Category Archives: Bishop Cate Waynick

April 22, 2017: Celebrating Bishop Cate’s Ministry

April 22, 2017

The recorded webcast from St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Carmel Indiana of the celebration of 20 years of ministry with The Right Reverend Catherine Waynick.


Follow the Celebration Webcast with a Downloadable Worship Bulletin

 


The Right Reverend Catherine M. Waynick

The retiring Bishop speaks about life, her mission, and her people.

Images from the Celebration

Diocesan Executive Council Jump Starts the Waycross Waynick Center for Youth Formation and Camping

Diocesan Executive Council voted at its March meeting to provide $30,000 in matching funds to jump-start construction at Waycross on the Waynick Center for Youth Formation and Camping. The gift was offered in honor of Bishop Waynick’s 20 years of ministry and in recognition of her retirement next month. The center will provide 300 square feet of professional space for its growing youth formation, camping, and leadership team. It will be constructed in currently vacant space between the conference center Cherry Wing and Conference Room B. It will have its own entrance, allowing for work that does not interfere with other users of the conference center.

Executive Council hopes the remainder of the some $55,000 estimated for construction can be raised by May 15. To make a gift, go to the Diocesan Make a Gift page and designate your gift for the Bishop Waynick Waycross Project. You can also send a check to the diocesan office at 1100 W. 42nd Street, Indianapolis IN 46208.

In addition to acknowledging Bishop Waynick’s last meeting with Executive Council, the council heard from Bishop-elect the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows on a planned initiative for a series of listening sessions around the diocese. A series of ten sessions are expected to begin in June, with the help of a professional consultant, and designed to elicit “deep listening” around the hopes, dreams, and challenges in our diocese. More details on the sessions will be announced soon.

A Message from Bishop Waynick about the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Anglican Centre in Rome

img_2734

Wednesday,
October 5, 2016

In this chapel, Pope Paul VI presented his own episcopal ring to Archbishop Michael Ramsey, when they committed to ongoing, official dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

That was in 1966. This evening, as part of the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Anglicans and Catholics gathered for a special service of vespers, in which Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby preached, and choirs from the Sistine Chapel and Canterbury Cathedral sang, and nineteen pairs of bishops (Catholic and Anglican) from around the world, were commissioned and sent out to explore ways of working together in mission. This is unprecedented in the history of our

This is unprecedented in the history of our churches, and would be cause enough for counting the occasion a great success. But even greater gifts were given. Archbishop Justin removed his own pectoral cross, the cross of nails from Coventry Cathedral, and presented it to Pope Francis, who removed his own papal cross, placed it on the altar. He then put the Archbishop’s cross around his own neck — pressing the nails into his hand as he did so. Then Pope Francis presented Archbishop Justin with a replica of the episcopal staff carried by Pope Gregory the Great when he sent Augustine to Kent to convert the ‘angels’ there. For a pope to replace his own cross with one worn by an Anglican bishop is extraordinary. For a pope to place a bishop’s crozier in the hands of an Anglican archbishop runs counter to the Roman position – held since the Reformation – that Anglican Orders are “completely null and utterly void.” I give thanks for the vision and

Then Pope Francis presented Archbishop Justin with a replica of the episcopal staff carried by Pope Gregory the Great when he sent Augustine to Kent to convert the ‘angels’ there. For a pope to replace his own cross with one worn by an Anglican bishop is extraordinary. For a pope to place a bishop’s crozier in the hands of an Anglican archbishop runs counter to the Roman position — held since the Reformation — that Anglican Orders are “completely null and utterly void.” I give thanks for the vision and open-heartedness of our chief pastors, and for the many ways in which the Anglican Centre has helped to foster dialogue, understanding, and genuine affection among us. Bishop_Cate_signature.fw

More photos from Bishop Cate’s trip.

“These are pics of the palazzo Doris Pamphilj, the ‘side entrance’ used by the Anglican Centre, the entry to the house where St Paul was held under house arrest, the main entrance – where, during WWII, Mussolini and Hitler were turned away and refused entrance to the palazzo, and the main garden, where we had drinks and hors doevres before the gala banquet on Wednesday following Vespers at the Benedictine monastery. Wonderful history – and great things happening in our own time…..”

