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The Rev Mary Ann Hill

from the Diocese of Oklahoma

View this profile as a pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lay Nomination

Lorinda (Lori) Dobrik
Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, Champaign Diocese of Springfield

How long, and in what capacity, have you known the nominee?

Mother Mary Ann and I met in 1988 at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, Champaign and it was there that I got to know her as a friend and fellow lay leader as we served in various ministries together. I was honored to be one of her sponsors when she was confirmed in 1988 by the Rt. Rev. Donald M. Hultstrand at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Springfield.

What gifts do you feel the nominee has for the ministry and office of a Bishop?

Mother Mary Ann is resilient and tenacious in service to others as well as being compassionate and empathetic. She is a knowledgeable educator and mediator and a respected pastoral leader. I believe she listens to, interprets and displays in her life and ministry a reverence for living the word of God. She has a strongly-rooted background in Anglo-Catholicism and has a reverence for the beauty and holiness of worship and liturgy. A good sense of humor and humility serve her well also.

Why do you believe this person would be a capable leader of the Diocese of Springfield?

Mother Mary Ann displays the gifts of a fervent and benevolent leader. She has a diverse background in service on numerous commissions and committees, has led workshops and is respected by her clergy peers and the laity in her parish and diocese. I believe our diocese is at a crossroads in its ministry. We need a bishop who is a shepherd to all the flock in a large geographical diocese where its members come from different backgrounds in life and religious experiences. We need to acknowledge the struggles our diocese is facing as we move forward. Mother Mary Ann Hill reflects the light of Christ, which I believe is so needed in the Diocese of Springfield, especially at this time. I am honored to nominate her as the 12th Bishop of the Springfield Diocese.

 

Clergy Nomination

Father Everett Lees
Priest // Oklahoma

How long, and in what capacity, have you known the nominee?

I have known Mother Mary Ann Hill since 2009 as a colleague and friend. We serve parishes that are 3 miles from each other, yet we found ways to collaborate and focus on building the Kingdom of God.

What gifts do you feel the nominee has for the ministry and office of a Bishop?

As I read the ordinal for bishops three key callings stand out: proclaim the faith, guard the faith, and share in leadership. Mother Mary Ann’s focus is on evangelism and sharing the gospel. She upholds the creeds but as importantly, she proclaims the gospel so others see why it is life-giving and hope-filled.

As I mentioned, Mother Mary Ann believes in the faith that has been handed down over the generations. Upholding that faith is not secondary to her theological convictions, they are at the heart of her beliefs.

Finally, Mother Mary Ann has proven herself to be a collaborative leader, bringing people together across differences to advance the mission of the church. In a time when leaders often want to be right, we need leaders who are gracious enough to know where they are going but in a way that brings people along.

Why do you believe this person would be a capable leader of the Diocese of Springfield?

The Diocese of Springfield’s challenges is not unlike the challenges Mary Ann has faced over the past decade at St. Dunstan’s. As demographics changed Mary Ann did not hesitate to adapt and start a new ministry planting the first Latino congregation in Tulsa. She displayed an important aspect of leadership in that she was willing, for the good of the ministry, to allow the ministry to discern its way forward even if that meant letting it go in order for it to faithfully serve the most people.

For the past several decades the Episcopal Church seems to move from one conflict to another, a bridge builder is what is needed in so many parts of the church. Mary Ann is a bridge builder. She will work in a collaborative way rather than be heavy-handed. She is gracious to those who disagree with her and humble to admit the times she is wrong.

Finally, the Diocese of Springfield is home. It is where she found the Anglican tradition, it is where she fell in love with Jesus, and it is a place she deeply loves and understands. She knows the diocese with its beauty and imperfections. She will proclaim and guard the faith.

 

From the Office for Transition Ministry Profile

Describe a moment in your recent ministry that you recognize as one of success and fulfillment.

