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Newsmakers: Marie Louise Creighton, Robert E. Neily, Daniel Webster, Marie Panton, and David Michaud

[Episcopal New Service] 

Marie Louise Creighton, widow of late Washington Bishop Creighton, dies

[Source: Washington Post] Marie-Louise Forrest Creighton, 94, wife of the former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and the mother of a current bishop, died February 6 at her son’s home in Fort Washington. She had been in declining health for several years.

Mrs. Creighton moved to the Washington area in 1946 when her husband, William Forman Creighton, was named rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, Norwood Parish, in Bethesda. In 1958 he became bishop coadjutor of Washington. He was named diocesan bishop in 1962.
During her husband's tenure, Mrs. Creighton was responsible for many social functions held at the cathedral and at the bishop's home in Washington. She entertained Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain at a reception and supervised many of the arrangements surrounding the funeral of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the nation's bicentennial in 1976. Her husband retired in 1977.

Mrs. Creighton was born in Philadelphia and worked in banking before her marriage in 1934. She accompanied her husband to his ministries in Oaks, North Dakota, and St. Paul, Minnesota, and as a Navy chaplain during World War II.

She was a guide at the National Cathedral, a reading tutor for the D.C. public schools, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and a member of the Women's National Democratic Club.

Her husband died in 1987. Mrs. Creighton later moved from Washington to live with her son in Fort Washington.
Survivors include three sons, William Creighton of Fort Washington; Michael Creighton, bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, based in Harrisburg; and Maxwell Creighton of Atlanta; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Longest-serving full-time parish priest in the Episcopal Church retires

[ENS] After 26 years as rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan—adding up to a total of 43 years of parish ministry in the Episcopal Church—the Rev. Robert Edward Neily preached his final Sunday sermon on January 29, 2006 and retired officially on February 1, 2006.

According to the Church Pension Group, Neily holds the distinction of being the longest-serving full-time parish priest in the Episcopal Church. There are only 18 other clergy who have served more than 40 years.

At his retirement celebration, the Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Bishop of Michigan, named Neily an honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Church of St. Paul "as a sign of the appreciation and respect for your faithful service, and to highlight the importance of your continuing ministry and presence among us."

Neily graduated from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California in 1962. He was ordained as a deacon in 1962 by Bishop James A. Pike at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, California, and as a priest by Suffragan Bishop G. Richard Millard in 1963.

He served as a curate at St. Mark's Church, Santa Clara; vicar at St. John the Divine Church, Morgan Hill and St. Joseph the Worker, Milpitas; Assistant for Christian Education and Youth at St. Clement's in Berkeley; and Associate Rector and Director of Education at Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel.

He accepted a call to serve as rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, SanBernardino in 1971, and continued in that position until called to serve as rector of St. Michael's in Grosse Pointe Woods in 1980.

Webster accepts position at National Council of Churches of Christ

[Source: Salt Lake Tribune] The Rev. Daniel Webster will leave the majestic mountains of Utah next month for New York City's "Big Apple" to begin work with the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCC) as their media-relations director.

The NCC, a force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States, represents a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, historic African American and Living Peace churches – include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

Webster, the communications director of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah since July 2001, began working in television news as a high school student in San Diego. He enrolled in, but later left, Catholic seminary during the 1960s and studied journalism at Columbia University. He has held positions nationally with NBC and KUTV in Utah and The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he enrolled in the Seminary of the Southwest.

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, Webster said, "I couldn't have dreamed up a job like this." He said the job will combine his media savvy with his spiritual and social passions. "Some of us call it divine providence. Some of us call it coincidence. And some of us call it the Holy Spirit. I've always thought God is best seen in the rearview mirror."

He said he was looking forward to "making new friends" and hoped to "never lose contact with the fellow travelers in search of God here."

His wife, the Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy, will join him in New York later this year.

After 19-years, Panton begins a new journey

[ENS] After 19-years of service to the Episcopal Church Center, the last 12 with Episcopal Life, Marie Panton resigned her position as Faithworks Editor of Episcopal Life, on February 17, to pursue other professional opportunities.

In her departure announcement, Panton called her tenure with her Episcopal Life colleagues "the most rewarding and fulfilling experience" and that she has "learned so much from each of them."

"Marie made a significant contribution to the planning, writing and editing of our publication," said Jerrold Hames, editor of Episcopal Life. "She worked with dozens of freelance writers and brought a presence to our newsgathering and feature writing that will be solely missed."

Panton studied at Fordham University and received a degree in journalism from Baruch College, New York, while working for Episcopal Life.

GTS student interning in the General Convention Office

[Source: General Convention Office] David Michaud joined the General Convention Office on February 3 as their Spring Intern. In this position, he is responsible for assisting in database management.

Michaud, a native of Salisbury, Maryland, in the Diocese of Easton, is a second year M. Div. student at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Prior to seminary, he worked for 19 years in national and regional nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. 

Michaud said he "hopes to gain a greater understanding of how the General Convention is organized, information is processed and decisions are made that affect the life of the Church."

His wife Kelli and their two teenage daughters Erin and Maggie continue to reside in Salisbury while he attends seminary.