Diocesan Delegation Goes on Pilgrimage to Partner Diocese of Brasilia

FB_IMG_1467923898427A delegation including Bishop Waynick and clergy Jeffrey Bower, Sarah Ginolfi, Bradley Pace, and Jim Stanton went on pilgrimage to our partner Diocese of Brasilia the week of July 3. They learned more about Brasilia’s after school programs for children who are only able to attend school for a brief time each day, as well as other ministries in that diocese. They built new relationships and strengthened old friendships as they mutually shared about the future of our diocesan partnership with Brasilia.

The delegation was pleased to present a check for $13,000 from the Diocese of Indianapolis (including parishes, individuals, and dailyoffice.org) in support of Brasilia ministries. They also arrived with gifts of school supplies and games to share with the excited students.

FB_IMG_1467951389160FB_IMG_1467772875811

FB_IMG_1467951259949

Bishop Waynick’s Sermon at the Great Vigil of Easter, Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis

easter - christ church cathedralWhy are we here? Why have we come to this vigil?  

Some of us are here because of the sheer beauty of the liturgy itself; the light of the paschal candle representing the light of the risen Christ which cannot be extinguished, the ancient hymn ‘Exsultet’ which extolls the light and its meaning for the world, the ancient stories from sacred Scripture which remind us that God has given us our very life and has journeyed with us through times of radical renewal, deliverance from slavery, the bestowal of new identity and mission, and rescue from the deadly dryness of spiritual despair.

Some of us are here because these stories speak to our own journeys, and the hymns and psalms provide us comfort and reassurance.

Some of us are here because our faith is already strong – and out of gratitude we come to celebrate and rejoice in the truth of the faith which carries us forward day after day and year after year.    

Some of us are here because we’re still looking for something that rings true, something which just might resonate with the longing we feel to be connected to what is essential and meaningful in life.

But no matter what brought us through the doors of this cathedral this evening we have come to the place in our vigil where a definite shift takes place.  The rehearsal of God’s mighty acts in the lives of our ancestors gives way to the reality of God’s life among us in the person of Jesus – and let’s be clear about this, it is in Jesus that our deepest longings can be satisfied.

At Easter – the highest and holiest feast of the Christian calendar – we claim the fullest meaning of that gracious act without which this night would have no meaning at all – the Incarnation. In the Incarnation God enters human life for all eternity, sharing what is best about it, becoming vulnerable to all that is worst about it.       

Jesus, God in the flesh, is no temporary interloper.  In Jesus, God has taken up residence within human life, and what Jesus does among us is unbound by time and place. At every moment Jesus the Christ is born among us.  At every moment Jesus the Christ is rejoicing with those who celebrate human creativity, human compassion, humor, and love.

At every moment Jesus the Christ is healing the sick, and teaching those who hunger for wisdom.  At every moment Jesus the Christ is sharing meals with sinners, encountering outcasts, speaking publicly to the ‘unworthy,’ challenging the self-righteous, and reframing people’s understandings of the Law.

At every moment Jesus the Christ is getting alongside the rebuffed, the ridiculed, the misunderstood, and the hated ones. At every moment he is taken by force, falsely accused, cruelly tortured, and shamefully executed, giving the lie to the notion that might makes right.

And in those same moments, Jesus the Christ takes and blesses bread and gives it to his friends, commanding them to continue this sharing as a reminder that he is ever present with them. In those same moments Jesus is blessing and sharing the cup which becomes the sacrament of his willingness to forge an eternal covenant in his own blood….a covenant not with the deserving, but with those whose sins will otherwise overpower them….a covenant with us.   

It is this Jesus – God in the flesh – who offers us what we cannot provide for ourselves – and whose Spirit guides and strengthens us to love as he loves, and to serve as he serves.

Only Jesus gives us Easter life.

The world around us has trivialized Easter perhaps even more than it has Christmas. And let’s be honest, we have participated in the domestication of Easter.  We dress it all up with bunnies and baskets of chocolate. We give in to the temptation to make it into a festival of renewed life – of the return of the warm weather and the greening of the trees. A butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, the daffodils begin to bloom, the robins return, and the cycle of life revs up again. Ah – a sign of resurrection!