One of the most fulfilling opportunities for ministry that I’ve had in recent months was teaching at our diocesan Iona School of Ministry, which prepares those seeking ordination to the diaconate and bi-vocational priesthood. We have a strong sense of collegiality in the Diocese of Oklahoma, and we enjoy being together and working collaboratively. Many of the courses at Iona are taught by diocesan clergy. Because of my Anglo-Catholic background and experience in a wide variety of congregations, I have been tasked with teaching liturgics. My objectives for this course are to help the students understand general liturgical principals, how to follow the canons and interpret the rubrics, and acquaint them with our authorized resources. As a result, they will be equipped to handle a wide variety of situations. Based on the feedback I received, I was able to make the learning entertaining and nearly all the students said it was the best practical learning session they had in the Iona program. I am always grateful for opportunities like this to share something that can strengthen and benefit the entire diocese.

 

Describe your liturgical style and practice.

I come from an Anglo-Catholic background. My personal preference is definitely for high church liturgy, but I also believe that worship should fit the character of a congregation. I am comfortable in all sorts of circumstances – everything from Solemn High Mass with incense to praise music sung in Spanish. I recognize that flexibility, a calm demeanor, and good humor on the part of the celebrant play a crucial role in the worship experience for all involved. I also understand that, while I may be presiding, the liturgy is not about me and what I am doing, but rather, it is about what God is doing through me. Whatever we do liturgically, whether in a simple or in an elaborate setting, should be done in the beauty of holiness, and to the best of our ability.

 

How do you practice incorporating others in ministry?

As with everything, I try to remember that the Church belongs to Christ and I am here as a steward. Part of my role is to help people find ministries that use their gifts and talents, and to make sure that they have the training and resources they need. It’s important to get to know members of the community so that we can help identify where they might serve. Over time, I’ve learned that flexibility and managing expectations on my part are very important, and that helping others have opportunities matters more than having my exact personal preferences met. Serving Christ is a joy and a privilege, and I need to do whatever I can to help other have that experience.

 

How do you care for your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being?

I pray the daily office, take regular “retreat days” during which I catch up on reading and meet with colleagues, mentors and/or advisors, and I have a spiritual director and confessor. I also try to watch what I eat and get enough sleep and regular exercise. When I have time off, I try to engage in creative activities that I don’t have time to do during the normal work week. I take care to have friendships outside of the parish. When I really need a boost, I try to travel to places that have spiritual significance for me. The inspiration I bring back enhances my ministry for months and even years to come.

 

Describe your involvement in either the wider Church or geographical community.

Several years ago, my congregation began a Spanish language service which grew into a full-blown Latino mission in just a few short years. Because of our success, I have become a regular speaker for the Office of Latino and Hispanic Ministries in the Episcopal Church, serving on panel discussions and as a workshop leader. I am also a member of The Gathering of Leaders. The Gathering was founded by Bp. Claude Payne (retired, TX) to encourage transformational leaders dedicated to “the missionary call of Christ and growing the Church in spiritual depth and in numbers as it effectively serves all sorts and conditions of people through the transforming power of Jesus Christ.” Currently I serve my diocese as a member of the Standing Committee, as an instructor in liturgy for our diocesan school of ministry, and as an Examining Chaplain. During our recent search and election of a bishop, I served as President of the Standing Committee. I have been a regional dean both here in Tulsa and in the Diocese of Chicago. I have served on numerous committees, commissions, and boards, and I regularly lead trainings and workshops on a wide variety of topics.

 

How do you engage in pastoral care for others?

Ninety percent of pastoral care is showing up and bringing the love of Christ to those in need of it. I try to be present personally as much as possible in crises and acute situations, and often pitch in with practical things like providing meals and transportation. I also engage others’ help, whether it be our deacon, rector emeritus, or trained lay ministers. When an in-person visit is not possible, I try to stay connected through phone calls, texts, messaging, etc.

 

Tell about a ministry project that exists because of your leadership. What was your role in its creation? Who can be contacted?

