Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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About Our Speakers

Willis Jenkins, Associate Professor of Religion, Ethics, and Environment, University of Virginia

Willis Jenkins is Associate Professor of Religion, Ethics, and Environment at the University of Virginia. The scope of his teaching and research interests in religion, ethics and the environment is broadly interdisciplinary with connections to many of the University’s programs: Religious Studies, Environmental Sciences, Politics, the Bioethics Program in Philosophy, the Environmental Law Program in the Law School, and the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine.

Willis believes that churches must do more than issue official pronouncements against climate change or in favor of specific policies. “Climate change represents a much broader moral and cultural crisis. So the creative, pragmatic action that is needed must show how we can become the sort of people and societies that can bear responsibility for the atmosphere. It’s more than policy.”

Willis received his B.A. from Wheaton College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has written extensively in his areas of interest. In 2009, Willlis received the Templeton Award for Theological Promise, following publication of Ecologies of Grace. His most recent book is The Future of Ethics: Sustainability, Social Justice and Religious Creativity (Georgetown 2013). An Episcopalian, Willis has been active in the national Episcopal Church over the years in many significant capacities.

The Reverend Dr. Hilary B. Smith, Priest-In-Charge, Holy Comforter, Richmond, VA.  

The Reverend Dr. Hilary B. Smith is the priest-in-charge of Holy Comforter, Richmond, VA.  Her parish is very actively involved in becoming a green parish, and highly motivated in educating their parishioners concerning what that means. Rev. Hilary developed a liturgy for celebrating Earth Day, 2014.  She has served as a parish priest, spiritual director, and retreat leader in the Diocese of Virginia since 2000.  Her spirituality has been influenced significantly by her association with The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, where she has made annual seven-day, silent, directed retreats since 2003. Rev. Hilary also maintains a Blog, Angels in the Alley, http://drhilarysmith.blogspot.com/,where she writes of “experiences of grace in places or circumstances that are out-of-the-way, unexpected, or often experienced as dark.”

Ragan Sutterfield, Seminarian, Virginia Theological Seminary.

Ragan Sutterfield is a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary. Before entering the Seminary, he worked for Heifer International in his native Arkansas and also overseas in Africa. A prolific writer, Ragan has contributed to a number of popular magazines and has written and contributed to recent books on agricultural spirituality, including Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us and Farming as a Spiritual Discipline. Ragan has been a guest lecturer at colleges and universities and a speaker for churches and conferences on holistic living, the theology of creation, and contemporary culture.

Ragan is a regular contributor to the Patheos Word+Flesh blog, the Englewood Review of Books website, and SustainableTraditions.com. He is a graduate of Wheaton College. His wife, Emily, and daughter, Lilian, are sharing his sojourn in Northern Virginia.

Tal Day, Chair, Committee on Stewardship of Creation, Diocese of Virginia

In 2011, Tal retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. Before joining USDA in 1992, he was involved as a policy analyst in evaluating early forms of community-based policing and, in the Department of Energy, program planning for building energy conservation and renewable resources development. More recently, as chair of a subcommittee of the National Episcopal Church, he has been examining policy issues raised in a General Convention resolution concerning genetically modified foods (GMOs). As an attorney, Tal has represented lenders in a nationally scoped bankruptcy practice.

Tal is a graduate of Cornell University (A.B.), the University of Hawaii (Ph.D., Political Science), and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D). His interests include local and church history, cooking, and bicycling and kayaking at their home in the Northern Neck.

Lorne Field, Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Department of Environmental Engineering, Chesterfield County, Virginia

Lorne Field is the Environmental Outreach Coordinator for the Chesterfield County Department of Environmental Engineering. He is a member of the James River Advisory Council and a Board Member of the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River. He is also a member of the Committee on Stewardship of Creation. Lorne serves as the Chairperson of the Richmond Region Pet Waste Committee that oversees the Stop the Drop Campaign.  He is an avid history buff and enjoys hiking, snorkeling and trail running along banks of the James and Appomattox. Lorne graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in History and has experience in historical archaeology as well as environmental education.

Denise Swinsky, Territory Sales Manager, American Disposal Services

American Disposal Services furnishes refuse and recycling services to over 300,000 customers in three states and the District of Columbia. In addition to her duties as Sales Manager, Denise is also active in American’s recycling education program, ThinkBeforeYouThrow®. She wrote and conducts the recycling training program for all of American’s new salespeople as well as speaks on behalf of the ThinkBeforeYouThrow® program. She conducts recycling presentations and hosts lobby events to better educate customers on recycling. Denise is also heavily involved in American’s recycling community outreach program and represents American at various school and community events. American recently opened their state of the art, single stream recycling processing facility and attached interactive learning center, The American Recycling Center, and Denise has been influential to American’s continued focus on environmental initiatives and recycling/environmental education within both commercial and community settings.

Craig Dubishar, Steward of Creation, St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Herndon, Virginia

Craig Dubishar is the immediate past Chair of the Diocese of Virginia’s Stewardship of Creation Committee. Since 1994, he has been the Steward of Creation for St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Herndon, Virginia. For all of his life, Craig has been caring about and caring for God’s amazing creation. An avid backpacker and photographer, Craig has trekked at Philmont Scout Ranch (the BSA’s oldest High Adventure Base) seven times, the Cranberry Lake Wilderness Area (Adirondacks), and numerous outings on the Appalachian Trail. One of Craig’s landscape photos is featured in the header of the Stewardship of Creation Committee website. Craig earned a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Missouri, an M.S. in Remote Sensing & Geodesy from Virginia Tech, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. In 1995, he completed the Education for Ministry Program through the University of the South.

Robert Faithful, Green Faith Fellow

Robert Faithful Is a Green Faith Fellow, a member of the Committee on Stewardship of Creation, and Senior Warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Centreville. Green Faith is an ecumenical environmental organization receiving support from The Episcopal Church that seeks to engage clergy and lay people from all denominations and faiths in connecting the spiritual teachings of humanity with practical issues of environmental concern. In 2012, he retired from the U.S. Department of Interior concluding a career where he served as a senior administrator of social justice programs in the Department’s agencies and headquarters. Bob is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (B.A. Political Science), and the Northwestern University Law School (J.D.).