We forget that Easter is also being celebrated (perhaps more profoundly!) in the southern hemisphere, where the natural world appears to be dying. We forget that the cycles of nature have precious little to do with Resurrection. When our own ritualized delight in seeing spring return obscures our wonder at the transcendent emergence of Jesus from the grave, we are left not knowing the heart and soul of Christianity – and that heart and soul is not the return of old life – it is rather the beginning of entirely new, Resurrection life, in Jesus.

In today’s climate of bombastic rhetoric from those who seek to be our political leaders, we followers of Jesus must call to mind the commandment to love as he loves.  It is for Jesus people to say out loud that God’s love embraces every human being – even the refugees among us, and that inviting fear of those who differ from us is not the way to love them.  

It is for Jesus people to take stands which indicate that we value our neighbors as we do ourselves – even if higher wages might mean higher prices. It is for followers of Jesus to refute the lie that disagreement on important issues must mean that we condemn those who disagree with us. Do we think we must agree in order to have a meaningful, lasting relationship with each other?  How wrongheaded!  Agreement is not the issue! Mercy does not depend on agreement! Neither does love.      

Human sin makes it abundantly clear that we disagree with God. We disagree with God about what is right and good, and about what will be best for us. If agreement were the condition on which we could have a meaningful relationship with God, then God would have cut the ties long ago!  But even with all our stubborn, sinful disagreement, God has maintained the relationship. Not only that, God has overlooked the disagreements and all the damage they have done throughout history, and has given us a way to live faithfully beyond them. In Jesus we have the gift of God’s unifying love and grace.

And if anyone came here tonight wanting to hear about the grace of God – that God gives us not what we deserve but what we need, that God is on our side no matter what, that God wants us reconciled with each other in spite of our disagreements, and offers release from sin and death – then come to the empty tomb.  

Come seeking Jesus as the women did before sunrise on that day when a new reality was abroad in the world.  Bring your doubts and fears, and anger, and pain, and emptiness, and loneliness, and confusion.

Come, with Jesus’ own teachings ringing in your ears; about healing for the suffering, about his own searching for the lost, and the rejoicing in heaven when any one of us repents and is welcomed home.  Remember that redeeming grace is only needed by sinners, and resurrection only works on what has died.

And if you feel full of joy and gratitude for all God has given you, then out of that wonderful place of gratitude reach out your hand to someone near you who needs reassurance – and remember that even your overflowing joy does not reflect all that God has given you.  

Come asking for Jesus’ resurrected life to live in this broken, frightened world, or in your own fear, or in your own knowledge of your need for him. Then you will experience Easter.

Either it’s true or it isn’t. Either Jesus is alive or he is dead. If he is dead there’s nothing more to say. If he’s alive, enough words cannot be found to describe the new life of grace awaiting those who believe he lives in them.

We are human. There may never be a time when we are able to leave disagreement and fear completely behind. But we know the rest of this Easter story.  We know that new possibilities emerge because the risen Jesus lives in those who love him, and changes us if we will allow him to love us as we are, and not try to hide ourselves from him….

Resurrection love, like the kingdom Jesus proclaimed, is here and now reality.  I can’t prove it to you, and the Church can’t prove it to the world, unless we start seeking it with all our hearts.  And when we do, the proof of what we say we believe will be irrefutable. Our lives will be characterized by the justice that brings peace, the mercy which issues in nobility, the worship which issues in joy, and the love that honors every person as image of God.   

Then whoever observes us will marvel and say, “What do you know!?!, Christ IS risen!” and we will respond, “The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

+Catherine M. Waynick

Christ Church Cathedral

The Great Vigil  2016

Bishop on the Holy Land—Reflections Presented to the Congregation of Beth El Zedak in Indianapolis

Bishop Waynick left Diocesan Convention and traveled to Tel Aviv for an experience through Interfaith Partners for Peace. The network is composed of clergy pairs from throughout the U.S. who are committed to peace and reconciliation, true dialogue, and two states for Israelis and Palestinians. To follow her work and study there, go to Interfaith Partners for Peace on Facebook or www.interfaithpartnersforpeace.org.

