transitions

A New Call for Steve Schunk ‘18

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The Rev. Steve Schunk, Class of 2018, has been called as Priest-in-Charge at the Episcopal Church of the Regeneration, Pine Plains, NY. He has been serving as Priest Associate at Episcopal Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck, NY since September 2018.

Schunk is a second career, first vocation Priest, ordained on September 15, 2018, at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. He has also completed two full units of Interfaith Hospital Chaplaincy and is a trained Mediator for individuals, whether in business or with families. Schunk is a longtime resident of the Hudson Valley and currently resides in Highland, NY with his husband Doug and their young Goldendoodle, Zeke.

A New Call for Anita Schell ‘83

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The Rev. Dr. Anita Louise Schell, Class of 1983 and a member of our Alumni Executive Committee, has been called to serve as Provisional Priest-in-Charge for Saint Ann's Parish, Old Lyme, CT. Since 2010 she has served as the Rector of Emmanuel Church in Newport, RI.

 A native of Lancaster, PA, Schell has for over 35 years served in congregations and schools in New York City, Philadelphia, Vermont and Rhode Island. She also holds degrees in music, English literature, and world religions from Brown University and the Episcopal Divinity School, where she wrote her doctorate thesis on the topic of environmental justice.

 Most recently Schell served for four years as President of RI Interfaith Power & Light and in various positions in the Diocese of Rhode Island. She is a Board Director for the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence and a member of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.  

 She is the mother of Theo and Rachel and grandmother to Crosby and Quentin. She is married to Stephen MacAusland, a passionate environmentalist, paddler and videographer. Anita is avid about classical, particularly vocal, music, yoga, kayaking and being a vegetarian. 

A New Call for Deonna Neal ‘02

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The Rev. Dr. Deonna D. Neal, Class of 2002, is now serving as a part-time priest associate at St. John's Episcopal Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Neal continues in her role as the Chair, Department of Leadership, Ethics, and the Profession of Arms at Air University (USAF) and is responsible for the leadership and ethics curriculum for 27,000 students across four Air Force officer graduate professional military education programs.  Her research and teaching interests include the ethics of emerging military technologies, professional ethics, moral injury, moral courage, and Christian ethics.

She holds a PhD in Moral Theology from the University of Notre Dame, an M.Phil. in Political Theology/Just War from the University of Oxford, as well as an M. Div. from General, and a B.S. in Human Behavior and Leadership from the US Air Force Academy.   Dr. Neal is also an FAA certified glider flight instructor, civil aviation pilot, Ironman triathlete and serves on the ethics committee for USA Triathlon.

A New Call for Marian Dulaney Fortner ‘96

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The Rev. Marian Dulaney Fortner, Class of 1996, has been called as Interim Rector of St. James' Episcopal Church, Jackson, Mississippi. She has served for the past ten years as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Fortner practiced law for twelve years before the call to ordained ministry and attendance at General. She has also previously served at All Saints Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoeniz, AZ; St. Andrew's Episcopal Day School in Jackson/Ridgeland, MS; St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Jackson, MS; and St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville, MS.

Churchwide, Fortner has served as a Deputy to General Convention as well as in multiple Diocesan leadership positions, including the Mississippi Executive Committee, Racial Reconciliation Committee, and Sexual Exploitation, Pastoral Justice & Advocacy Committee. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of a regional nonprofit formed after Hurricane Katrina to respond to unmet needs after natural disasters.

Fortner was a nominee for Bishop Coadjutor of Mississippi in 2014 and Bishop of West Tennessee in 2018. She is married to Tom Fortner and they have one daughter and one grandson.

A New Call for Ellen Tillotson ‘83

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The Rev. Ellen L. Tillotson, Class of 1983 and a member of our Board of Trustees, is the Interim Priest in Charge of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, Darien, CT. She most recently served as Missional Priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bristol, CT.

Tillotson was the Rector of Trinity Torrington, CT from 1992 – 2011. She has also previously served at Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven and as a Supply Priest and Church Consultant for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

A native of North Dakota, Tillotson earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Dakota before attending General. She received her Master of Sacred Theology from Yale Divinity School in 2014. Tillotson is married to the Rev. William Cavanaugh, Class of 1981 and a member of our Alumni Executive Committee.

Ordination Scheduled for Jim Robertson ‘12

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The Rev. James Robertson, Class of 2012, will be ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania on June 15, 2019.

 Robertson had experienced a failed process toward ordination in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.  He was encouraged by colleagues to return to the diocese in which he had grown up, which was smaller, and where he would get more personal attention and mentoring as he discerned his next steps. In 2015, he was accepted into the process in the Diocese of West Missouri (Kansas City), after a "getting to know people and place" time. He was on staff at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral during that time beginning in 2014.

