New Rector takes up calling at St Mary's Episcopal Church

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:27

SPARTA — A native Syracusan, the Rev. Carol D. Gadsden was ordained to the Diaconate on June 8, 1985, and to the Priesthood on Jan. 18, 1986, having graduated from The General Theological Seminary in May of 1985. Gadsden received a Masters of Divinity, with academic distinction in both Church History and Ethics. “My style is dignified, but relaxed; welcoming and approachable, yet fully embracing the sacred and holy without being precious. I preach from either the center aisle or pulpit (driven by the occasion or the complexity of the text).” Carol,as she prefers to be known, graduated from Keuka College in 1972 with a BA in English and Secondary Education, and from Teachers College at Columbia University in 1975 (MA) and 1976 (M Ed), both in Applied Human Development and Counseling. Carol also received a Certificate in Management in Management for Non-Profits from Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University in 1997. “I have long believed - and endeavor to achieve in every parish I have served - that every member of the congregation should be biblically literate, theologically articulate, and denominationally sound, in addition to taking a fearless look at their journey of faith.” Gadsden has served as a seminarian and Associate at St. Francis’ in Connecticut; as a Vicar at St. Nicholas’, and as a Priest-in-Charge at: St. John’s, St. James’, and St. Luke’s and St. Margaret’s, all in Massachusetts; and twice as an interim at St. John’s and St. David’s in Pennsylvania. “I pray often, regularly, and consistently; I read and meditate on passages from Scripture, and find comfort and wisdom in the writings of Frederick Buechner. When I need the prayers and support of others, I ask for them. I pray and play with clergy colleagues. I love listening to music, dancing up a storm, walking, and golfing. My family and a close circle of friends are my anchor and my passion; they keep me sane, centered, energized, and gloriously happy.” Gadsden arrived at St. Francis’ in her first clerical position as the seminarian with the mandate to provide a quality youth program for teens which she transitioned into a newly created assistant/associate’s position after graduation. In addition to lock-ins, youth group retreat events, Night Watch programs, and a rigorous and comprehensive Christian Education class, she developed an on-going relationship between St. Francis’ youth group and the youth group at the neighboring synagogue. “I am a burn survivor. 34 years ago I burned 70 percent of my body, 50 percent of which was third degree. I spent six months in the hospital, and underwent multiple surgeries during that time. I lost the use of my arms and legs during my hospitalization, and was not expected to survive. By God’s grace, I did; I regained the use of all of my limbs and eventually resumed a normal existence. At the time of my accident, I was employed as a school psychologist.” At St. John’s in Massachusetts, Gadsden accepted a three year placement by the diocesan bishop as a consultant/pastoral counselor/priest in a congregation experiencing significant change and grief as it concurrently moved away from denominational teaching and church polity. Her ministry was to provide pastoral care and stability to the congregation (the rector was dying) and to shepherd the congregation back to the use of the Book of Common Prayer and diocesan programming. “I listen to the congregation’s concerns for the future, where they feel the institutional church has fallen short, and consider what it means to be a Christian on both a local and global stage. This has caused me to do a considerable amount of reading and investigating movements such as Green Faith and being an active participant in conversations about liturgy, language, and church structure that are more relevant to life in the 21st Century. I am asking the questions of those disaffected by the church as it presently operates and attempting to make changes that offer a more full, rich, and authentic experience for today’s congregation.” Gadsden’s spouse, Linda March (they were married in Massachusetts on May 5, 2005), is a program manager in Executive Learning /Onboarding/Organizational Development at the corporate headquarters of ARAMARK. Carol is the mother of two adult daughters; Hilary, who lives in Boston and is the marketing coordinator for Cannon Architects and is a sometime freelance film critic; and Courtney, who lives in Manhattan and is the Bookings Manager for J. Crew Corporate. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is located at 85 Conestoga Trail, Sparta. To contact them call 973-729-3136