On Saturday, December 1, Bishop Bill had the privilege of ordaining three women to the transitional diaconate: Wendy Dixon, Amy Howard, and Gayle Heaslip. The service was full, with over one hundred people arriving as guests to support these three through their move into Holy Orders. Each read and signed their oath of conformities after being presented by friends and family. They then took their vows during their examination by Bishop Bill, after which they received the laying on of hands. The service was followed by a catered lunch and a time of fellowship.
The Rev. Amy Howard is a pastor at Imago Dei Anglican Church, a congregation in Bangor, ME, led by her husband, The Rev. Canon Justin Howard. Amy grew up in Bangor and received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at the Greatbatch School of Music, at Houghton College. Having met both the third member of the Trinity as well as the president of the theological society (Justin) during her Sophomore year at Houghton, she traded in Brahms for the prayer room, and quiet Sunday afternoons for family life with six boys. Amy oversees Encounter God Weekends and healing prayer at Imago Dei. She has trained over a hundred prayer ministers in New England from various Christian traditions. She is a licensed Spiritual Director for the Anglican Diocese in New England and was trained by Christian Healing Ministries in whole-person healing.
The Rev. Wendy Dixon was trained in 2005 through the Spiritual Directors Internship Initiative and has offered spiritual direction for over ten years. She also leads retreats on contemplative and prophetic prayer using various art materials, journaling, and prayer walking outdoors. She currently worships and serves at Christ the Redeemer, Danvers, and currently helps to lead CTR’s Healing Prayer ministry.
The Rev. Gayle Heaslip currently works on staff at Leadership Transformations Institute, which is led by Steve Macchia for local churches and Christian organizations to be filled with leaders who place spiritual formation, discernment and renewal above all other leadership priorities. She is a licensed spiritual director and counselor, having graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in ’04 with an M.A. in Counseling. Gayle served as an assistant pastor at two Vineyard Church on Cape Cod before returning to her Anglican spiritual heritage. She currently serves as a pastor at an Anglican church plant in Falmouth, MA.
Please keep these three new deacons in your prayers as they move towards the next season of their life and service in Christ for the sake of the Church.