Beyond the Close

A New Call for Matt Burdette ‘17

photos: Dickie Hill

photos: Dickie Hill

The Rev. Dr. Matthew Burdette, Class of 2017, has been called as Rector, Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Dallas, Texas. His first call to the Diocese was as curate at Church of the Good Shepherd. During his second year there he led a parish partnership with a struggling mission, Church of Our Savior, Pleasant Grove. Over the course of a year, weekly attendance grew from 13 to 30. This involved serving both churches each Sunday; 8 a.m. on one side of town, and 11 am on the other.

 Saint Christopher’s is near Southern Methodist University, where Burdette has been involved with young adult and college ministry for over a year. He was called as Priest-in-Charge in March 2019, and was made Rector on July 1. They have a thriving preschool, and the parish is excited for growth and future possibilities.

A New Call for Shane Scott-Hamblen ‘15


The Rev. Dr. Shane Scott-Hamblen, Th.D. Class of 2015, has been appointed Canon Educator for Italian-Language Ministry in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe by the Rt. Rev. Mark D. W. Edington. From 2014-2018 Scott-Hamblen was General’s Affiliate Professor of Church History, Sacred Music, and Organist, as well as a Spiritual Director.

Scott-Hamblen has been serving as Resident Priest at Mount Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara, and previously served as Rector of St. Mary-in-the-Highlands in Cold Spring, New York from 2002 – 2018. He was Regional Dean of the Mid-Hudson Deanery from 2002-2005, and before that Rector of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Indianapolis.

First a Benedictine Monk, Scott-Hamblen was received into the Church of England where he served in the Parish of St. Peter, Diocese of Guildford and the Parish of St. Mary and St. Peter, Diocese of London before transferring to the Episcopal Church USA. He earned his Bachelor of Sacred Theology and then did graduate studies at the Anglicum and Collegio Sant’Anselmo, Rome as well as earning an MA in Spirituality and  Pontifical License with a minor in Anglican Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. He did his post ordination training in the Diocese of London at Oak Hill Theological College.

Scott-Hamblen has served on many New York Diocesan Committees, including chairing the Liturgical Commission from 2005-2009, the Budget & Finance Committee from 2004-2011, and the Resolutions Committee from 2003-2010. He was Chaplain to Volunteer Fire Company No.1, Cold Spring, N.Y. from 2002-2018.  

A New Call for Jesse Lebus ‘15


The Rev. Jesse Lebus, Class of 2015, has been called as Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Sea Cliff, New York. He has previously been serving as curate at St. John’s Church in Cold Spring Harbor.

A native of Kentucky, Jesse graduated from the University of Louisville and worked for small town newspapers before moving to California. It was there that he met the brothers of the Society of St. Francis, Episcopal (SSF). Jesse was a brother in that community for over 6 years, living in San Francisco, Berkeley and eventually moving to Long Island in 2009 to live and work at Little Portion Friary in Mt. Sinai. During this time he began his studies for ordination at General.

Jesse met his wife Meredith at the rectory of Christ Church, Oyster Bay and after prayerful discernment left SSF. They were married in 2014 and Jesse was ordained in December 2015. While serving at St. John’s their family grew to include two daughters.

A New Call for Alison Turner ‘18


The Rev. Alison Joan Turner, Class of 2018, has been appointed to the position of Associate Priest for Children and Family Ministry at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York City. Mother Turner has been on the staff of Saint Thomas Church in a part-time position as Director of Children and Family Ministry since the Summer of 2018. This appointment is a promotion to full-time and will include, alongside the regular liturgical responsibilities of a parish priest, specific responsibilities for pastoral care of young people and families as well as organizing and managing ministries for the children of the parish, including Sunday School and Nursery. She will also explore opportunities for building links with students and staff from other schools and colleges in our area.

Turner was born in southeast England and has always been committed to parish life, especially in the areas of education and catechesis, liturgy, and music. She has a bi-vocational ministry, as both a teacher and priest.

Her education was rooted in Roman Catholic and Anglican multicultural schools in East London. She studied for her first degree and teaching qualifications at St Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham (University of Surrey). She then received her MA in the area of Theology and Adult Education. Subsequently, she became a Head of School in two schools in Devon, the first in a rural setting and the most recent being Exeter Junior School, a large independent city school. In 2015, she joined her husband, Fr. Carl Turner, in New York.

Turner's ministerial formation was based in Cambridge, and she was ordained priest in the Diocese of Chelmsford, at Michaelmas 1998. Her most recent ministerial position in the UK was as Priest Vicar in Exeter Cathedral, where she had particular interest and oversight of the nurture and catechesis of children and young people at local and Diocesan level.

Mother Turner graduated with a Masters in Sacred Theology from General in 2018. Her focus of study was Children's ministry in the Episcopal Church. She completed further studies in Spiritual Direction in 2019.


A New Call for John Rumple ‘11


The Rev. John G. Rumple, Class of 2011, has been called to serve as Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Chicago, Illinois starting September 8, 2019. Ordained in the Diocese of Indianapolis, he has served as Rector of Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church in Greencastle, Indiana for the past six and a half years.

Rumple holds a PhD in New Testament Language, Literature and Theology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, an MDiv from Emmanuel School of Religion, an MA in Preaching the New Testament from Johnson University, and attended General for a certificate in Anglican Studies from 2010-2011. He has taught classes on early Christianity and New Testament as adjunct faculty for the past ten years at the University of Indianapolis in their Philosophy and Religion Department. His husband, Christian, is leaving his Instructor of Mathematics position at Ivy Tech Community College and will be searching for a teaching position in the Chicago area. 

