Bishop Stacy Sauls announces two senior appointments to Presiding Bishop-Elect’s staff

Two canons to the Presiding Bishop will serve Bishop Curry

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Posted Oct 5, 2015

In consultation with Presiding Bishop-Elect Michael B. Curry, Bishop Stacy F. Sauls, Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer, has announced two senior staff appointments at the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society that will become effective November 1 when Bishop Curry begins his term as Presiding Bishop and Primate.

The two staff positions – Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within The Episcopal Church, and Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church – will serve as part of a larger senior-leadership team at the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.  Bishop Sauls, in his role as Chief Operating Officer, will function as chief of staff to Bishop Curry and will oversee the leadership team.

“The role of the Presiding Bishop, as set forth in our constitution, canons, and history, is enormously broad in its scope, both within and beyond The Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Sauls.  “These roles include those of Presiding Bishop, Primate, and Chief Pastor, and encompass such functions as ecumenical and interfaith officer, primary teacher, and chief evangelist. Bishop Curry’s plans involve two canons supporting him in these responsibilities, which are part of an even broader portfolio that also includes his role as chair of the Executive Council and president of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.”

Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within The Episcopal Church

The Rev. Canon Michael Buerkel Hunn, presently Canon to the Ordinary for Program and Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of North Carolina, will serve as Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within The Episcopal Church.

Canon Hunn will be responsible for supporting the ministry of the Presiding Bishop among Episcopalians.  This includes supporting the Presiding Bishop’s role as president of the House of Bishops, chief pastor to the Church’s 108 dioceses and the areas of special jurisdiction for the Presiding Bishop, and chief theological educator and evangelist.

“This is an exciting time to be an Episcopal follower of Jesus!” said Canon Hunn. “Don’t we have something beautiful to say to our aching world?  I am eager to assist Bishop Curry and excited about the conversations and adventure we all will share together in the years to come.  I hope to be useful to our beloved church.”

“Canon Hunn and I have worked together for nine years in the Diocese of North Carolina,” said Bishop Curry. “He really is a person of prayer, penetrating insight, deep wisdom and experience in helping us to live fully into that calling in our time as part of the Jesus movement.”

Canon Hunn has served since 2006 as a Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of North Carolina, where he designed diocesan systems in the areas of transition ministry, pastoral response, discipline, misconduct training, the priestly ordination process, conflict transformation, youth ministry, and congregational support and development.  As a lecturer, keynote speaker, and preacher, he has spoken on subjects such as public speaking (Davidson College), Canon Law (Duke Divinity School), Liturgical Living, the challenges of stewardship and the future of The Episcopal Church, often bringing fresh ideas to traditional subjects. His short story “Al’s Garage and Soul Repair Shop” won the 2009 Middlebury Magazine Fiction Contest, here and his debut novel “Getting Over Jordan” is in search of publication.  He’s on Youtube here.

Canon Hunn holds degrees from Middlebury College (BA History and Religion) and Cambridge University (MA Theology) and a Certificate of Advanced Theological Study from Seabury Western Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1996, Canon Hunn served Kent School in Connecticut as chaplain, head baseball coach, and chair of the Theology Department. He went on to serve as senior associate rector of the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth, IL and as Episcopal chaplain to Davidson College and associate rector of St. Alban’s, Davidson, North Carolina.

In his new role, Canon Hunn will be based in Raleigh, where he currently lives with his wife, the Rev. Meg Buerkel Hunn, Assistant Rector at Christ Church in Raleigh; two teenage sons, Dexter and Murphy; and daughter Dosie.

Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church

The Rev. Canon Charles K. Robertson, Ph.D., currently Canon to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will serve as Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church.

Canon Robertson will be responsible for supporting the ministry of the Presiding Bishop among those who are not members of The Episcopal Church.  This includes supporting the Presiding Bishop’s role as Primate of The Episcopal Church (one of 38 member Provinces of the Anglican Communion) and in the Presiding Bishop’s capacity as chief ecumenical and interfaith officer for the Church.

“I am deeply grateful to be asked by the Presiding Bishop-Elect to serve the Church in this role,” said Canon Robertson.  “It is a privilege to be engaged in the work of building bridges and strengthening partnerships for the sake of the gospel and the growth of the Church. And I look forward to the opportunity to work together with Canon Michael Hunn.”

“Canon Robertson and I have worked together in a variety of efforts for all the years he has served as Canon to our Presiding Bishop,” said Bishop Curry.  “I know him to be a deeply faithful person, a trusted colleague in the gospel ministry, with wide experience in building and nurturing relationships with our brothers and sisters in the wider Anglican Communion as well as the ecumenical and interfaith communities. We are truly blessed to have Canon Robertson and Canon Hunn working as a team to assist and facilitate the ministry of the Presiding Bishop as we seek to engage this mission moment together as The Episcopal Church.”

Canon Robertson holds a BA in communication from Virginia Tech and a M.Div. from the Virginia Theological Seminary. While earning his doctorate in theology from England’s Durham University, Canon Robertson assisted at Durham Cathedral from 1996 to 1999.  He has served as rectors of parishes in Central Florida and Atlanta and as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Arizona.

Canon Robertson is a Fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the General Theological Seminary, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He has also worked extensively with the Department of Education, the White House, and Hollywood studios and guilds as Executive Director of Film Clips, Inc.

Canon Robertson has served on several national boards, including the Governing Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and has published many books and articles, including the recent Barnabas vs. Paul and is also General Editor of the Studies in Episcopal & Anglican Theology series. For more on his writings, go here.

A native of Texas, Canon Robertson has been married for 24 years to Debbie, and they have three children, David, Jonathan, and Abigail.  He will continue to be based in New York City at The Episcopal Church Center.