Bishop Waynick left Diocesan Convention and traveled to Tel Aviv for an experience through Interfaith Partners for Peace. The network is composed of clergy pairs from throughout the U.S. who are committed to peace and reconciliation, true dialogue, and two states for Israelis and Palestinians. To follow her work and study there, go to Interfaith Partners for Peace on Facebook or www.interfaithpartnersforpeace.org.

I am delighted and honored to be with you this morning— many thanks to Rabbi Sasso for this opportunity and for inviting me into what may prove to be a frustrating and immeasurably rewarding task….that of trying to understand life in the land we call holy, and doing what we can to foster peace there.  

You are aware that Rabbi Sasso and I travelled to Israel this past May as part of a project called Interfaith Partners For Peace. The Jewish Community Relations Council very generously provided for us, and we joined other rabbis and Christian leaders from around the country on a journey of discovery.

Being a part of that group was an immense privilege, and I will always be grateful for it.  Among the joys of our time together was the chance to listen to the ways in which rabbis engage sacred writings…. I know you love Rabbi Sasso—imagine being in a room with fourteen rabbis for eight days—all of them learned and earnest, asking questions the texts don’t answer, holding up possibilities for interpretation and learning—seeking to make the most of their teaching role.  Rabbi Sasso certainly held his own among that group—though none was able to match him as a punster!

I have been invited to share my reflections on the experiences we had during that very special week, and I must issue a disclaimer right up front.  I am painfully aware that I do not carry with me the existential angst of wondering whether my group—my family of origin and all our descendants will survive.  My ancestors have not left behind a collective memory of oppression, suspicion, false accusation, and terrible, brutal genocide—or the fear that hateful violence will somehow claim all the generations to come—depriving me and all I hold dear of a place in living memory.

I am a middle aged, white, married woman—mother of a grown daughter and son, Nana to two grandchildren.  I grew up in a racially segregated community in southeastern Michigan, and the only subjugation I experienced in my early life was the sexist view that girls should aspire to homemaking and motherhood, and should keep their brains under cover! But I was also socialized in the sixties and seventies and grew up to be not only a wife and mother, but a supporter of civil rights for Black Americans, a feminist, and a bishop in The Episcopal Church…..so I have a fairly strong sense of myself as a person, and I am aware that my place in history is with those who have willingly ridden the wave of change for the sake of justice and equality for all people.

I necessarily bring all those realities with me into any new experiences, and to the way I reflect on them and respond to them.  I must also confess to a certain impatience with the labeling of persons or groups, and with seeing situations in terms of all or nothing, black or white, good or bad.  If only life were that tidy!  And I am most impatient with the claim that the way things are is pretty much the way God intends and prefers them to be. Many things are the way human beings have made them, whether God approves or not, and I thoroughly resent the unscholarly misuse of sacred texts in order to lay human failings at God’s feet!

I also carry with me the conviction that God is longing to help us put things right—and that grace, and wisdom, and courage are being rained down on us all the time…if only we will open ourselves to them and make use of them.

So—what can I share this morning?

First and foremost, as the title of this reflection implies, understanding is something we come to by journeying, sometimes over great distances and considerable time. So what I share here will probably reveal more about my continuing ignorance than anything else.  But if my confusion or lack of clarity help in any way to frame the way you share important information—so that I and others can understand more fully, then this sharing may be of some value.   

Next I would say that Jewishness can be complicated for others to understand. Though it clearly is true that not everyone who celebrates Christmas or Easter is actually religious, Christianity has never been an identity inherited from one’s mother apart from religious belief and practice.  So the reality of cultural Judaism which is inherited but not religious can still be confusing for some of us.

Then there are the politics….

The very large number of political parties in Israel, some of which represent religious groups, some of which do not, complicate the organization of the government. During our trip in May Mr. Netanyahu was still trying to put together a coalition, and it seemed no combination was going to please very many people. (we manage to attain that kind of dissatisfaction with only two major parties!)

Palestinians also have complicated identities, and seemingly no shared, inherited cultural bond which might transcend their various religious affiliations.  So attempts at forming a cohesive Palestinian government which represents a majority has met with little or very fleeting success.  

Out of this complicated situation the longing is for two States to emerge—States which will acknowledge and honor each other’s right to exist, and which will structure their own inner lives in such a way that violence toward ‘the other’ will not be tolerated….even better, that they become real partners for the sake of all the people who live within their borders.

