Mark Stevenson to Fight Poverty
  • Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Living Church Foundation extends joyous congratulations to the Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson, a member of the foundation’s board.

Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs

The Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church, has announced the appointment of the Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson as domestic poverty missioner on the staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).

In this position, Stevenson will be responsible for work related to Anglican Mark of Mission 4 — transformation of unjust structures of society — which the 77th General Convention designated as a budget priority and structured with a focus on the alleviation of poverty in the United States. Stevenson will begin his new work September 16 and will be based in Dallas.

In addition to the newly created work of Mission Mark 4, Stevenson will be responsible for several of the church’s longstanding domestic-poverty engagements, including support for the Jubilee Ministry program and liaison with networks of Episcopalians working to address poverty in their communities.

Stevenson has served as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Louisiana since August 2005. His responsibilities included oversight of the bishop’s staff, budget management, coordination of clergy and congregation transitional ministry, and various pastoral and administrative concerns throughout the diocese.

When Hurricane Katrina made landfall just days before Stevenson took his post, the scope of his ministry expanded dramatically to include working closely with the Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins, as well as local, regional, national, and international leaders and groups to achieve effective relief ministry.

In partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, the diocese instituted an Office of Disaster Response that evolved over the years into Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana, a ministry focused not only on immediate disaster relief but also on the transformation of lives by building a community of care and respect for all human beings.

Before joining the diocese’s staff, Stevenson was rector of Church of the Annunciation in New Orleans and Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland, Florida (Diocese of Central Florida). He served as a deputy to the 2012 General Convention and as an alternate at the 2009 General Convention.

“I believe that Mark’s ability to jump into the midst, to listen to the people’s stories as well as to their needs, and to provide succor and leadership when Hurricane Katrina hit shortly before he began as Canon to the Ordinary in Louisiana, is an indicator of how he will approach his role as domestic poverty missioner,” said Executive Council member Lelanda Lee. “Listening, and then discerning how to act quickly, will be essential as he engages a very full portfolio of responsibilities.”

“It has been my pleasure to work with Mark Stevenson since he and I met in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Robert W. Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief & Development. “He played a vital role in building the Diocese of Louisiana’s ministries in response to that terrible tragedy. In his capacity as a member of the board of Episcopal Relief & Development, he has helped the organization shape its response to the earthquake in Haiti and our approach to fighting poverty globally. We look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”

Bishop Sauls said Stevenson’s appointment follows a search that included interviews with more than a dozen candidates. The interview committee included Lelanda Lee, chair of Executive Council’s Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking; the Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe of Iowa; the Rev. Anthony Guillen, DFMS Latino-Hispanic Missioner; John Colon, the church’s director of human resources; and committee chair Alex Baumgarten, DFMS’s director of government relations.

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