General Joins the Episcopal Tent at Wild Goose

General Joins the Episcopal Tent at Wild Goose

Representatives of General Seminary were among the supporters of The Wild Goose Festival, held annually in the North Carolina mountains. Formed in 2010, the Wild Goose Festival is “a four-day spirit, justice, music and arts festival.” This year’s festival included many public leaders of progressive Christianity including William Barber II, Barbara Brown Taylor, Nadia Bolz-Webber, and Marianne Williamson.  Despite storms and rain connected to Hurricane Barry in the gulf, 4,000 people attended the festival this year.

A New Call for Joe Chambers ‘06


The Rev. Canon Joseph M.C. Chambers, Class of 2006, canon to the ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri has been named the new Chief of Staff for the Diocese of Texas. In his new position, Chambers will support the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle’s work, amplifying the vision of the Diocese of Texas, supervising the Bishop’s office team and overseeing a variety of projects, initiatives and events that support the Bishop’s work.

“Joe Chambers brings creativity, experience on a diocesan staff, strategic thinking, and a heart for mission to the work of Chief of Staff. He is recognized as a leader in the wider Episcopal Church and it will be exciting to bring a talent of his stature into our office to help serve the people of the Diocese of Texas,” said Bishop Doyle. “He will bring fresh eyes to our own structure and continued mission alignment.”

Chambers enters the position with a history of diocesan management where he served the Diocese of Missouri for four years. Before serving in the office of the bishop, he served as the chaplain for the Episcopal Campus Ministry at the University of Missouri and the Rockwell House at Washington University in St. Louis. He has been active in wider church leadership in many different capacities, including as a member on the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church.

A New Call for Roxane Gwyn ‘10


The Rev. Roxane Gwyn, STM Class of 2010, has been called to serve as third Rector of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Hamilton, Georgia as of March 2019.  A native of Georgia, Gwyn was ordained and mostly recently served parishes in the Diocese of North Carolina.

She also holds a BA in English from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and an MDiv from Duke University with certificates in Anglican Studies and Gender/Ministry/Theology.

 In late June, Gwyn and St. Nicholas celebrated The Renewal of Ministry with the Welcoming of a New Rector. The Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, Diocese of Atlanta, preached, presided over the renewal of Baptismal vows, and blessed the continuing ministry of parish and priest. 

IN MEMORIAM: Wayne Nicholson ‘02


From his classmates, the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Reddall, Bishop of Arizona, with the Rt. Rev. Gretchen Rehberg, Bishop of Spokane:

The Rev. Wayne Nicholson, Class of 2002, died on June 10, 2019 following injuries from a car accident.

Wayne had recently retired from St. John’s Episcopal Church, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where he had served as Rector since 2006. Prior to serving in Mount Pleasant, Wayne had been Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul’s in Chester, New York. Wayne was sponsored for ordination by St. John’s, San Francisco, where the kneeling cushions he needlepointed are still in use.

At General Wayne notably helped found an on campus homeless shelter under the umbrella of the New York City Partnership for the Homeless. As a leader in the community discernment process he learned that “while opinions may differ, they can be offered honorably, and can be both listened to and heard [and] regarded with reason. But the bottom line that all share – our point of absolute agreement – has been a deep desire to listen for, and follow, the will of the Holy Spirit.”* He also served as a Sacristan, and found a role as the Chaplain to the 1999 seminary Football team. As such he censed the field at VTS and blessed their team in the name of Mary.

Wayne had a wry sense of humor and was a warm and joyful presence to all who knew him. He was president of the Community Council and presented great pieces at the Follies.  He was such a great cook – he did a wonderful Christmas Day breakfast our senior year using only a microwave, and when he had a real kitchen was a gourmet.  He was blessed with a metabolism which allowed him to use whipping cream for his coffee and eat clotted cream ice cream!  He learned to spin and weave and many now have tea towels and scarves he made. 

Wayne and his husband, Harry Nicholson, made a moving “It gets better….” video in 2016 where they testified to their experience that life as gay men did indeed get better, and that it is possible to find your soul mate late in life. They married in 2014.

Wayne and Harry moved to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in late 2018 where they made their home near Wayne’s sister, Nikki Moon.  Friends and family gathered on June 15 for his burial office and Eucharist at St. Peter’s-by-the-Sea in Gulfport, MS.  The Rev. Patrick Sanders, Rector, preached and General Seminary was sung.

*The General Seminary News, Summer 2000

A New Call for Joshua Walters ‘06


The Rev. Joshua D. Walters, Class of 2006, has accepted a call to serve as 10th rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, McLean, Virginia as of September 2019. He has been serving as rector of Christ Church, Pittsford, NY since September 2012. 

A native of Indiana, Walters grew up on his family’s farm in rural southwestern Indiana. He majored in history at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, before earning his Masters of Divinity at General. While in seminary, he served as the seminarian-associate at Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights. 

Walters was ordained in the Diocese of Indianapolis.  He previously served as the associate rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Winnetka, Illinois, on the North Shore of Chicago. Prior to his call to Pittsford, he was on Long Island where he served as rector of Grace Episcopal Church and Day School in Massapequa, New York.