Association for Episcopal Deacons announces an exciting leadership transition

Association for Episcopal Deacons
Posted Mar 29, 2022

The Rev. Deacon Lori Mills-Curran has decided that, after nine years as Executive Director of AED, she would like to retire. She and the Board have collaborated on planning for her transition over the past year, and the Rev. Mills-Curran will conclude her work on March 31, 2022. The Board has hired The Rev. Carter Hawley as Interim Executive Director, beginning work on March 25, 2022, to serve in that role for a nine-month period through the end of the calendar year.

AED annually gathers all those interested in best practices for deacon formation, and at AED’s recent Archdeacon and Deacon Directors Conference, a video of appreciation messages from all the Presidents of AED that the Rev. Mills-Curran has worked with was shared.  Noting some of Lori’s accomplishments in the role, the Rev. Canon Tina Campbell, President of AED 2013-15, asserted that Rev. Mills-Curran’s tenure as Executive Director “has marked a real maturing of AED as a professional organization.” The Rev. Lauren Welch, President from 2015-17 added that “It’s been through Lori’s perseverance, collaboration, and her passion for justice – passion for justice for deacons especially – that has enabled AED to move forward.” The Rev. Maureen Hagen, President from 2017-2019, thanked Rev. Mills-Curran for efforts to engage in fruitful dialogue with the Church Pension Group, as one example of her effective collaborations in the wider church, and The Rev. Douglas Argue, AED’s most recent Past President, shared that because of Rev. Mills-Curran’s leadership, “AED is better positioned than ever in the past to advocate for the ministry needs of the diaconate and ensure that deacons have a voice in the bigger picture of the Church.” “AED is in a great position to step into its next chapter,” agreed The Rev. Tracie Middleton, AED’s current President, “and we owe so much of that to [Rev. Mills-Curran’s] efforts.”

Lori indicates that her proudest accomplishment is the development of a close collaboration between AED and The Fund for the Diaconate. “We are now united with a common vision to seek to serve all deacons’ wellbeing from discernment to grave,” Lori stated, noting that their first joint development campaign Advancing the Diaconate, which seeks to fund spiritual and wellbeing supports for all deacons in The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, is well underway.

The Rev. Mills-Curran is already embarking on new ventures as she continues her efforts on behalf of deacons. After a road trip to the “quilting capital “of Paducah KY, she will explore opportunities for teaching and writing.  “I have been a deacon for 35 years, which I think is an uncommon story that may need telling,” she stated.

As AED moves into this next chapter, the Board is pleased to help pass the baton to the Rev. Carter Hawley. The Rev. Hawley has a bachelor’s degree in social work, an associate’s degree in criminal justice, and a master’s degree in public administration. She has worked in state, county and city management, and for United Way. In her previous diocese, she served as Canon for Administration and as Archdeacon.  Rev. Hawley has three kids and four grandchildren.  She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Homestead, PA. In her spare time, she likes to sing, bike, and sleep.

“We are excited to begin working with Carter,” said Rev. Middleton.  “Our Succession Committee shared with the Board that they sensed God’s guidance throughout the search process and felt confident about proposing this Interim plan to the Board, and we felt the same way, especially knowing some of Carter’s extensive gifts”

“I am so honored to be serving as the Interim Executive Director of AED,” Rev. Hawley said. “Deacons serve at the crossroad between the church and the world, between the secular and the religious worlds. That crossroad can be a lonely place, neither fish nor fowl. I imagine a national association that supports and convenes deacons to strengthen this critical ministry in the world, and to our Church. As Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said,  ‘[T]he deacon is the primary witness to who we are to be as the baptized followers or disciples of Jesus.’ AED will equip deacons serve that critical role.”

The Association for Episcopal Deacons is a membership association of persons and dioceses within The Episcopal Church whose mission is to increase participation and involvement of all baptized persons in Christ’s diaconal ministry, especially by promoting and supporting the diaconate. AED curates a web-based storehouse of diaconal resources and facilitates deacon connections via events, social media, a magazine and e-newsletter.