‘Since my husband and I have been together, we have largely been celebrated and accepted by both of our church’s communities.’
“My husband and I met on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel, which is an important place for Christians because it’s where Jesus lived most of his life. We were both leading pilgrimages from our respective churches, and they put us on the same bus. There was a connection, so God definitely has a sense of humor!
“Pilgrimage has been a large part of our ministries and our lives together. Our careers as rectors in different parishes are about sharing the faith with people and we get to do this in neat ways. I grew up in a Christian family, but I didn’t start going to church regularly until I was in college. It was when I was doing a summer term at Oxford when I fell in love with the Anglican tradition.
“I’ve worked in hospice and in hospitals; it has been rewarding work. You get to be with people during momentous times in their lives, and I never had to question whether what I did was worthwhile. Now I have been an Episcopal priest in Rockville Centre for nine years. Since my husband and I have been together, we have largely been celebrated and accepted by both of our church’s communities.
I never in a million years thought that I’d be celebrating the sacred rites of Holy Week and Easter in my dining room with just my husband and dog!
“When COVID hit, our situation was unique in that we’re both priests, married and living in the same home. A lot of clergy were scrambling when we went into the lockdown, wondering how we were going to continue to minister to our congregations. We set up a makeshift altar/television studio in our dining room, and immediately started filming masses. One week, he would say the Mass and I would preach, and then we would switch.
“We’d send the recording to both of our congregations. I never in a million years thought that I’d be celebrating the sacred rites of Holy Week and Easter in my dining room with just my husband and dog! It was a way to continue to give our congregations encouragement and hope when we couldn’t see any of them face-to-face.
“Worship is such a fundamental part of our lives; however, we rarely get to do it together because, on Sunday mornings, he’s at his church and I’m at mine, so that was great for us. Ultimately, I think there’s so much joy in our faith. It’s challenging sometimes to share that but getting to share it is a wonderful part of the job.”
Interviewed by Iris Wiener