels, the Housing Action Council, and Planned Parenthood. In 2011, he founded Westchester United with three Rabbis and a priest. 

He has credentials in food and wine, and has performed stand -up at several clubs. He roots for Princeton Basketball and Dutch Football.

I completed coursework in organizational development from the Tavistock Institute, The Center for Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations Skills, CDI, and Conflict Management.

My book the Body of Christ in a Market Economy, a exploration into the relationship of markets, rivalry, and governance, should be out by the fall. I weightlift, cook and read extensively on economics and the church.

From David Andrews, OA

I have been a member of the Order of the Ascension since 2011 when I took the first promise.  I was ordained to the Diaconate in December of 1990 and ordained a Priest the following fall in September of 1991.  For the first six years of ordained ministry I was bi-vocational as I split my time between working towards my MSW from Marywood College in Scranton, PA and being a Sunday supply priest.  I was the quarter time vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd of the Onondaga outside of Syracuse New York from February 1992 to September of 1994.  In 1997 I began my move to full time parish ministry when I was called to be the vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chittenango, New York.  I still split my time between parish and social work.  In the fall of 1998 I began as part time vicar at Trinity Episcopal Church in Camden, NY and split my time between the two parishes until 2001 when I began at St. Paul’s full time.  I remained at St. Paul’s until 1996 when I was called to be the first full time Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Castine Maine.  Emily and I were in Maine until the end of 2009 when i was called to be the Rector of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington, Delaware.  I have been at SsAM for nine and a half years.

My other interests besides parish ministry are serving on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Delaware where I convene a clergy for choice group that meets monthly and I am on the board of a local Peace not for profit, Pacem en Terris.  I also co-chair the congregational vitality committee of the Episcopal Church in Delaware.  My other interests include reading, working out and travel when we have the money.  Emily and I will be married thirty-five years this year.

Life is full and good. 

From Bill Parker, OA 


I took his first vows at the OA retreat in 2016, and am planning to take my life vows at the retreat in 2020. I have attended two clinical workshops for novitiates and continue enjoying and being inspired by this training with Bob and Michelle. I cannot express fully how encouraging it is to be among like-minded Organizational Development people in the Order who focus on congregation life and the Benedictine approach to Christianity. The retreats are wonderful! Currently I serve as rector of St. Andrew's Church in Louisville, KY - Thomas Merton land. I continue striving to shape the parish in the Benedictine model of Anglican spirituality, and very much enjoy seeing the "aha!" moments of congregants seeing the benefit of this ancient wisdom applied in the parish: ancient tradition; modern life. I believe with all my heart that that is what the world hungers for, and I am grateful to be an Episcopalian, and to be a member of OA.

 

 

 From Conor Alexader, OA

This year I have discerned, applied, and was accepted to the Order of the Ascension as a novice.  I began to establish the three fold rule of prayer in the parish, and to learn what it means to do Congregational Development.  My first major projects have been to hold a public offering Morning Prayer four times per week, I have taught two classes on Anglican Spirituality/Saying the Office on Your Own, and have begun a process of interviewing parishioners on their spiritual lives.

 

 

Richard Proctor, OA

Richard has served as the Rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa Beach, FL
since the Summer of 2015. He is married to the Rev’d Emily Rose Proctor, who serves as the
South Walton Community Chaplain and Pastor at Red Bay Presbyterian Church. They have two
children – Julian Thomas and Madeleine Rose. Richard and Emily also serve
as volunteer chaplains for the South Walton Fire District.
Richard was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL and received his early childhood and young adult
faith formation as a 4th -generation member of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Richard received his
formal education at the University of the South (Sewanee), Florida State University, Columbia
Theological Seminary, and the General Theological Seminary. Prior to becoming an Episcopal
priest, Richard was a professional drummer/musician/songwriter, touring the United States and
Europe with the band Tishamingo. He still plays drums with various local bands and musicians,
and loves collecting records.
Richard is passionate about Bowen Family Systems Theory, and has participated in several workshops and clinics hosted by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. This work has greatly enhanced his ministry as a priest, husband, father, and son. Other areas of continuing education and interest include Parish Development, Godly Play, Contemplative Prayer, and how the Rule of Benedict can be applied to parish and family life. At the Diocesan level, Richard serves on the Commission on Prison Ministry, the faculty for the Diocesan School for Ministry, and has served as a Summer Camp Dean at Camp Beckwith. Richard’s blog – Rhythm & Grace – can be found at www.fatherproc.com.


Richard has served as the Rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa Beach, FLsince the Summer of 2015. He is married to the Rev’d Emily Rose Proctor, who serves as theSouth Walton Community Chaplain and Pastor at Red Bay Presbyterian Church. They have twochildren – Julian Thomas (b. 2016) and Madeleine Rose (b. 2018). Richard and Emily also serveas volunteer chaplains for the South Walton Fire District.Richard was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL and received his early childhood and young adultfaith formation as a 4 th -generation member of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Richard received hisformal education at the University of the South (Sewanee), Florida State University, ColumbiaTheological Seminary, and the General Theological Seminary. Prior to becoming an Episcopal priest, Richard was a professional drummer/musician/songwriter, touring the United States and Europe with the band Tishamingo. He still plays drums with various local bands and musicians,and loves collecting records.

Richard is passionate about Bowen Family Systems Theory, and has participated in severalworkshops and clinics hosted by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. This work has greatlyenhanced his ministry as a priest, husband, father, and son. Other areas of continuingeducation and interest include Parish Development, Godly Play, Contemplative Prayer, and howthe Rule of Benedict can be applied to parish and family life.At the Diocesan level, Richard serves on the Commission on Prison Ministry, the faculty for theDiocesan School for Ministry, and has served as a Summer Camp Dean at Camp Beckwith.Richard’s blog – Rhythm & Grace – can be found at www.fatherproc.com.