The Rt. Rev. Michael Buerkel Hunn, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, is pleased to announce his selection of the Rev. Canon William Lee Curtis III as canon to the ordinary to succeed the Rev. Canon Raymond Raney. Canon Curtis will assume his duties with the Rio Grande on August 19, 2019. Canon Curtis currently serves as canon missioner at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In making his announcement, Hunn remarked: “During our interviews Lee repeatedly brought ideas and perspectives to the conversation which I had not heard before, and I’ve been actively engaged in congregational development for more than two decades. His fresh perspective and new ideas will be of tremendous value throughout the diocese as we lean into the future God has in store for us and learn together the new ways of being church which God is calling us into.
“Our diocesan priorities include reaching young families and young adults, deepening our Hispanic/Latino ministry and supporting all congregations so they thrive. Canon Curtis brings technology skills and experience in social media, demographic analysis and Spanish language competency. He has extensive cross-cultural and multi-cultural experience and learning. His passion is to help the church engage the next generation while being true to its roots.
“He approaches ministry as a facilitator and is well aware that as a young Canon he will need to come alongside our congregations and clergy offering perspective, new ideas and encouragement. I am excited to work with him, Archdeacon Patty Soukup and our staff as we help the Diocese of the Rio Grande engage the next generation of Leadership for the Episcopal Church.”
Curtis was born and raised on Florida’s Space Coast where shuttle launches were a regular part of the rhythm of life. A graduate of Florida State University and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Lee’s ministry has been focused on developing faithful, mission-driven communities that thrive at the intersections of language and culture.
Curtis’ ministry has been lived out in multicultural and multilingual spaces. Beginning in Atlanta, GA- serving as rector of the Church of the Incarnation and as campus missioner to Georgia Tech and Georgia State Universities. In 2015 Lee was called to serve as canon missioner at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, Indiana, working on integrating the bilingual life of the cathedral more deeply with the life of the city of Indianapolis.
As teacher, facilitator, and workshop-leader, Curtis has spoken about learning through failure, the intersection of justice and evangelism, new ministry development, and theories of innovation in ministry. He continues to work on developing the capacities and practices needed to help build a multilingual and multicultural church for the 21st century.
He and his wife Hannah are the parents of two remarkable boys, and caregivers to two very good dogs. While ministry is his joy and passion, he spends his off time with his family- practicing soccer with his boys, reading Latin American literature and poetry, making good barbecue, and (occasionally) writing and recording music.
“I’m remarkably thankful for this opportunity to serve the Diocese of the Rio Grande as canon to the ordinary. This diocese is asking all of the right questions about what it means to live faithfully in far west Texas and New Mexico, and I am excited to partner with y’all in that good and holy work. I look forward to all that God has in store for our common life together.”