We heard enough from the people and groups we visited for me to be convinced that staging economic boycotts, or withdrawing investment in Israel will not have a beneficial effect.  In the first place, thoughtful Palestinians are asking other nations not to take those actions. In the second place, attempting to draw an analogy with South Africa in the 1980’s seems to equate the plight of Black South Africans with that of Palestinians—which is simply not the case, because as we all realize, there is more than enough blame to go around where the use of violence is concerned. And neither group in South Africa was calling for the complete annihilation of the other.  

It was at the Hartman Institute that I first heard both populations described as ‘traumatized.’ Both Jews and Palestinians have been targeted by violence. Both carry deep distrust and fear of the other. Both need to experience healing before they can imagine forging a shared peace.

We know that there are groups which have declared they want to eradicate the Jewish people. Governmental leaders have made such declarations——and—as mentioned earlier, governmental leaders rarely speak for all their citizens.   

So among the most hopeful things we encountered were the people who have found each other and are refusing to let each other go.  These are groups of people who are doing the risky business of meeting, sharing, listening, getting to know each other as persons, doing the courageous thing of entering each other’s space, in peace, and with the intention of living differently…..and they are not waiting for governments to do it for them.

We met a Jewish man who had become consumed by the unfolding of the promises concerning the land—he has claimed this as his truth—that modern day Israel is the very territory of Abraham’s journey, the place of the gathering of all the tribes under David and Solomon, and the fulfilment of prophecies by Jeremiah and Ezekiel!  He said to us “In 1945 the Jews were bone and smoke and soap—but now they are alive in the same place that had been given to them by God! After thousands of years we have regained our land and our identity!”

He told of encountering a pastor from Virginia who introduced him to a group which included Palestinians, and it was the first time he had ever spoken directly to a Palestinian in conversation.  He explained that Jews and Palestinians live completely different lives—language, religion, schools, media, villages, law systems, transportation, shopping—all completely separated. “The others” may as well be invisible.

He was dazed to hear this Palestinian man say that his children fear for him whenever he leaves the house, because the Jews might kill him.  He responded that his own children feared that he would be killed by Palestinians!  These men continued to meet, and heard unspeakable things from each other.  They began to hear and acknowledge the truth in each other’s narratives.

The Palestinian family has a shop which sells garden supplies, and they eventually put a sign in Hebrew in the window.  The Jewish man encouraged his wife to go there to buy a plant—she described it as the most terrifying experience of her life—but she did it, and she began to change.  

The Palestinian man said he came to understand that Jewish fear is his greatest enemy, and fear simply cannot be overcome with violence.  Both groups are victims, and the truth of either group cannot be made to disappear. These men are becoming friends. They are committed to the journey of discovering each other’s truths, and helping to heal each other’s wounds.

There are groups of Jewish and Palestinian Israelis who are teaching very young children each other’s languages, songs, and traditions as well as the art of listening and learning from each other.

A group from the Harvard School of Law is doing similar work among adults—the young men we met would not tell us the official name of the program because they have to ‘fly under the radar’ to keep it going.  People who meet with the ‘other’ are suspect and get lots of push back from their own families and communities.  But they keep doing it because they have come to know that they can make a difference, two people at a time, two hearts learning to expand enough to make room for those they had formerly automatically hated….coming to know and even to trust them.

What they have come to know is that automatic assumptions and prejudices do not serve them well. They have to be willing to get beyond those assumptions to find the flesh and blood people whose lives have also been hard, and who have the same hopes and dreams for their children.  

Of course I have not been able to reflect on all of this in a vacuum.

Unexamined assumptions and prejudices are at the heart of much of the tragedy we have been witnessing in the U.S. in the past year.  I say ‘witnessing’ because until violent symptoms of racism began erupting so publicly and frequently, many in the white community were unaware that such racism still existed, and had certainly never experienced it first-hand.  

Assumptions have been made in both the black and the white (law enforcement) communities.  Each group automatically assumes the other poses a threat, and that extreme responses are justified.

It seems to me that unexamined assumptions and prejudices are at the root of nearly every intractable conflict around the globe.  Wherever people are unwilling to hear each other’s stories, unwilling to learn who they are, what their lives are like, and what they long for, contempt and deadly violence will have a place to thrive.  And this is true no matter what ‘ism’ is under consideration.