I never expected that I would become involved with planting a Spanish-language mission, but that is exactly what happened in 2014, when St. Dunstan’s discerned a call to reach out to Latinos in our area. At the time, my own Spanish skills were minimal, and I was very dubious about my ability to lead others in this endeavor. Fortunately, despite my doubts and fears, God provided everything we needed to answer his call. Within three years of our first service, we reached an average Sunday attendance of 60, and in 2017, we applied were awarded a mission development grant by the Episcopal Church. A year later, our diocese called a priest to be the Spanish missioner for Tulsa. On December 8, 2019, the Latino members of St. Dunstan’s, along with their new missioner, began a new congregation in the Diocese of Oklahoma. Although it was exhausting being the rector of an established congregation and a church planter simultaneously, it was also one of the best things I’ve been privileged to do. Please feel free to contact the Rev. Anthony Guillen, Missioner for Latino and Hispanic Ministries in The Episcopal Church:

 

How are you preparing yourself for the Church of the future?

The Church has always existed in an uncertain world, so first and foremost, I endeavor to stay grounded in scripture and prayer. In addition, I try to stay well-informed about current events, local demographics, and general developments that have an impact on the Church and her members. I maintain a cohort of trusted advisors who are well-versed in things like technology, media, and our ever-changing social landscape. I am not afraid to ask for advice and or help. But most of all, I take a lesson from St. Peter: if I’m going step out of the boat, I had best stay focused on Jesus.

 

What is your personal practice of stewardship and how do you utilize it to influence your ministry in your worshipping community?

I firmly believe that our entire lives are a gift from God, and the question we must ask ourselves, is how that gift, which includes all of our talents and resources, can be used by God for the building up of his Kingdom. In terms of finances, I tithe to the Church, and I also give generously to other organizations and individuals. I find tremendous joy in giving, and I try to pass that on to others.

 

What is your experience of conflict involving the church? And what is your experience in addressing it?

I am a natural mediator and have the ability to connect with a wide variety of people. I appreciate and respect opinions across a wide spectrum, and often serve as a bridge between various constituencies within the Church. I count among my friends, people with widely diverging views, including some who don’t agree with women’s ordination. Although at times I have to set aside my personal feelings, I know that our mutual love for Jesus, and His for us, matters more than anything else. As a leader, I have been able to successfully navigate serious conflict situations. I work hard to build consensus. Even when that’s not possible, I am usually able to keep people together and talking with one another. By focusing on being bound together as the Body of Christ, we avoid having the “foot say to the hand, I have no need of you.” All of the congregations I served have had members who ranged from the conservative to liberal ends of the spectrum. I have always been committed to being a priest for all of them. As a result, we have been able to weather a variety of controversy, from same-sex marriage to secular politics, with very little ill-effect.

 

What is your experience leading/addressing change in the church? When has it gone well? When has it gone poorly? And what did you learn?

First and foremost, I don’t make arbitrary changes on my own, simply because I’m the rector, and I believe that transparency and open communication are vital for maintaining a healthy community. Before making any substantive change, I take the pulse of the community and work with various leaders to find a way forward together. A prime example of successful change is the launching our Latino ministry. While it was impossible to anticipate every hiccup or speed bump, I worked with leaders to understand this as part of our mission and calling. We learned to meet those occasional difficulties with patience and humor. An example of change that didn’t go so well was when we decided to take the financial risk of calling a curate. What I didn’t anticipate was that the person we called, was actually younger than what we needed. We needed someone from the previous generation to work with the group of young adults that we had and those we were hoping to attract. I also learned that I and the vestry were falling for some prevalent misconceptions about the needs and wants of younger generations.

 

Two Recent Sermons

Easter V
https://www.dropbox.com/s/67eok37krszmu1s/Easter%20V%20Sermon.mp4?dl=0,

Pentecost II

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ax2gojudrsyjx92/Pentecost II Sermon.mp4?dl=0

 

Curriculum Vitae

ORDINATION

            May 31, 2002  Ordination to the Priesthood, Diocese of Northern Indiana

June 17, 2001  Ordination to the Diaconate, Diocese of Northern Indiana

EDUCATION

            2001: M.Div. University of the South

1987: B.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Modern German Studies

EXPERIENCE

Rector, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2008-present

St. Dunstan’s is a large pastoral-size parish with a preschool of 70-90 children.  In addition to the typical ministry of a full-time rector and head-of-school, I led the congregation in successfully planting a Latino congregation within our existing 50-year-old parish.  In 2017, having reached and average Sunday attendance of 60, with the help of the Office of Hispanic and Latino Ministries for the Episcopal Church, we secured a Mission Development grant for this ministry.  In Advent 2019, St. Dunstan’s Latino mission became a free-standing congregation of the Diocese of Oklahoma.