 In the Spring of 2018, Robertson and his husband Dean Ennis’s family obligations necessitated a move back east. Bishop Scanlon of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, together with the Commission on Ministry and Standing Committee, accepted Jim's candidacy for priesthood in order that he not have to begin the process over after their move. After arriving in the Diocese of Central PA, Robertson conducted extensive visitation throughout its 61 parishes.

Click here for the ordination invitation.

A New Call for Nathan Ritter ‘10

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The Rev. Nathan Ritter, Class of 2010, has been named new Pastor and Priest-in-Charge at Calvary Episcopal Church, Flemington, NJ. He has previously served at Grace Church in Newark, St. Paul’s Westfield, and Saint Thomas Church in New York City.

Ritter, who was born in St. Louis, graduated from Truman State University with a B.A. in classical languages and a minor in religious studies. From there, he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he earned a master’s degree from the Yale Divinity School. While at Yale, he focused on the Old Testament and Semitic languages and studied Aramaic, (Syriac), Ethiopic, Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Sumerian and Greek. During his time in New Haven, he also met his future wife, Jessica, and officially became an Episcopalian when he was confirmed at Christ Church.

From there, Ritter entered the graduate program in Assyriology at the University of Michigan to study the languages and cultures of ancient Iraq and Syria. In Ann Arbor, he was active at Canterbury House, the Episcopal Student Center at the University of Michigan. In Michigan, Ritter also went to St. Gregory’s Abbey, an Episcopal monastery in Three Rivers. While serving on a discernment committee for another student, he discerned a call to the priesthood.

The Ritters moved to Jersey City in 2007, where Jess was ordained in the Lutheran Church; she serves as pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jersey City.

A New Call for Michael Durning ‘87

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The Rev. Canon Michael Durning, Class of 1987 and a member of our Alumni Executive Committee, will be joining the Bishop’s staff of the Diocese of Oklahoma as Canon to the Ordinary on April 15th, 2019.

Durning brings 30 years of ministry experience to the diocese during a time of transition.

Prior to his 2018 retirement, Durning served for 21 years as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Southwest Florida. His roles have included Diocesan Transitions Minister and staff resource for the ordination/discernment process. Over the past 30 years, he has had parish assignments in Naples, Marco Island and Longboat Key, Florida. Prior to ordination, he worked in the publishing business as an Art Director and Book Designer.

Durning and his spouse Bonnie Jean have been married over 45 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.

A New Call for Brandt Montgomery ‘12

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The Rev. Brandt L. Montgomery, Class of 2012 and a current member of our Alumni Executive Committee, has been called as Chaplain of Saint James School in Hagerstown, Maryland. He will begin his new ministry on August 1, 2019. He is currently Associate Rector and All-School Chaplain at Ascension Episcopal School, Lafayette, Louisiana, where he has been serving for five years. His last day at Ascension will be May 31.

 Montgomery previously served as the Curate at Canterbury Episcopal Chapel and Student Center at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He received his M.Div. cum laude from General, for which he wrote the thesis Time’s Prisoner: The Right Reverend Charles Colcock Jones Carpenter and the Civil Rights Movement in the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. He is currently undertaking D.Min. studies at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and is a current contributor to Covenant, the weblog of the Living Church Foundation. As a musician, his interests lie in 1930s-1950s instrumental jazz.

A New Call for Anne Kitch ‘95

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The Rev. Anne Kitch, Class of 1995, has been called as the new Rector of St. Luke’s Church, Phillipsburg, N.J. She will be with the parish for Holy Week, and will begin full time ministry on May 1, 2019.


Kitch currently serves as the Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Bethlehem, PA. Ordained in 1995, she began her ministry at St. Peter’s Church in Peekskill, NY and later became the Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, PA. She has been on the staff of the Diocese of Bethlehem for the past 11 years serving in a variety of capacities including formation, transition ministry, congregational visioning, and leadership development. Kitch is a member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church and serves on its Finance Committee. She grew up in the Episcopal Church and experienced a call to ministry as a young adult while serving as a youth minister. She majored in English at Carleton College, and received her MA in Education from the University of St. Thomas, before attending General.

Kitch loves preaching, teaching, working with people of all ages, and visioning how the Church can be a vibrant witness for the love of Jesus in the world. She is the author of several books in the area of Christian Formation including The Anglican Family Prayer Book and Taking the Plunge: Baptism and Parenting and blogs at SacredStumbling.blogspot.com. Her husband, James Peck, is a Professor of Theatre at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.  They have two young adult daughters.