From the Rector's Desk
The Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin
Rector, St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
February 6, 2020

Dear Ones,

It gives me great joy to share the news that the Rev. Joshua Daniel, Ph.D., has accepted my invitation to join us as Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship. From a deep pool of applicants, Joshua stands out as a person who is passionate about the Bible as both learner and teacher; he exudes joy and warmth, and has a track record of creating sustaining ministries that feed the community. 
Joshua writes that he, “loves working in the Body of Christ, in all its strange and wonderful forms. He hopes to bring a sense of excitement about the possibilities of growing in faith, deepening in worship, and doing his small part to help make the kingdom of God a nearer reality in this corner of the world.” Joshua’s first Sunday at St. Columba’s will be March 22.

Born and raised in Bentonville, AR, Joshua studied philosophy and theology at Greenville College, Oxford University, and graduated with a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Arkansas. During his time at the University, he taught philosophy, worked for an academic journal, and served as the Episcopal Chaplain, transforming a small college ministry into a vibrant and diverse community. Ask him how; it involved an unqualified welcome and good food. 

While earning his Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, Joshua got a job with the grounds crew. One day, working in the dean’s backyard, Dean Markham recognized him as a student and asked what he was up to in his backyard. Joshua explained. The Dean thanked him and invited him to come in when he was finished; this led to their co-editing and publishing a book Reasonable Radical? (Pickwick 2018). 

In his first call to ordained ministry, Joshua led a spirit-filled congregation as Priest-in-Charge of a parish in the Mississippi Delta. Married to Jenna with three children Jude (9), Ruby (6), and Rosemary (11 Months) they have leased St. Columba’s house next door to the playground, are thrilled to return to DC, and are looking forward to life in the neighborhood.

Joshua will serve in a newly defined role. With the priorities articulated in St. Columba’s new vision and plan Live God’s Love, we have restructured staff positions. Joshua will oversee and support our worship, working closely with musicians, vergers, clergy and other liturgical ministers. He will lead in the design and practice of the Way of Love, helping to equip us all for life with Christ. And he will be the point person for our pastoral ministries. While we need one person to coordinate, the pastoral care of the congregation is carried out by many lay pastors and all our clergy. We have redefined Amy Molina-Moore’s role; she is now serving as Associate Rector for Family Ministry, working closely with our Directors of Children & Youth Ministries to guide all aspects of ministry with children, youth, and their families; this includes being connector and chaplain with the Nursery School. A soon-to-be-hired Missioner for Community Engagement will support our current outreach work and lead our new initiative to end family homelessness in the District; I expect this to be a lay person.

With deep thanks to all who assisted me, especially the Search Team Ben Bradburn, Nina Howe-Goldstein, Melissa McPherson, Michelle Prince, and Elizabeth Taylor – I rejoice in the ways the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst as we grow evermore as the Body of Christ.

The Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin, Rector