Diocese of Oklahoma 

  • Standing Committee (President from 2018-2020; during bishop search and transition)
  • Instructor for Practicum in Liturgy, Iona School of Ministry
  • Examining Chaplain, Theory and Practice of Ministry
  • Deputy, 2021 General Convention (elected)
  • Dean of the Tulsa Region
  • Diocesan Council Member
  • Alternate, 2013 General Convention
  • Chaplain, Diocesan Convention
  • Diocesan Convention Workshop Presenter and Panel Member
  • Clergy Conference Committee member
  • Board Member, St. Simeon’s Episcopal Home for Senior Living.

Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Freeport, Illinois, 2002-2006

Grace was a small pastoral-size parish in a rural community.  In addition to the normal duties of a rector of a smaller church, during my tenure we successfully introduced junior and senior high youth programs and introduced what continues to be the second largest annual fundraiser for the Freeport Area Church Cooperative.  In addition to my parish duties, I served as Dean of the Northwest Region for the Diocese of Chicago (comprising roughly 11 counties in rural northwestern Illinois), as a spiritual director for Happening and Cursillo, and as a member of the board of St. Joseph’s Nursing Home.

Other employment (details available on request):

Curate, St. Michael and All Angels, South Bend, Indiana, 2001-2002

Head Resident, Gorgas Hall, University of the South – Sewanee, 1999-2001Admissions and Records Officer II, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987-1998

OTHER SKILLS

Foreign Languages:  fluency in German; liturgical and conversational Spanish; beginning level Italian and French

FACILITATOR/WORKSHOP LEADER/PRESENTER

  • New CaminoEpiscopal Church Office for Latino/Hispanic Ministries, Presenter
  • The Gathering of Leaders – Panel Member and Presenter on various topics over the last decade
  • Nuevo Amanecer, (biennial TEC gathering/Latino and Hispanic Ministries), Panel Member
  • Changing Vestry Culture, Diocesan Convention Workshop, co-presenter with Skip Eller
  • The Acts 8 Movement, Diocesan Convention Workshop, co-presenter with Everett Lees

CONTINUING EDUCATION and CONFERENCES

  • Staffing and Supervision the Rev. Susan Beaumont (former Alban Inst. Associate) October 2019
  • Maximizing Leadership, Center for Creative Leadership, July 2017
  • Lilly Foundation Clergy Renewal Program – Sabbatical Grant, Summer 2017
  • Genesis: Cultivating New Ministries in The Episcopal Church, training Mission-Developers, 2016
  • Evangelism Matters Conference, Dallas, 2016
  • Called to Transformation: Asset-Based Community Development, Nashotah 2016
  • REDIL, Latino/Hispanic Mission Developer Training, Phoenix 2016
  • Church Leadership Conference: Unlocking the New Church, Kanuga, 2014
  • Episcopal Church Building Fund: Buildings for a New Tomorrow, Albuquerque, 2013
  • Great Church Conference, All Saints’, Beverly Hills, 2006 & 2007

HONORS and AWARDS

  • Lilly Foundation Clergy Renewal Program – Sabbatical Grant, Summer 2017
  • Prize for Liturgy, Class of 2001; School of Theology, University of the South, 2001

GENERAL INTERESTS: studying foreign languages; all things Anglican; Congregational Development; Classical and Sacred Choral Music; Pembroke Welsh Corgis; Anglo-Saxon history; cooking

 

Video Submission for question:

After reviewing and reflecting on the information provided, why do you feel called to be a nominee for the 12th Bishop of Springfield?