Bishop Kevin is pleased to announce that the Rev. Barbara Harrison Seward has been hired as the inaugural Southern Canon Missioner in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Canon Barbara will begin her ministry effective February 15, 2022.  

In sharing this news, Bishop Kevin spoke of Canon Barbara’s warm pastoral presence, deep commitment to the most vulnerable and her diverse experience in serving congregations in the midst of difficult transitions. “As you come to know Barbara and welcome her into your community, I believe you will be impressed by her steady and engaging approach to parish ministry. Please join me in welcoming her to the Diocese of Bethlehem.”  

Canon Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fayetteville State University, a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary. She most recently served as Rector and Priest in Charge at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Harrisonburg, VA. She has also served parishes in Minnesota, Illinois, and Maryland. Barbara loves to write, read, and paint.
The Southern Canon Missioner leads the mission priorities of the Diocese of Bethlehem, focusing on approximately half of the parishes in the diocese. The Southern Canon Missioner oversees the development of permeable and adaptive models to nurture the growth of new Christian communities as well as support legacy parishes by providing leadership support and strategic recruitment / placement of clergy.  

The Southern Canon Missioner serves as Rector of a parish as designated by the Bishop and supervises an Assistant Priest. Reporting to the Bishop and working closely with the Northern Canon Missioner and Canon for Mission Resources & COO, this senior leader will help guide the priorities of the diocese and build partnerships among congregations and in the communities we serve.

The Diocese of Bethlehem recently launched a new Convocation & Assembly model of gathering as a diocese and extending ministry through partnerships and shared resources. A key part of this new model is to extend diocesan leadership regionally through Canon Missioners. This new model was birthed out of a 2-year Envisioning Process that has honed 5 Priorities for the next 3-5 years. You are invited to learn more about this new model of ministry directly from Bishop Kevin through his Pentecost Dawns 2021 Pastoral Letter (