For almost two years we have been guided through a transition period to develop a clear vision of who we are, who we want to become, how best we can serve, and what we wish to create with a new rector. From this our Search Committee embarked on their mission to evaluate and interview candidates for the Rector position of our church. Through several months they met weekly to participate in the discernment process that would lead to their understanding of who God was calling to be our Rector. The committee made their recommendation to the Vestry. The Vestry followed up with their interview process. After these prayerful considerations, meetings, and interviews, the decision was made with confidence that God’s calling for our next Rector was clear.
It is the pleasure of the Vestry to announce that the call was issued to The Reverend Nancee. A. Cekuta and that she has answered the call to serve as Rector of our church. We give our thanks to God for guidance to us all in this decision.
Mother “Nan” Nancee earned her Masters of Divinity from The School of Theology in Sewanee, TN in 2015. Since that time she has served as Associate Rector/Acting Priest-in-Charge, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte, NC, more recently as the priest overseeing 863 families totaling over 1800 parishioners. In that capacity, she initiated and managed church growth programs across generational lines with a solid underpinning of prayer. Mother Nan grew up in Upstate New York. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, with a double major in Creative Writing and Design Theatre. Prior to seminary, she lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Her experience as a business manager is extensive, including work as the Southeast District Service Manager for EnerSys, the world’s leading manufacturer of Industrial Forklift Batteries and Chargers. Her managerial positions included time management, finance administration, training and supporting office personnel and technicians, creating and implementing service business plans to increase profit margins.
Mother Nan comes to us with a solid life of prayer (reflection, centering prayer, community prayer) and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. She is passionate about spiritual formation through inspirational liturgy and powerful ministry to the world beyond the church walls. She initiates and encourages being active in outreach projects and ongoing outreach ministries. Social action is important to her. She is creative, giving her imagination freedom to grow current ministries and learn new ones, preparing herself and others for the Church of the future. She is a creative teacher with a variety of age groups.
Nan+ has been described as having a deep soul, being both contemplative and social (like Martha and Mary); making her parishioners valuable through spiritual grounding; having a love for the people she pastors; preaching moving sermons; and is highly respected for her liturgical sense. Her comfort with alternate styles of music is very broad. Of pastoral care she says, “Offering pastoral care is one of the main reasons I entered the priesthood… is an act of who I am and not what I do.” In summary, Nan+ wrote, “My role as priest is to offer a nurturing and inclusive environment through preaching and teaching; to serve as listener, counselor, and communicator; to build a safe environment for multigenerational relationships and trust; and to bring hope through the sacraments to a broken world.”
Nan+ is the mother of two daughters, Bridget Wildes and Kaycee Maruscsak, and “Gammy” to five-year-old Caden and three-month-old Caleb, all living in the Atlanta area. When Nan+ is not working at the church, she is typically hanging out with Pugs-Leigh, her 15-month-old Pug. Pugs-Leigh and Nan+ enjoy hiking, photography, reading, grilling steaks, and laughing with friends. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Nan+ cheers for the New York Yankees and Buffalo Bills.
Mother Nancee Cekuta will be our Rector officially on July 1, 2017. We give our thanks to God for answering our prayers so fully, and our hearts are joyfully looking forward to welcoming Mother Nan into her new home with us at St. Bartholomew’s.