I’m an Episcopalian (Hi.)

Hello, everybody.

My name is Alissa, and I’m an Episcopalian (and some other things, too).

I’m not a “cradle” Episcopalian—that is, I wasn’t born into the denomination. I grew up in the Reformed tradition, with a dash of evangelicalism, but a decades-long road featuring many Madeleine L’Engle books, a passion for liturgy, and any number of changing views eventually led me to The Episcopal Church (TEC). It really felt like a spiritual homecoming of sorts.

As I came to feel more and more at home in TEC, I began to feel something else—a call to serve God and God’s people in another capacity as a priest in God’s church. I chose to answer and pursue this call, and entered the discernment process in the Diocese of Indianapolis. It’s been an incredible journey, and along the way I earned my MA in rhetoric & composition and met my amazing husband.

I am currently a student at The General Theological Seminary in New York City, where I live with my husband in a cozy fourth-floor apartment. I enjoy quality time with Netflix or Hulu or a good novel. Thanks to my husband, I also enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of NYC as we venture to musicals, concerts, and delicious restaurants. I like cabins, baked goods, cats, sweaters, lattes, stocky French bulldogs, lounge pants, bourbon, and laughing. I’m an INFJ. My favorite color is green. I prefer Boggle to Scrabble. I’m a big fan of nachos.

So, hello. It’s nice to meet you. You’ve heard a little about me; what about you? What do you like? How do you fill your days? How did you get where you are today, this moment?

22 thoughts on “I’m an Episcopalian (Hi.)

      • You have a lot of great content about TEC on here, and I just gave your blog a shoutout in an e-mail to the author of that recent post on Episcopal Cafe with the epic comment thread (There aren’t as many Episcopalians anymore).

        However, for my first comment, since you mentioned toast, I shall extol the virtues of toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are a great, filling breakfast that will get you through those early morning grad school classes.

        • Hi, Alex! Thanks for stopping by, and for the shoutout. PB on toast is a popular breakfast option for me, but toasted sandwiches are brilliant — so much more portable (good for my schlep to the bus stop).

  1. Hi! I am an Episcopalian, and I read Forward Day by Day as part of my daily devotions. I see that you are the author for the Sept. ’13 entries. My daughter was baptized at St. Johns by Fr. Tourangeau in 1995. We moved an hour away from Lafayette before she started school, and now that she’s graduated from high school she’ll be going “back” to Tipp. Co. to attend Purdue. I am sad that we are at the part of life where she leaves us, even though I’m proud & happy, etc. etc. I can’t help but be sad. So when I saw your bio in the devotional I took it as a sign of encouragement & wanted to let you know. I look forward to your readings in Sept. Thanks.

    • Fantastic! Fr. Ed was retiring just as I arrived in Lafayette — he had a long and wonderful tenure at St. John’s. We’ve fairly recently called a new rector who has brought much life and vibrance into the parish. I hope your daughter is enjoying the beginning of the semester!

  2. I just started reading your devotionals in Forward Day by Day, and realised that you are part of “my” diocese. Good wrok! I’m a retired priest in Indy (having served here on the diocesan staff and in three parishes) and have used Forward DbD since I became an episcopalian (post Plymouth Brethren) in Chicago 50-some years ago). Thanks for your work with and for us.
    David Shoulders

  3. Hi, I’m a 60+ year old “cradle Episcopalian” just retired from teaching high school seniors. Although I really miss interacting with young people, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy reading the offerings of a twenty-something in Forward Day by Day . . . & I find I’m loving it. Ten days “in” and everything you’ve written has resonated with me! I especially appreciated Sunday, Sept 8 & yesterday’s offerings. Thank you for working so hard and for sharing what you know/are learning. May today & your future be blessed.

  4. Alissa: I have enjoyed your daily thoughts on Forward. So great to have a young person sharing. I am a 76 yr old retired Anglican priest in western Canada. I just published a book “Without Guarantee, in search of a vulnerable God.” I have a feeling you might enjoy looking at it. My website is below. Every good wish for you in your ministry. Bob.

  5. Alissa, I’ll chime in as one of the circle of retired priests ringing changes on your most excellent offerings in FDBD this month. I’m going to miss reading your thoughts!!! So many of your entries have caught my heart and rung true, even to me as one whose children have already left behind the twenty-something years. I am INFP, Nine on the Enneagram, just turned 65, have been married for eight and a half years to another retired priest (age 80), and have three kids in their thirties, two step-kids in their fifties, all the appropriate in-laws, and six grandchildren under 8–none of whom give church or the life of faith more than a passing thought (at least from what I can tell)…makes me a bit sad. It’s always–I mean always, since age 7–been life-giving for me to be part of the church: GFS, Sunday school, choir, altar guild, lector, liturgy generally, EfM, seminary, a 16-year career as priest in three parishes/two dioceses, and now in retirement as priest associate in yet another parish/diocese.
    Thanks for your graced and grace-filled writing. Keep up the fine rhetoric and excellent composition! Blessings. And should you ever come to Williamsburg, Virginia, please let me know! I’d love to meet you.

  6. Alissa, I appreciate your contribution to Forward Day by Day, and have shared your thoughts with many ecumenical friends. I’m sixty-something, living in tradition-steeped coastal Georgia, and am so grateful when younger folk share their talents, enthusiasm, and vision for helping our congregations thrive. Especially appreciated your entry on 9/24. Come visit us in Georgia!

  7. Alissa., I am a life–long Episcopalian, and have been a reader of Forward Day by Day for many years. I was about to give it up because it seemed to just be anecdotes about this or that and then loosely matched with a Bible verse. Nothing to help me live a better, more Christ-like life. Then… the month of September knocked my flip-flops off! Every day was better and more inspiring than the day before. You are a gifted writer, and I hope you will continue to write and share your life and spiritual wisdom. September was a wonderful month of reflection, prayer, and journaling, thanks to you! May God bless your life and writing.

  8. Allissa, Thank you for your September contributions to Forward Day by Day. I enjoyed your fresh approach to your chosen verses of scripture. I will assume that I can throw in “BOILER UP!!”

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