- The Rev. David Copley named mission personnel officer
- The Rev. Peter G. Cheney resigning from NAES in 2007
- The Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely to serve as dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix
The Rev. David Copley named Mission Personnel Officer
[ENS] The Rev. David Copley, a seasoned missionary with experience in Africa and Latin America, will join the Episcopal Church Center staff as mission personnel officer, beginning September 1. He has been serving the office in a part-time interim capacity for six months.
The Mission Personnel Office, part of the Anglican and Global Relations (AGR) cluster, is responsible for the recruitment and support of more than 90 persons serving as missionaries and Young Adult Service Corps members in approximately 35 countries worldwide.
“David met the challenges presented by the interim situation with competence, grace and cheerfulness, and I am pleased beyond measure that this stint actually helped him discern a call to serve at ‘headquarters,’” said Canon Margaret S. Larom, director of AGR. “He cares deeply about our Church and its mission in the world, and he brings not only his own mission experience but also significant administrative and pastoral skills to the position.”
The Mission Personnel Office staff works closely with the partnership officers for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean in matching the gifts of Episcopalians who feel called to serve beyond the borders of the US, with positions open in overseas dioceses and churches in the wider Anglican Communion.
Copley, a native of Nottingham, England, began his career as a pediatric nurse in 1981. He traveled to Liberia in 1991 as an emergency medical relief worker with GOAL (Ireland) and UNICEF. Initially, he worked in the rebel-held region of Capemount County where he worked to re-establish 13 rural health clinics, before the war drove out all health workers from this area. He later helped with vaccination campaigns in Buchanan and initiated a health education program with UNICEF in Monrovia. It was during his time in Liberia that his faith was renewed and where he met his future wife, Susan.
The Copleys served as appointed missionaries in Bolivia for four years, working initially with Amistad Mission, an orphanage in Cochabamba, where they helped to nurture the spiritual lives of the children and coordinated short-term mission trips from the US. They later served as lay leaders of a small Anglican house church, La Trinidad, and became involved in prison, youth, and rural development ministries.
On receiving a call to ordination, David and Susan returned to the US in 2000 to attend Virginia Theological Seminary. After completing their studies in 2003, they were appointed as assistant rectors at St. John's Episcopal Church in Hampton, Virginia.
In January 2006, the Copleys led the Episcopal Church’s two-week missionary orientation in which 26 candidates participated, and beginning in February, David devoted two days a week to coordinating the work of the Mission Personnel Office.
David H. Charlton, president of the Governing Board of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), recently announced the resignation of the Rev. Peter G. Cheney as executive director of the Association, effective June 30, 2007.
Cheney plans to leave the NAES after more than eight years to return to "service within the school world itself."
"Before it is too late, and I am overtaken by decrepitude, I would like to work as an interim leader in one or more of our schools, where my passion for serving young people and for assisting schools in times of transition can be expressed more directly," Cheney said.
According to Charlton, Cheney won respect for the work of the Association throughout the independent school world, as well as in the Episcopal Church at large and increased NAES membership by 50 percent.
"The significant increase in the level of individual and foundation giving that has enhanced the work of the Association in recent years is a powerful indication of that respect, and has allowed this association to move from strength to strength through the period of Peter’s leadership," he said.
"These years with the Association have been rich and fulfilling, and I am deeply grateful for the partnership of the NAES Governing Board and staff as together we have endeavored to help the Association to grow in membership and in the quality and breadth of our services," Cheney said. "My debt of gratitude to them for their love and support, and to so many of you, is truly incalculable."
Charlton expressed gratitude for Cheney remaining through the coming academic year and his dedication to the upcoming Biennial conference set for November 16-18, in Hollywood, California.
Bishop Kirk Smith of the Diocese of Arizona recently announced that Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix has called the Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely to serve as its 14th dean.
Knisely, presently the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, will begin his ministry in Phoenix on September 15.
Knisely was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1991 and over the past 15 years has served congregations in Delaware and Pennsylvania. He holds degrees in physics and astronomy from Franklin and Marshall College and the University of Delaware, and degrees in theology from Yale and Berkeley Divinity Schools.
Knisely chairs the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Communications and has served on various national and international bodies in that field. He is active in diocesan and national church bodies, having served as Diocesan Council President/Vice President in two dioceses, and was elected to represent the Diocese of Bethlehem to the two most recent General Conventions of the Episcopal Church.
"It is an amazing honor to have received," Knisely said. "The people of Trinity Cathedral have done extraordinary ministry over the history of the Cathedral, and it will be an exciting challenge to work with them as they continue their ministry into the 21st century."
Knisely, who is 46 years old, has been married for 24 years. He and his wife Karen have a daughter, Kenney, age 13.
His installation as dean is scheduled for November 12.