As I said before, there is little that I understand.  But I believe this …peace can come to the Holy Land when the hearts of those who live there are changed.  Peace cannot come to Israel-Palestine until—as Golda Meir said, all who live there decide to love the children more than they hate each other.   And those of us who are not living there except in our hearts must do all we can to foster and support the risky work of listening and learning to know and to love those who have been distrusted or counted as enemies.  All are suffering, and all need to be freed from suffering.

And all who experience this change of heart must be willing to insist that their political leaders represent them honestly.

My mind and heart are flooded with memories, and I cannot share all of them with you this morning.  I have memories of faces, landscapes, urgent and eager voices, and perhaps most of all, I have the memory of shared study and reflection, of risky sharing within our own group of pilgrims, and of reconciliation when some among us were offended. I have the memory of a shared Sabbath meal, and of visiting worship in both synagogue and cathedral……listening and learning even if not able to embrace all the prayers.  

Every great religion of the world encourages its adherents to seek wisdom and peace.  The journey which leads to both is one that begins in the courageous heart. May we have the courage to continue this particular journey together, and to invite others to join us.  

+Catherine Waynick

August 29, 2015

The Right Rev. Cate Waynick, Retired Bishop

The Right Rev. Catherine (Cate) Maples Waynick was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis in January of 1997. She was consecrated on June 7 of that year, and became the Diocesan Bishop on September 10, 1997, and served until her retirement on April 29, 2017, when The Right Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was consecrated as the 11th bishop of the diocese.

See Also April 22, 2017: Celebrating Bishop Cate’s Ministry

Bishop Cate Waynick

cate_and_pope_2_The Right Rev. Catherine (Cate) Maples Waynick was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis in January of 1997. She was consecrated on June 7 of that year, and became the Diocesan Bishop on September 10, 1997. At the time of her election she had been serving as Rector of All Saints’ Parish, Pontiac, MI for three years.

Prior to her ministry in Pontiac she served for ten years on the staff of Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, MI, where she was Associate Rector. During Bishop Cate’s time in the Diocese of Michigan she served on a variety of Diocesan committees, including the Commission on Ministry (a group charged with oversight of academic preparation of candidates for ordination), the Standing Committee (which has both Diocesan and National Church responsibilities), the Program and Budget Committee of Executive Council, the Committee on Church Architecture and the Allied Arts, the Board of the Clergy Association, and for ten years as Examining Chaplain in Liturgics, and Stewardship Consultant.

She also served several terms as Dean of the South Oakland Convocation, and as a member of the Board of the National Network of Episcopal Clergy Associations. Her community involvement during that time included work as a consultant to the General Motors Human Research Committee, and service on the Board of the Birmingham YMCA.

She attended Central Michigan University from 1966-68, and earned a BA in Religious Studies from Madonna College in 1981. She attended St. John Provincial (RC) Seminary in Plymouth, MI, and was awarded the Master of Divinity in 1985. She began work on a Doctor of Ministry degree at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, concentrating on the field of Spiritual Direction, and was named an honorary Doctor of Divinity in May of 1998 from The General Seminary in New York City.

Bishop Waynick serves as the Chair of The Advisory Committee on Pension Fund Abundance and as Chair of The Task Force on Title IV Revisions. She serves on the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, and as a member of the Review Committee, which responds to ecclesiastical charges against bishops. She also serves on the Board of Bexley Hall Seminary in Rochester, New York and is the Assistant Secretary to the House of Bishops. She has also served as Vice Chair of the legislative committee on Ministry for the General Convention.

Cate has been married for over 35 years to Larry Waynick, a retired elementary school principal, and they have two married children. Leisure time is spent with “non-required” reading, music, travel, family and friends.

About her ministry she says, “It is very different from parish ministry because it lacks the day by day contact with a particular group of people, and I have missed that tremendously. But the challenges and responsibilities of leading and serving a diocese are energizing, and the joys and graces are immense. I suppose one of the most amazing things to me is that I have rarely felt I had to worry about being a woman in this role. It feels very natural to me to be serving in this way, and I am more grateful than I can say that I have been given this gift.”